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••• The International Writers Magazine - 22 Years on-line - Life & Living It

How Anxiety Affects Your Productivity
• Indiana Lee
We have all been affected one way or another by Covid - you are not alone with your worries.

Many emotions were expressed at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of people expressed fear of the potential uncertainty into the future. Others expressed grief from losing loved ones. Others expressed anger and frustration at job instability. A majority of people reported feeling symptoms of anxiety, which was completely understandable. A pandemic is still an event that many people have not encountered before; it would be reasonable to believe that a person would feel a little anxious about all that was going on.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a mental health condition that causes a person to excessively worry about all types of matters in a person’s life. Even though many people can relate to feeling anxious at times, one of the characteristics surrounding anxiety involves excessive worry. Excessive worry can occur over a period from a few weeks to a few months for people suffering from clinical anxiety. When the everyday activities begin to be disrupted from excessive worry, a person is typically dealing with symptoms of clinical anxiety.

What are some of the symptoms of anxiety?

A person who suffers from anxiety experiences different symptoms such as:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Trouble sleeping
  3. Upset stomach
  4. A racing heartbeat
  5. Shortness of breath

Some of the mental symptoms include excessive worrying about multiple topics, issues with concentration, feelings of irritability, and fears about injury or death. These symptoms can influence people to avoid situations that might trigger anxiety.

How does anxiety affect a person’s productivity?

The excessive worry that results from anxiety impacts every facet of a person’s life, especially their work. A recent survey from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reported that 72 percent of participants expressed that they experience daily stress that interferes with their everyday life.

People with anxiety are at risk of experiencing panic attacks that can impact their work performance and relationships with coworkers. They may begin to feel anxious about whether they are capable of performing the task at hand, and experience issues fulfilling certain roles of their position. Job satisfaction may be low or nonexistent, and the person may end up seeking employment elsewhere.

What is depression?

Depression is another mental health condition that invokes feelings of sadness, low self-esteem, and loss of interest in a person. While it is common for people these feelings occasionally, people who suffer from depression experience these symptoms on a more frequent basis.

These symptoms make it extremely difficult for a person to perform their everyday tasks and negatively impact a person’s life. For example, people who are depressed may experience changes in their interest levels, appetites, and sleep patterns. These changes can make it difficult for the person to concentrate on their work or tasks.

Why are anxiety and depression so commonly linked?

Although anxiety and depression are two separate mental conditions, the two often possess many similarities. Both anxiety and depression can influence one another. The symptoms of anxiety can lead to certain symptoms of depression. For example, when people feel anxious, they react by isolating themselves. This isolation can lead to depression. Another similarity is the type of impact both sets of symptoms can have on a person’s life. The symptoms of both anxiety and depression can affect a person’s normal routine for the worst.

What are some of the differences between anxiety and depression?

One of the differences between anxiety and depression include the types of symptoms that the person is suffering from. The main symptom that distinguishes anxiety from depression is the person’s extreme need to worry. The symptoms of depression revolve around a person experiencing feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and worthlessness. A person who experiences feelings of not wanting to live suffers from depression, and a person who experiences constant worrying suffers from anxiety.

How have both anxiety and depression been more prevalent over the last year?

Many people experienced forms of anxiety, depression, or both as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. At the beginning of the shutdown, a majority of people expressed fear about the certainty of their professions, how long the quarantine will be in effect, and so on. This fear soon progressed into stress and worry concerning the loneliness that was produced from the quarantine.

Concerns about the virus and the length of the quarantine contributed to the feelings of fear, isolation, and grief. With a change in the quarantine process, people are beginning to pivot from feelings of anxiety, depression, or a combination of both.

What kinds of factors have contributed to increased diagnoses of anxiety and depression?

Some factors that have led to increased diagnoses of anxiety and depression include job burnout and juggling multiple roles. A majority of occupations have been pushed to the breaking point due to the pandemic, including the healthcare, restaurant, and construction industries. The workers from these industries have experienced severe symptoms of job burnout, from being overworked to experiencing fatigue.

Women who are mothers have twice the responsibility placed upon them during the pandemic. Because many daycare centers were shut down, women have had to juggle the responsibilities of childcare and working from home. These types of stressful situations can produce feelings of anxiety and depression for many workers.

What are some factors that are contributing to the lack of anxiety or depression in others?

One factor that is slowly creating a shift in diagnoses of anxiety and depression is the change in a quarantine status. People are beginning to return to some sense of normalcy and can interact with loved ones and friends again. Still, medical experts declare that reintroducing people into society is creating a new wave of anxiety and depression in others. Some people possess natural fears of getting back into society with other people. The activities that many people deemed normal have now become foreign.

What are the treatments for anxiety and depression?

If you have been diagnosed with anxiety, the most common treatment options are via medication. Your doctor might decide to prescribe you antidepressants or antihistamines to help handle your anxiety levels. If you suffer from panic attacks, you will likely be prescribed anti-anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines.

Psychotherapy is a popular treatment method used for patients who have generalized anxiety disorder and depression because it teaches the patients how to overcome their negative feelings. The two most common types of psychotherapy used are psychodynamic psychotherapy and supportive-expressive therapy, which focus on anxiety as an outgrowth of the patient’s feelings towards their most important relationships. You can work with a therapist, or you can even work with a social worker. Depending on your profession, social workers may be readily available to you. They often partner with educational and healthcare institutions, and if you work with one of those. You have the same access.

When you seek treatment for anxiety and depression, you can become more productive. No longer will you sit in a room thinking about things in your life you cannot control. You will be able to focus more on your job duties and what needs to get done in your life.

There are times where anxiety and depression can correlate with one another. For example, a person is capable of suffering from anxiety and depression at the same time. In any case, a person must be aware of the types of symptoms from both mental conditions so the healthcare staff can decide on the best course of treatment for your patience. Anxiety has the potential to affect a person’s productivity for the worst. Reaching out to a healthcare provider will help to tackle the issue of anxiety in the person.     

Indiana Lee © Indiana Lee 10.07.21

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