Updated: Jun 5, 2019
We all get worried about things sometimes. It could be worrying about money or because a family member is ill. Adults and children alike will suffer from anxiety on occasions. For the majority of people, the anxiety will ease off and pass away quickly.
However, for some people the anxiety does not pass and continues for days, weeks, months or years. This could be anxiousness about one particular thing or a number of things. It may get worse, and you can feel that it is interfering with your life. In these cases, the worrying may have turned into an anxiety disorder.
What are the symptoms?
There are two types of symptoms of an anxiety disorder, those which are psychological and also those which manifest themselves as physical issues.
· Not being able to stop worrying about specific things
· Feeling that you are tense, nervous or not able to relax
· Worrying about things that may or may not happen in the future, including fearing that the worst will happen
· Feeling disconnected with the world around yourself, or that you are watching your life from afar
· Constantly seeking reassurance from friends or family (or Google)
· Feeling that your friends and family are judging you, or that
In conjunction with the psychological symptoms above, you may also experience some of the following physical symptoms. They do not affect everyone with anxiety though.
· Feeling unable to sit still or being restless
· Headaches, back pain or other pains
· Nausea, vomiting or stomach upset
· Sweating more than usual
· Finding it difficult to go to sleep, or frequent waking
· Feeling dizzy or light-headed
Many people suffering from anxiety also experience panic attacks. This is a physical reaction to anxiety and could include feeling very hot or very cold nausea, trembling or shaking, and feeling like you are unable to breathe. These symptoms escalate very quickly, and may be without any warning. You may feel unable to cope with what is happening to you, or that are going to faint or have a heart attack. Thankfully most panic attacks only last about twenty minutes or less.
There are some practical things you can do if you do suffer from one, including focussing on your breathing and being mindful of your surroundings. After a panic attack, it’s important to take care of yourself and it may be helpful to talk through what’s happened with someone, especially if it was your first panic attack.
What are the triggers?
When you have an anxiety disorder, it can be difficult to fully identify what the triggers for your anxiety are. If you have a certain phobia or reaction to a specific event or circumstance you may be more aware, such as claustrophobia or being scared of spiders. You may become anxious about not knowing what you are worrying about, which can make the situation worse. It can be helpful to write down how you are feeling and what your thoughts are when you do feel overly anxious. You can then look back to see if there was a trigger moment.
There is absolutely no shame in suffering with an anxiety disorder, in fact there are many successful people who have them. What’s important is seeking help if you feel that you are not in control of your anxiety, or it is impacting on your daily life too much.
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