Is Anxiety Normal and What Can You Do About It?
Anxiety over that looming interview or a stressful situation is normal, but when you suffer with anxiety for no reason and regularly it can be very debilitating. If you find that your anxiety interferes with your everyday life, you could well be suffering with an anxiety disorder. There are a number of different types of anxiety disorder, as well as a number of treatments and self-help strategies. The first step to combating your problem is to identify the type of anxiety disorder you have, then you can find the right kind of treatment for you. You don’t need to fear that having an anxiety disorder is something you’ll need to cope with for the rest of your life – there are ways to overcome them so that you can lead a normal happy life.
Anxiety is a natural response to fear or danger, which automatically occurs in the body when you’re stressed or worried. It isn’t always a bad thing but it can begin to overtake your life if you’re not aware of it – when this happens, a disorder can develop. If you’re constantly worried or tense; if you find that your anxiety interferes with your work, school or social life; if you’re plagued by irrational fears that you can’t stop worrying about; if you avoid everyday situations because of your anxiety or if you believe that things need to be done in a certain way to avoid bad things happening, you could be suffering with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders vary from person to person, so it can be difficult to attribute symptoms to each person. Some people suffer attacks of anxiety suddenly and without warning, whilst others get panicky with certain situations and events. Some have constant feelings or worry or tension, whilst others worry at certain times of the day, such as on the way to work or when they’re driving. The most common feelings surrounding anxiety include feelings of apprehension, irritability, feelings of restlessness, trouble concentrating, watching for signs of danger all the time, feeling tense or anticipating the worst. There are also physical signs, such as muscle tension, pounding heart, sweating, fatigue, stomach upset or dizziness, headaches and tremors.
Panic or anxiety attacks usually peak within ten minutes and it’s very rare for them to last longer than thirty minutes. You will feel very frightened, as it feels as though you’re going to lose control completely, but anxiety attacks aren’t usually physically harmful or damaging. When an attack is over, you may worry that you’ll have another one straight away – especially if you’re in a place where you can’t easily escape or find help. There are six types of anxiety disorder, which each have their own profiles and list of attributing symptoms. These are generalised anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorders and social anxiety disorders. If you’re concerned that you’re suffering with anxiety, you should speak to your GP as soon as possible.
There are a number of ways to treat anxiety, from stress relief to therapy, and your GP will be able to help you find the right treatment for your specific disorder. In order to help yourself, you can also get plenty of rest, avoid smoking and alcohol as these increase anxiety rather than soothe it, get plenty of exercise as this has a calming effect on the mind and body, and try relaxation techniques which can help to calm you down – yoga and meditation, and deep breathing exercises can be useful.
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