Mental Health Awareness Month: Managing anxiety

Posted at 3:51 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 15:51:17-04

Recent studies show adults in the U.S., during the initial stay-at-home protocols, have assessed generalized anxiety disorder.

“People are reporting increasing amounts of anxiety and depression of not really knowing what’s going to happen or what’s about to happen,” said Dr. Marsha Brown.

Occasional anxiety is OK and what many have experience during the pandemic. But anxiety disorders like GAD, are different.

Brown said excessive anxiety can make you avoid work, school, family get-togethers, and other social situations.

“The person has to experience this impairment in their functioning. It’s not just, I was a little anxious a couple days last week. It’s really that most days for the past six months this person has experienced irritability, fatigue, feeling tense all the time, and having difficulty sleeping,” said Dr. Brown.

Rick Wolfer was diagnosed with mild anxiety and OCD prior to the pandemic. Wolfer says he’s using his diagnosis to help treat others, especially the youth in underserved areas.

“I’ve taught psychology in public schools and I’m using my education and experience to help young people. It’s been a lot of my calling,” said Wolfer.

Wolfer is a part of the Ending the Silence Program at the National Alliance of Mental Illness in Broward County. He said the program allows him to share his story to give people a testimonial of hope and tools they need to manage their struggles.

“We really wanted to make connections, build relationships and help raise awareness on the fact that mental health is something that needs work and maintenance as well,” said Wolfer.

Dr. Brown said there are several factors that can cause anxiety and it’s crucial to get help once you start noticing any symptoms.

“You’re not a lone. There are millions of people who are struggling to get past this and to feel normal again,” said Dr. Brown.

There are numerous hotlines to call for help for those in a crisis, but if you feel you are at an emergency stage, call 911.

NAMI Broward holds various support groups and virtual events. For resources and more information, click here.