What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an unpleasant inner state we all seek to avoid. It is a feeling of fear, worry and unease. Anxiety is the body's natural response to danger, our fight and flight response to stress.
Do you prefer to avoid the things that do not bring you pleasure?
You are not alone. In the UK it is estimated that 1 in 6 adults have experienced some form of anxiety related problem in the last week and more than 1 in 10 adults have experienced a disabling anxiety disorder in their life.
The founding father of psychology Sigmund Freud believed that anxiety was a neurosis and he took the view that we are governed by two basic instincts ‘Life or Death’. An idea that seems very primitive in 21st century living.
Nowadays, with life being so busy the demands at work, family breakdowns and squeezed finances. Finding the work life balance is becoming increasingly stressful to manage and the anxiety epidemic is running our workplaces and homes, linking to that sense of fear and dread.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Could such intense fear be closely related to our basic instincts? Maybe Freud’s ideas are not so out of date. If you are experiencing a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that are persistent leaving you feeling utterly helpless, you could be experiencing some form of anxiety or depression symptoms that are linked to ‘Life or Death’.
The source of anxiety is not always known, but it can leave you in a state of panic about everyday things. If you are experiencing excessive fear or worry, trouble concentrating, feeling tense and jumpy, irritable, restless and anticipating the worst. Together with sweating, stomach upsets, dizziness, frequent urination or diahorrea, shortness of breath, headaches, insomnia and fatigue. Let’s consider some of the common anxieties people often experience related to anxiety.
Types of Anxiety Explained
GAD: General Anxiety Disorder is more than the normal anxiety people feel day to day. It usually starts in childhood or adolescence and comes on gradually. You worry excessively about your health, money, family or work and are unable to relax. GAD tends to be milder out of all the anxiety disorders, as most people who are suffering with GAD are able to manage social settings and go to work.
Panic Attacks: a sudden episode of intense fear that lasts around 10 minutes. You may experience symptoms of anxiety and feel like you're having a heart attack, losing control or even dying. People will often experience at least one panic attack in their lifetime. However, if it is reoccurring and you're fearful about when the next one strikes, you may try to avoid situations, places or people where you think they may occur. This can lead to phobias or social anxiety disorders. Panic attacks can also mask other health conditions, so it is important to consult with your GP.
Agoraphobia: Is a social anxiety. It is a fear of being in places or situations where escape maybe difficult or embarrassing. You will avoid being in a crowd, standing in a queue or travelling on a bus, train or car. Many people with this anxiety disorder often stay at home to avoid social situations.
OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorders are where the obsession or compulsions are often unreasonable, they cause significant distress, are time consuming and interfere with work, relationships or social activities. This disorder is often associated with rituals or obsessive behaviour that can leave family, friends or work colleagues feeling extremely frustrated with your behaviour.
PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will often follow a traumatic event. Any shattering event, that leaves you stuck & hopeless. This event could be war, natural disasters, assault, childhood neglect or even a car crash. You may suffer with persistent thoughts and memories of the event, experiencing flashbacks, nightmares and intense fear as well as other symptoms associated with anxiety.
4 Quick & Easy Practical Steps to Master Anxiety
If stress, anxiety or worry have moved in and taken up residence in your day to day tasks at work or home, turning your pleasures into. Instead of the unknown being something to dread, perhaps you need to decide once again to seek life and not death, increasing your faith and learn how to be anxious for nothing.
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