What is Anxiety?

Anxiety means feeling worried, fearful, or nervous and is a normal human reaction to stressful or new situations. An anxiety disorder occurs when these feelings are almost always there and are interfering with daily life.

The causes of anxiety may include:

  • inherited tendency
  • shy temperament
  • unpredictable lifestyle
  • stressful experiences
  • anxious parents

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

  • worrying
  • crying
  • avoidance or withdrawal
  • clinging
  • separation fears
  • sleep problems
  • physical complaints
  • anger
  • irritability
  • aggression
  • inflexibility
  • inattentiveness
  • fidgety or hyperactive
  • refusal to go to school
  • resistance to doing work

What can I do to help (or get help)?

Anxiety disorders can be controlled.

  • see a medical professional
  • establish routines (e.g., meals, bedtime, homework)
  • be consistent
  • physical exercise helps

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

What is OCD?

Everyone has worries from time to time. Worries that consume a person are called "obsessions”. Obsessions are uninvited or "intrusive" thoughts, urges or images that surface in the mind over and over again. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) usually know that their obsessions are creations of their own minds, but they can't control, ignore or get rid of them.

Often people with OCD will try to reduce or suppress their obsessions by acting out certain “rituals”. Many people have specific ways of doing things; but for people with OCD, rituals may become "stuck" and last for hours. When taken to this extreme, rituals are called "compulsions." When obsessions and compulsions get out of control, it is called OCD. At some point, the person is aware that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable. Often, they feel ashamed.

The main symptoms of OCD are recurrent obsessions or compulsions that interfere with a person's life, such as taking up more than one hour a day or causing distress or significant impairment. Common compulsions & obsessions include:

  • Fear of contamination (fear of dirt, germs, body fluids or diseases).
  • Repeated doubting (e.g. whether the stove is turned off).
  • Cleaning/washing (e.g. washing hands too often, cleaning household items or other objects).
  • Checking (e.g. repeatedly checking paperwork for mistakes).
  • Ordering/arranging (e.g. making sure objects are in a certain order).

What can I do to help (or get help)?

  • See a medical professional.
  • Get the facts. Learn more about OCD.
  • Visit your local community health centre. For community health centre in your region, contact your local Regional Health Authority.

If you are having an immediate mental health crisis, please click here to see a listing of mental health crisis lines and services available in Manitoba.

Sources & Resources:

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