Is Anxiety holding you back from living a whole and balanced life?
Fear and anxiety can take the joy, that is so desired in life, out of so many activities.
Do you ever hold yourself back from going out and meeting people, or going to a social gathering like a party, because those kinds of situations are so challenging for you?
Do you sometimes have a hard time falling asleep at night, or wake up in the middle of the night, with those continuous thoughts in your head that just make it so hard to go back to sleep?
Anxiety can take many forms and shows up in many ways.
“Anxiety is the mind and body’s reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. It’s the sense of uneasiness, distress, or dread you feel before a significant event.”
“Anxiety disorders: Anxiety disorders are characterized by a general feature of excessive fear (i.e. emotional response to perceived or real threat) and/or anxiety (i.e. worrying about a future threat) and can have negative behavioral and emotional consequences.” (From Anxiety.org).
“Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety” (Mayo Clinic)
“Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States. It is the most common group of mental illnesses in the country. However, only 36.9 percent of people with an anxiety disorder receive treatment.”
Various forms of anxiety disorders:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: People with GAD tend to be anxious a lot of the time and to worry excessively. People with GAD can’t always pinpoint the cause of their anxiety. Interferes with daily life and has to have existed for at least 6 months.
“The constant surges of adrenaline create highs and lows that leave your body and mind absolutely exhausted.”
Over half the people with GAD experience sleep problems; either trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep.
“Worry is problematic “when it creates chronically anxious thoughts, a depressed attitude, or feelings of being immobilized,” Carla Manly, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Sonoma County, California and author of Joy From Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams By Making Fear Your Friend, tells Health.
Panic Disorder: Symptoms of panic disorder can be sudden and intense feelings of apprehension and fear. These can last as short as 10 minutes, or it can last for hours. With these comes dizziness, sweating, heart palpitations, nausea, light-headedness, confusion and breathing difficulties.
They can come on as a result of stress or seemingly out of nowhere. They can be interpreted as a serious disorder like a heart attack. They can be brought on just by the fear of having another panic attack. People who experience panic attacks tend to avoid places where they’ve had attacks before.
Specific Phobia: Triggers for phobias may be tied to animals, situations (like fear of heights), or everyday objects (such as toilets).
The fear is disproportionate to the actual danger posed by the object or situation. Commonly, adults with specific phobias will recognize that their fear is excessive or unreasonable.
Agoraphobia is the avoidance of places or events that people would have a hard time escaping from like a concert, for example, or being in a situation where help is not available. People with agoraphobia may fear leaving home, or riding an elevator, or traveling over a bridge, or being outside alone. It can be as a result of having panic attacks. Sometimes it is so severe that they may need the help of others to leave their home.
About 1.8 million Americans aged over 18 years, or about 0.8 percent of adults, have agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder.
Social Anxiety Disorder: This is fear of being judged in social situations. It can show up as stage fright and fear of embarrassment and humiliation in front of others. It can also show up as fear of intimacy or fear of rejection. Sometimes it is so severe that these people cannot face any kind of social situation and avoid any kind of public contact.
Separation Anxiety: This results in high levels of fear and anxiety when a comforting person is unavailable. Children sometimes experience this with fear of losing their parents.
PTSD: A response to experiencing some kind of trauma and can result in flashbacks. Those who have this tend to avoid reminders of the trauma. (Medical News Today)
OCD: Obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior become a full-blown disorder when the need to complete the behaviors—also known as “rituals”—begins to drive your life, Winston says.
If you see yourself in any of these descriptions, it may be time to call a professional. You can reach me on (949) 922-8548.