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MENTAL HEALTH UP

The most common mental disorder in Belize: Anxiety

Anxiety is the most prevalent mental disorder in Belize. This disorder is characterized mainly by excessive worrying. While worrying may seem like a minor symptom, anxiety can lead to hospitalization and may also need medication to maintain.

Anxiety is the most prevalent mental disorder in Belize. This disorder is characterized mainly by excessive worrying. While worrying may seem like a minor symptom, anxiety can lead to hospitalization and may also need medication to maintain. Psychiatric nurse practitioner, Nurse Eleanor Bennett, stated that the different types of symptoms are used to diagnose the type of anxiety a person may have.

Nurse Eleanor Bennett, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner: “Someone who is always worried about everything that  goes on in their life, they’re worried about the safety of their children, they’re worried about what’s going to happen next week, we call it generalized anxiety disorder. Then there is another type of anxiety disorder where the person has panic attacks we call that panic disorder and then disorders like post traumatic stress disorder is another type of anxiety disorder. These people they often feel like they’re not able to control their environment and many times they feel like they’re going to go crazy or they’re going to die. So we find these people quite often making a lot of visits to the emergency department because they actually feel the palpitations and they think they’re having a heart attack and when they get there and the doctor looks at them then he realizes that it’s an anxiety disorder. The treatment is usually we would first advise people on taking those measures to relieve their anxiety and stress so that would mean things like trying to control the things that you can control. We also advise people that it’s good to maintain routines especially now in this time, try to stay active, try to eat healthy and try to stay connected with relatives and friends as much as possible.”

Anxiety is diagnosed in people of all ages, and is also one of the most common disorders in children.