Anxiety is a psychological state, wherein a person experiences uneasiness or discomfort due to perceived or expected threat or danger. Different people may experience varying degrees of anxiety. Anxiety is a part of everyday life and is a normal psychological reaction to stress. However, chronic anxiety often has adverse effects on a person’s long-term physical and mental state.
Factors that Contribute to Anxiety
It is not unusual for people to get anxious in stressful situations. However, individuals with chronic anxiety may also get nervous or uneasy about mundane events. If they experience an anxiety attack, they may be unable to function at work, school, or at social gatherings. Individuals with chronic anxiety may benefit from consulting a mental health professional at Well Beings Counselling.
Anxiety disorders can impair a person’s daily life. These mental and emotional issues may last a long time and can be difficult to manage if the affected does not seek help from a licensed therapist. Some factors that may contribute to feelings of anxiety include:
- Public Speaking: Many people get anxious when speaking in front of a crowd.
- First Days: Children may feel anxious when it’s the first day of school. A job applicant often feels nervous about his or her first job interview.
- Transitions: Moving to a new home, getting a new job, getting married, getting pregnant, and other major life changes can be stressful.
- Appointments: Some people feel anxious when undergoing medical procedures such as imaging studies, laboratory exams, and invasive treatments. Also, undergoing dental treatment can be a source of anxiety.
- Medical Conditions: Being diagnosed with a debilitating, chronic, or degenerative disease can be a source of worry or extreme anxiety. Cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and other life-threatening medical conditions can lead to much stress for affected people.
- Financial Problems: It’s often stressful when you realize that you only have a few dollars left before the next payday. Or worse, you lost your job or went bankrupt.
- Relationships Issues: Marital conflicts, divorce, constant fights, and misunderstandings between family members may cause much stress for intimate partners and their children.
- Legal Matters: Facing a criminal charge, such as a DWI or DUI, can be stressful and it may disrupt a person’s career, finances, or family.
- Peer Pressure: School-age children, teenagers, and even adults may experience stress when they are pressured by peers.
- Workplace: Your boss or colleagues can be a source of anxiety, especially if you’re asked to meet your quota of work by a certain deadline.
- Pain: The expectation of pain can be stressful. One example of this is children who are afraid of getting shots or injections.
- Traumatic Events: Experiencing a car accident, an act of violence, or other traumatic event can cause anxiety.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety?
While mild stress can be easily managed, chronic anxiety is more challenging. A person with an anxiety disorder may experience rapid changes in his or her body and emotions. A anxiety attack may cause a shift in focus or may even alter the mind when it comes to proper decision-making. Additionally, a person with an anxiety disorder may not be receptive to verbal advice due to overwhelming feelings of impending danger.
Here are a few indicative signs of anxiety:
- Feeling tense, nervous, or restless
- Panic or a sense of impending doom or danger
- Increased heart and pulse rate
- Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
- Increased perspiration or sweating
- Feeling tired or weak
- Trouble concentrating
- Thinking too much about the present worry
- Experiencing gastrointestinal problems, such as a stomach ache and increased flatulence
- Trouble getting a good night’s sleep or insomnia
- Intense worry
How to Treat Anxiety Disorders
Some examples of anxiety disorders include separation anxiety disorder, social phobia or social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. A person may have one or more anxiety disorders. Patients who have anxiety disorders usually perceive threats far beyond what they really are, causing panic attacks and uncontrollable behaviors.
If you believe you have an anxiety disorder, it is recommended that you seek counseling from a licensed mental health professional. Medication and talk therapy treatments such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) can help. Some symptoms of certain anxiety disorders may begin during childhood or adolescence. If left untreated, they may continue into adulthood.
The signs and symptoms of anxiety should be taken seriously. They may hamper your ability to engage in everyday activities, hinder your thought processing, and lead to uncontrollable behaviors or social isolation.
Don’t wait for mild anxiety to become worse. Talk to your doctor and your loved ones today.
Image courtesy of Elaine