I heard this word several times before but I didn’t really know what it means. I decided to learn more about it, why we have it, what triggers it in us and how to cure it.
Everything in us happens for a reason. There’s nothing called hazard. We live in a complete harmony in this world. As human beings we are part of the environment and what happens in it.
Let’s dive straight into our subject today, Anxiety…
What is Anxiety?
Before we go any further, we have to understand what is anxiety and why we have it.
Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, and worrying. These disorders can cause physical symptoms. There are 2 levels of anxiety, mild and severe.
Severe anxiety requires immediate and effective actions otherwise it might affect our lives negatively.
“Anxiety” can be defined as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”
It’s important that we know whether the anxiety is normal or severe. In the second case, we need to see a specialist like a doctor or a psychologist.
The feeling of anxiety existed for a survival purpose. It was triggered when our ancestors had to face attacks from larger animals in nature.
Nowadays, Anxiety is more triggered by the job conditions, health issues, financial state…
We tend to have a nervous feeling before an important life event or in a difficult situation. This feeling can still be essential for our survival.
Every time we want to cross the road, we look right and left, we check that it’s clear before making the step. This is an example of the normal anxiety feeling that helps us to stay safe.
- oxforddictionaries.com: “A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.”
- cambridge.org: “something that causes a feeling of fear and worry”
The next time you catch yourself, worried about something or nervous or you might be afraid of uncertainty, you will know that it’s an anxiety feeling.
An excess of this feeling might be an indicator of a more serious problem.
For exp. if you are anxious about going outside because you don’t want to meet people or if you wash your hands several times because you are worried about your hygiene, that should be a sign of anxiety.
Let’s see what are the most common types of anxiety.
Types of Anxiety
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of anxiety types:
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder): A person has ongoing intrusive and unwanted thoughts and fears that cause anxiety. The person knows consciously that these thoughts are silly but unconsciously this person try to relieve their anxiety by carrying out certain behaviors or what we call rituals. For example, a fear of germs can lead to repetitive and excessive washing of hands through the day.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: This disorder makes the person afraid of being criticised or embarrassed in public. The person fears to speak in public or to eat in a restaurant or even to make small talks with someone in a group of people.
- GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder): A person might feel anxious and worried about lots of different things. This person feels like that on most days and cannot explain the cause of these feelings.
- Specific Phobias: There are many different types of phobias. Some feel very fearful of having an injection others fear traveling on a plane, others feel very anxious about swimming in the sea. These people tend to do everything they possibly can in order to avoid the object or the situation that worries them.
- Panic Disorder: When a person starts to have recurrent panic attacks or a persistent fear of having a long panic attack he might be experiencing panic disorder. These panic attacks might be intense and overwhelming. The patient might feel uncontrollable feelings of anxiety showing as symptoms in his body.
- PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder): This can happen after a traumatic event like war, assault, accident… The symptoms can include difficulty in relaxing or having some upsetting dreams and flashbacks of the event. The patient tends to avoid anything related to the event.
- Separation Anxiety Disorder: When we feel high levels of anxiety because of a separation from a person or even a place that was providing us with security or safety, we start having high levels of anxiety. we can even have panic symptoms. If we tend to have an excessive or inappropriate response after separation, we can consider it as a disorder.
Personally, I tended to be shy in public when I was a kid. I didn’t speak a lot, I didn’t feel confident enough. Life experience has taught me through the years to be more confident and to face my problems with bravery.
The main problem I am having right now is the job that is keeping me away from my family and friends which is causing me a feeling of anxiety that could be between mild and severe levels.
More on this in the next paragraphs.
Signs of Anxiety
As we said before, Anxiety is a normal feeling that all of us have. It’s a normal emotion but to some limits.
You might feel anxious before you take a test. You might feel nervous when facing a problem at work. You also seem to worry before you take an important decision.
But anxiety can become a serious problem and can impact our lives negatively. We should be aware whenever we face an anxiety disorder like OCD, GAD, PTSD… In this case, we should see a specialist as soon as we can.
Here are some signs of Anxiety that we might face:
All Anxiety Disorders Share Some General Symptoms:
- Panic and fear
- Not being able to sleep well
- Unable to stay calm and still
- Cold, sweaty or tingling hands or feet
- Shortness of breath
- A noticeably rapid, strong, or irregular heartbeat
- Dry mouth
- Tense muscles
Here are what you might feel when you have a real anxiety disorder:
- Panic disorder: You may sweat, you may have a chest pain, you might also feel palpitation.
- Social anxiety: You feel worried about every social event, you feel afraid of others judging you.
- Phobias: You feel a lot of fear about a certain object or situation which can cause you to avoid normal situations.
- GAD: You feel excessive worries and tensions
My Final Word
As I told you before, I am not a specialist but I wanted to share with you some important information about anxiety. It’s, in my opinion, a silent disease that is very dangerous.
These days, the main reason for anxiety is jobs. People are feeling very anxious and stressed because of their job and all the tasks on their shoulders.
People feel that they are trapped and have no other options but to commute every day, work from 9 to 5 and accept an unfulfilling job in order to pay the bills.
We literally live from paycheck to paycheck, we can’t enjoy our lives because of the jobs.
What about you? Do you feel anxious, worried and stressed out because of your job? Are you working for long hours just to earn the salary and pay your bills?
Share with us in the comments below and we will try our best to help you.