One in four adults will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
Stigma and increasing work and family pressures make it difficult for people to open up about their anxiety, says psychiatrist Dr Mashadi Motlana.
It is important to recognise anxiety disorders and and treat them accordingly.
Dr Motlana says a certain level of anxiety can be healthy, but it becomes debilitating when it begins to interfere with work performance, family life, everyday functioning, and overall life goals.
She advises that knowledge and awareness about anxiety also helps with effectively managing the disorder.
Signs of anxiety include:
- feelings of apprehension
- chest pain
- difficulties concentrating
Dr Motlana explains anxiety needs professional attention when it becomes out of proportion with the situation.
She says that breathing exercises and relaxation techniques are key to coping with anxiety.
According to Dr Motlana, the practice of mindfulness and mediation can also help manage anxiety.
Sufficient sleep, exercise and work-life balance are vital in order to take care of the mind and body, Dr Motlana adds.
Anxiety is extremely common, it affects one in four people, but we often think it only affects other people.— Dr Mashadi Motlana, specialist psychiatrist
Anxiety can become pathological and keep us from achieving things we need to do; interacting and socialising with family, life goals, and performing in the workplace.— Dr Mashadi Motlana, specialist psychiatrist
It's important that we have some anxiety, we need a bit of it to energise us and to plan. However, we need to manage the anxiety and recognise it for what it is.— Dr Mashadi Motlana, specialist psychiatrist
An anxious state doesn't have to be frightening and debilitating.— Dr Mashadi Motlana, specialist psychiatrist
As we improve our literacy around mental health, we are better quipped to prevent the emergence of real pathology.— Dr Mashadi Motlana, specialist psychiatrist
Dr Motlana shared her expert insights and callers phoned in to relay their personal experiences.
Take a listen to her expert advice:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Ignoring your anxiety won't make it go away, Dr Mashadi Motlana explains