How Anxiety Can Be a Cause of Drug Abuse

How Anxiety Can Be a Cause of Drug Abuse


While holding this blank screen infront of me there is a clutter of thoughts willing to drop down. In this chaos and confusion when we are not aware what
turn the situation is going to take in Kashmir, it is difficult to concentrate on anything else. When government is issuing order after order. Some orders to
set alarm bells ringing and another to fizzle out the tension.One of my friends expressed his anxiety about this precarious, ongoing situation in Kashmir. I
asked him one simple question? A question from one of the movies titled as “Bridge of Spies”. There is a situation in a movie, when the Country police catch
the spy. The officer-in-charge watching the spy so caught sitting in a very comfortable position, asks him a question that, why are you not worried, you have
been caught spying on our Country and you will be hanged? And the spy simply answers back in a question, which was, “will it help?” The answer in the form of
question confuses the officer-in-charge. He answers him, “well! No, it won’t” and the spy maintains same comfortable posture.
This is not only about my friend feeling anxious but people in general have already hit panic button, some are rushing to refuel their cars, some people are
rushing to take our cash from ATM, some other to arrange stockpile of ration, gas, some are recharging mobile phones. My question to my anxious friend was,
“will it help?” Like everyone else he blamed me of being insensitive. But if we think over it a little, is our anxiety taking us anywhere rather than
wrecking havoc with our chemical system existing in our body. Anxiety leads us to take extreme steps such as use of drugs abuse. Drugs are known to
temporarily relieve stress from our brain, the feeling is so relieving that one often ends in getting addicted to drugs. Drugs abuse as we know is a burning
issue and has been eating away youth of our state. The purpose of today’s essay is to address drug abuse in Kashmir, which has grown in leaps and bounds.
Almost every editorial has been addressing this issue, radio channels, FM channels has played great role in spreading awareness about ill effects of drugs.
Before going into details of drug abuse, let us first understand anxiety and how it crept in our society. Is it because of this anxiety our youth have been
thrown to its winds?
Anxiety is a normal part of life. For example, you may have felt anxiety before addressing a group or in a job interview, or before giving any speech. In the
short term, anxiety increases your breathing and heart rate, concentrating blood flow to your brain, where you need it. This very physical response is
preparing you to face an intense situation.If it gets too intense, you might start to feel lightheaded and nauseous. An excessive state of anxiety can have a
devastating effect on your physical and mental health.Anxiety disorders can happen at any stage of life, but they usually begin by middle age. Women are more
likely to have an anxiety disorder than men, says the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).Stressful life experiences may increase your risk for an
anxiety disorder, too. Symptoms may begin immediately or years later. Having a serious medical condition or a substance use disorder can also lead to an
anxiety disorder.There are several types of anxiety disorders. They include:
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
GAD is marked by excessive anxiety for no logical reason. GAD is diagnosed when extreme worry about a variety of things lasts six months or longer.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This disorder involves a paralyzing fear of social situations and of being judged or humiliated by others. This severe social phobia can leave one feeling
ashamed and alone.The typical age at onset is around 13. More than one-third of people with social anxiety disorder wait a decade or more before pursuing
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
PTSD develops after witnessing or experiencing something traumatic. Symptoms can begin immediately or be delayed for years. Common causes include war,
natural disasters, or a physical attack. PTSD episodes may be triggered without warning.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
People with OCD may feel overwhelmed with the desire to perform particular rituals (compulsions) over and over again, or experience intrusive and unwanted
thoughts that can be distressing (obsessions).Common compulsions include habitual hand-washing, counting, or checking something. Common obsessions include
concerns about cleanliness, aggressive impulses, and need for symmetry.
These include fear of tight spaces (claustrophobia), fear of heights (acrophobia), and many others. You may have a powerful urge to avoid the feared object
or situation.
Panic disorder
This causes panic attacks, spontaneous feelings of anxiety, terror, or impending doom. Physical symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pain, and
shortness of breath.These attacks may occur at any time. You can also have another type of anxiety disorder along with panic disorder.
The most common disorders in Kashmir include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The reason may be the situations like the one we are facing right now. Everyone
is confused and most people are sensitive. Nobody knows what is going on. There is a worry, an invisible tension, and a fear. To subside all this we have
drugs available like vegetables in a market. Anxiety is a disorder and one would always try to heal it through the shortest possible means. We do not reveal
that we are suffering from anxiety, we however do not recognize it as disease, we do not talk about our anxiety to our parents, teachers or to our family
doctors. Our social fiber is woven in a manner where it is impossible for a child to treat parent as a friend and discuss this issue. Had this been
inculcated at the very onset, things would have been altogether different.
We call anxiety “tension or depression” locally. In order to subside tension most of the people smoke cigarette.Some people start with an entrant drugs such
as marijuana, also known by the names of weed, joint, maal etc. According to a report published by United Nation, Drug Control Program (UNDCP) around 70
thousand people are drug addicts alone in the Kashmir division among them approximately 31% are women. The youth is particularly involved in drug addiction
as reported by Government PsychiatricHospital Srinagar around 90% drug abusers belong to the age group of 17-35. The states circumstances from last two
decades were considered by most people have contributed to various kinds of social and political issues including drug addiction. The lot number of youth has
turned to drugs who have directly or indirectly affected by the turmoil in the state, but this is not the only reason behind thisepidemic because there are
other reasons as well, as reported by different studies that have been conducted in the state. Unemployment, relationship problems, unpredictable future
problems are naming a few.
My message to youth is to stay away from drugs, you do not take drugs, they take you and along with you they take your entire family, mentally, financially
and the reputation they have earned over the years.

—The author can be reached at [email protected] and on twitter @sufi071

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