What no one likes to talk about, but should know more about.
Before we start I want to say that I am not a doctor. I am not a professional in anxiety, I do however have personal experience with forms of anxiety and know many others who do also.
What is anxiety?
To put it in a simple way, Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. It’s that feeling of fear of apprehension about what’s to come. Job interviews, First day of school, giving a speech, or in my case, when I started teaching, all these things may cause people to feel fearful and nervous.
This feeling should eventually fade with time and your confidence should grow. However, this isn’t always the case. If your feelings of anxiety are extreme or lasting for longer than six months and are interfering with your daily life, you may have an anxiety disorder.
What are Anxiety Disorders?
It’s completely normal to feel anxious about moving, starting something new, or taking a test. This type of anxiety is unpleasant, but can actually be a great motivator to get you to work harder and to do a better job. This “ordinary” anxiety is a feeling that comes and goes, but shouldn’t interfere with your daily life.
In the case of an anxiety disorder, the feeling of fear or nervousness may be with you all the time. It’s typically intense and sometimes debilitating and can cause you to stop doing things you enjoy. In extreme cases, it may even prevent you from crossing the street, entering elevators, or leaving your house for example. If left untreated, the anxiety will just keep getting worse. Please, if you are experiencing anything like this then get help from medical professionals, create a coping plan, and start digging yourself out of that hole. It can be done and I believe in you wholeheartedly!
What are the types of anxiety disorders?
Anxiety is a key part of several different disorders. These include:
panic disorder: experiencing recurring panic attacks at unexpected times. A person with panic disorder may live in fear of the next panic attack.
phobia: excessive fear of a specific object, situation, or activity
social anxiety disorder: extreme fear of being judged by others in social situations
obsessive-compulsive disorder: recurring irrational thoughts that lead you to perform specific, repeated behaviors
separation anxiety disorder: fear of being away from home or loved ones
illness anxiety disorder: anxiety about your health (formerly called hypochondria)
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): anxiety following a traumatic event
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Anxiety feels different depending on the person experiencing it. Feelings can range from butterflies in your stomach to a racing heart. You might feel out of control like there’s a disconnect between your mind and body.
Other ways people experience anxiety include nightmares, panic attacks, and painful thoughts or memories that you can’t control. You may have a general feeling of fear and worry, or you may fear a specific place or event.
Symptoms of general anxiety include:
increased heart rate
difficulty falling asleep
Your anxiety symptoms might be totally different from someone else’s. That’s why it’s important to know all the ways anxiety can present itself.
What is an anxiety attack?
An anxiety attack is a feeling of overwhelming worry, distress, or fear. For many people, an anxiety attack builds slowly. It may worsen as the stressful event approaches.
Anxiety attacks can vary greatly, and symptoms may differ among individuals. That’s because the many symptoms of anxiety don’t happen to everyone, and they can change over time.
Common symptoms of an anxiety attack include:
feeling faint or dizzy
shortness of breath
chills or hot flashes
apprehension and worry
numbness or tingling
A panic attack and an anxiety attack share some common symptoms, but they’re not the same.
What causes anxiety?
Researchers are not sure of the exact cause of anxiety. But, it’s likely a combination of factors plays a role. These include genetic and environmental factors, as well as brain chemistry. In addition, researchers believe that the areas of the brain responsible for controlling fear may be impacted. Current research of anxiety is taking a deeper look at the parts of the brain that are involved with anxiety.
What natural remedies are used for anxiety?
Lifestyle changes can be an effective way to relieve some of the stress and anxiety you may cope with every day. Most of the natural “remedies” consist of caring for your body, participating in healthy activities, and eliminating unhealthy ones.
Getting enough sleep
Staying active and exercising
Eating a healthy diet
Staying active and working out
Quitting smoking cigarettes
Again, I really urge anyone with anxiety to seek help and support from friends and family, whilst also making healthy lifestyle changes. Mental health is a long journey and an ongoing one for everyone. I wish for everyone to respect that and be supportive of each other in their ventures!