Depression in Adults
Anxiety is the body’s normal response in the presence of stress.
Everyone experiences feelings of nervousness, anxiety, worrisome and panic in daily life. However, when an individual is unable to control his/her anxiety and it significantly impacts his/her life, it becomes a disorder.
In the United States, approximately 18,1% of adults has the diagnosis of anxiety disorder. Forty-two million people are living with anxiety disorder, ranging from panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and phobia (Duckworth, 2013).
Women are more prevalent in this disorder by 60% (NIMH, cited in Donner & Lowry, 2013). In Indonesia, research showed 6% of adults or approximately 14 million people are living with mental-emotional disorder with symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder by 2013 (Depkes, 2014).
In reality, chronic and continuous anxiety has a huge impact on daily functioning (Parr & Cartwright-Hatton, 2009). An individual with social anxiety tends to have lower self-worth and he/she believes that others doubt his/her capabilities as well. (Leary & Kowalsky,1995; Oort et al., 2011).
Several familial factors are related with parenting styles, such as rejection, overprotection, lack of emotional warmth, pressure or anxiety of parents, depression, and alcohol dependency. In addition, traumatic experience with peers is another factor, for example abuse, intimidation, and threats (Oort et al., 2011; Knappe et al., 2009).
Symptoms of social anxiety are physical, cognitive, and behavioral.
- Physical symptoms range from trembling, reddening of the face, sweating, stuttering, and others.
- Cognitive symptoms are maladaptive thoughts and irrational fears.
- Behavioral symptoms are avoidance behavior from pressuring situations (Nevid,2005).
These symptoms are related to increased activity of the amygdala (a part of the brain which stores emotional memories) and connected to frontal-striatal cortex response while looking at negative face expressions, or threatening situations. In threatening situations, amygdala sends signals to brainstem in order to express fear as well as increasing autonomic response (increased heartbeat and breathing rate) (Fouche et.al. 2013).
A lot of adults are not aware of the importance of professional help in treating anxiety disorders. Professional help, often in form of therapy, has positive impact in reducing symptoms of the disorder. Some cognitive therapy has been shown to be effective, such as exposure, cognitive restructuring, relaxation practice, and social skills training.
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