31 Mar Do I have Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal feeling that all people experience when they’re facing a threat or danger, or when they’re stressed.
But some of us will go on feeling anxious and upset even when the stressful event has passed. Sometimes the feelings seem to happen on their own, without any specific event to trigger them. They may be so severe and long-lasting that they interfere with our daily lives and stop us doing what we want to do. These feelings, and the physical symptoms that often accompany them, are caused by a collection of illnesses called anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders are very common. At any one time, around one in 20 Australians will share the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. These symptoms often appear for the first time in young adults, but they can affect children and older people too. Women are also more likely to experience anxiety disorders than men.
These disorders change the way we feel, think and behave. If they’re not treated, they can cause us considerable distress, and affect our relationships with the people we live and work with. Fortunately, anxiety responds well to treatment and, after the appropriate therapy, many sufferers go on to enjoy symptom-free lives.
People suffering from anxiety disorders often feel:
- Upset and tense
- Irritable; easily annoyed by other people
- As if they’re losing control and ‘going crazy’
- As if something very bad is going to happen in their future
They also often have intense physical sensations:
- heart palpitations
- trembling or shaking
- choking or difficulty swallowing
- nausea, or stomach pains
- pins and needles
Do i have Anxiety? Do the self anxiety test to raise your awareness of how anxiety affects your life. Click here.
Living with an anxiety disorder
Anyone living with an anxiety disorder has to struggle on many fronts: feeling anxious and fearful, worrying that this stress will affect their long-term health, coping with the physical symptoms, and gauging its effect on family, friends and co-workers. When you’re overwhelmed by these feelings, it’s easy to forget that an anxiety disorder is not an inevitable consequence of your personality, or situation, or who you are. Instead, there’s good reason to stay positive. Remember, it’s an illness that can be treated and, with the proper guidance, you can learn to manage it.
To help lower anxiety levels you might like to try …
- a stress reducing activity such as meditation, walking or yoga
- cutting down on caffeine
- making sure you are getting a good night’s sleep
- considering whether there are contributing factors to you anxiousness such as relationship issues
For people living with an anxiety disorder, successful treatment means learning skills to reduce their anxiety symptoms and discovering the roots of the problem: finding out how their history or lifestyle is impacting the disorder, and deciding on action for change.
For treatment options, other resources, or a complimentary assessment
phone 1800 063 332