General anxiety is experienced by everyone at one time or another in their lives to a lesser or greater degree. Anxiety is based on an expectation of future threat. Where fear is a response to a real or perceived immediate threat. Anxiety causes unpleasant inner turmoil which is accompanied by nervous behavior such as pacing, rumination and physical complaints. Clients describe unpleasant feelings of dread over anticipated events. Anxiety is a feeling of uneasiness and worry and is an overreaction to a situation that is only perceived as menacing. It is accompanied by problems concentrating, fatigue, restlessness and muscle tension.
Although anxiety is common if experienced regularly the person may suffer from an ANXIETY DISORDER such as Obsessive compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Social Anxiety Disorder.
Common Treatments for anxiety are, medication, lifestyle change, and Therapy.
Obsessive compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The Experience of extreme anxiety and the dwelling on certain fears, thoughts and irrational beliefs for extended periods of time.
Many people suffering from OCD will practice repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, excessive organization and other repetitive (compulsive behaviors) to lessen the anxiety, unfortunately these thoughts usually return. The endless intrusive thoughts can focus on a person’s strong convictions such as phobias, religion or paranoia. These intensive thoughts can cause long lasting anxiety.
Having a panic attack or heightened anxiety does not mean one has a disorder. Symptoms have to be experienced over a period of weeks for no identifiable reason to be a true disorder.
Symptoms of this condition include problems breathing, chest pain, extremely rapid heartbeat and sweating brought on by a sudden, unexplained fear.
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
PTSD is triggered by a traumatic event. When the person thinks about the event extreme anxiety and distress are triggered. With time the person may become emotionally numb. Symptoms may include high blood pressure, insomnia, rapid heart rate, difficulties breathing, trouble interacting with family and friends.
SOCIAL ANXIETY DISORDER (SAD)
SAD creates fear in social conditions. The person may be challenged to interact out of fear of being judged or criticized to an irrational extent. People with SAD often have difficulty eating in front of others, talking on telephone, using public facilities or interacting in a group.
OTHER TYPES OF ANXIETY
- Test and performance anxiety- there is a fear in competitive situations.
- Phobias are irrational fears that can include open spaces, heights, flying as a few.
- Existential anxiety is a fear associated with freedom of choice.
Do I have anxiety?
There are many conditions that may contribute to feelings of anxiety. The condition has ambiguous causes and is quite complex which makes the diagnosis difficult for medical professionals.
It is best to consult your Doctor who will assess your condition or refer you onto a Psychiatrist or counsellor for a complete assessment.