According to MIMS Today, 17 to 20 percent of Filipinos experience psychiatric disorders and about 10 to 15 percent of Filipino children (aged 5 to 15) are diagnosed with mental health problems. The National Statistics Office (NSO) reported in 2010 that there are 88 cases of mental health issues were reported for every 100, 000 Filipinos, with schizophrenia being the top mental health problem.
Anxiety manifests itself in different forms and causes you to overthink certain situations. Aside from affecting your mental state, feeling anxious may even cause you to experience physical symptoms like hyperventilation. Other common signs of anxiety include:
- Feeling restless/drained
- Consistent worrying
- Having gastrointestinal (GI) problems
When you should see a doctor
Anxiety disorders can greatly affect your day to day life and may require medical attention. Consult a psychiatrist if your anxiety is causing you to feel/experience any of the following:
- You suddenly start abusing drugs/alcohol.
- You start to have suicidal thoughts.
- Your work life is affected.
- You have uncontrolled bursts of depression/fear/worry.
If you want to take a credible assessment test before your visit a doctor, you may look up the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) so you can also be aware of what your doctor may ask from you.
What you can do
Aside from seeking medical help, you can also try some simple steps to help with your recovery like:
- Join a support group for people with anxiety.
- Exercise on a regular basis as a form of therapy.
- Avoid alcohol and drug abuse.
- Try mental and physical relaxation activities like yoga.
- Consume less caffeine and quit smoking.
- Get enough sleep and rest.
- Consider eating healthier.
- Try your hand at journaling to track your moods and behavioral patterns.
- Educate yourself on your condition.
- Schedule regular meetups with friends and family.
- Manage your time wisely.
Anxiety can be treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medications. Your doctor will be in the best position to recommend the right kind of treatment plan for you. It is essential that you follow all your doctor’s orders and take all your medicine (if any) on time. Track any kind of changes in your moods and log all your episodes so you are always aligned with your doctor.
If you feel that you are suffering from a mental condition, seek support from your family and trusted friends. Book a session with a psychiatrist who may be able to guide you through your recovery process. Never take any form of medication without the proper prescription of a health professional. There are also hotlines where you can seek out support from professionals or if you simply need someone to talk to like HOPELINE (02) 8804.4673; (0917) 558.4673 or 2919 for Globe subscribers.