Anxiety explained in a nutshell
Anxiety is a common and natural response to stress. It’s basically a combination of fear or nerves due to an upcoming event in one’s life, such as a job interview or the first day at a new school. This is quite a normal reaction and nothing to worry about. However, if these feelings of anxiety spill over into an extended amount of time, are extreme or interfere in any way with your day to day life, it’s highly possible that you are suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Having an anxiety disorder can make you feel like you are almost always in a state of fear or panic. It is intense and in some cases, completely debilitating. It can affect your concentration, your sleeping pattern and your ability to carry out even the most mundane of day to day tasks. People with anxiety disorders commonly avoid what they perceive could be a stressful situation, sometimes even avoiding leaving the house altogether.
What are the symptoms?
Not everyone with an anxiety disorder will present with the same symptoms, even if they share the same type of disorder. There are however some common denominators that will present themselves, indicating that you may be suffering from some form of anxiety. If you do experience any of the below on a regular basis, making an appointment to discuss it with your GP or a mental health professional is imperative so it can be brought under control and you can begin to regain some semblance of your life back.
- Excessive worry or fear
- Racing or unwanted thoughts
- Lack of concentration
- Panic attacks
Well, which anxiety disorder do I have?
There are a few major or common types of anxiety disorders, categorized by their symptoms and the feelings one presents with. One thing they all have in common though, is that each one has a detrimental impact on the way someone lives their life, or as some sufferers have described it, NOT living their life.
GENERALISED ANXIETY DISORDER: This is pretty much summed up within its title. Generalised Anxiety Disorder is characterized by feelings of extreme worry or distress over daily occurrences in one’s everyday life. Things as simple as work, school or your financial situation may bring on an anxiety attack when thought about or pondered upon. This disorder is chronic, occurring most days over a period of at least 6 months.
SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER (SAD): Also almost exactly as the name reads. People with Social Anxiety Disorder commonly avoid being placed in social or group situations for fear of being made to feel embarrassed or rejected. Examples of this are eating or speaking in public, attending events where there will be strangers or unfamiliar people. Of course, the individual must display feelings or extreme fear or anxiety when in one of these situations.
SEPARATION ANXIETY DISORDER: This occurs when someone becomes abnormally upset or fearful when separated from a specific person on a level considered inappropriate for one’s age and cognitive abilities. For example, it is completely normal for a child to cry or become anxious when separated for a long length of time from its mother or father. It is not normal, however, for a typical 32 year old to do the same. Someone with Separation Anxiety Disorder is quite often fearful of being left alone full stop also.
SPECIFIC PHOBIAS: This is when someone has an irrational fear of a specific situation or thing, which causes anxiety and panic when confronted with said situation or thing. Many people for example, have a phobia of mice or spiders. Claustrophobia is an extremely common one, which is a fear of confined spaces, such as an elevator. These specific phobias can cause panic attacks and extreme feelings of fear just like any other anxiety disorder can.
AGORAPHOBIA: Once commonly associated with panic disorder, agoraphobia has since been recognized as an anxiety disorder on its own. Agoraphobics experience fear and anxiety when in a situation they believe they cannot escape from. Common situations include a fear of open spaces, being on public transport, being stuck in a crowd and sometimes even being outside of one’s own home.
PANIC DISORDER: The main symptom of Panic Disorder is suffering from frequent and recurring panic attacks. A panic attack is comprised of severe feelings of anxiety coupled with distressing physical symptoms also such as trouble breathing, elevated heart rate, chest pains and sweating. Some sufferers have likened panic attacks to how they believe a heart attack would feel, which, I believe would be decidedly horrible!
What happens now?
As aforementioned, it is extremely important to seek help from a medical professional if you believe you relate to one of the disorders or have any of the symptoms listed above so you can receive proper care and treatment. Anxiety actually happens to be the most common mental health disorder in Australia, experienced by over 2 million people a year. Left untreated, anxiety will keep on being the ruler of your life, going round and round in a vicious circle. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel, as anxiety is perfectly treatable!
When it comes to seeking help, you will not find a more qualified or experienced team of professionals than you will at Salt Recovery. Here, you will receive a treatment program that is specifically tailored to treat and care for your needs.
One simple call to Salt Recovery is all it takes to get the ball rolling and you will be on your way to becoming the person you used to be.