Knowing When Its More Than Worry0 comments
Knowing When It’s More Than Worry We all feel nervous sometimes – before speaking in public, when getting ready to invite a crush out on a date, and while studying for a big exam. These are normal times to be nervous, because these are situations where feeling a little nervous can actually help you focus. Being a little worried means you will practice that speech in front of a mirror, choose your words carefully when talking to your crush, and really buckle down and study for that exam. Nervousness is how our mind and body prepares us for demanding tasks.
These are examples of when and why the average person feels worry. However, for some individuals, the feeling is much more intense than just “a slight case of nerves.” For these people, the feelings of fear, worry, and anxiety are overwhelming and come in episodes that last for months or more. The ever-present and intense sensations of worry may lead these individuals to avoid activities they once enjoyed and alter the pattern of daily life. Someone dealing with this prolonged high level of anxiety may even experience panic attacks; episodes where the fear is so strong that they cannot act or think clearly and are literally frozen in terror.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in America. Many people experience this crippling problem, and unfortunately, many of them suffer in silence. They feel that they are weak, they feel embarrassed by what they perceive as a lack of self-control, or they think that they just happen to be a person who worries a lot. None of these is a good reaction to the situation, and none of these reactions will help the person overcome their disorder. To make the steps toward recovery, a person must first admit that their condition is not a personality flaw – it is a real, medical condition. The good news is that anxiety and panic disorders are entirely curable, and many patients make a full recovery with treatment. You don’t have to live with constant worry and fear. But to make changes and begin living a happier life, you must first look at yourself and be able to recognize the symptoms that identify an anxiety order. By using the questions below, you can ask yourself:
is it just worry, or is it something more?
- Do I find myself constantly worried, even when nothing has happened to provoke that worry?
- Do I find it hard to pinpoint the specific source of my worry, instead worrying about many generalized things?
- Do I feel that my level of worry is higher than most people would have for the same situation, or that it is disproportionate to what is going on?
- Am I worried more days than not for six months or longer?
- Does my worry feel smothering?
- Do I have physical symptoms, such as shaking hands, twitching, nervous tics, headaches, or nausea?
- Am I easily startled?
- Do I have difficulty sleeping?
- Is my nervousness so strong that I go out of my way to avoid seemingly normal situations or things?
- Has worry lead me to change my daily routine or activities?
- Has anxiety had a significant negative effect on my performance in school, at work, or on my social life?
- Am I sometimes immobilized by fear?
Do I have persistent fears of being crazy, being out of control, or that I am going to die?
All of these questions address the common symptoms of mild to severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should seriously consider that you are dealing with something more than just having a shy or nervous personality – you should consider seeing someone who can talk to you about anxiety disorder. Your first step should be a trip to your doctor. He or she will be able to talk to you about anxiety disorders, and rule out physical causes for the feelings you are experience. He or she can also most likely suggest a therapist, which should be your next step. Therapy, sometimes in tangent with medication to control physical symptoms, is the most effective way to combat anxiety disorder. A therapist can help find the roots of your anxiety and help you create more beneficial, stable thought patterns. In addition, a therapist can teach you helpful relaxation and self-monitoring techniques that you can use in any situation to keep from feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
There are even things you can do on your own to help reduce your persistent, low-level anxiety and resulting symptoms. The most important part is to remember that you are not to blame for how you feel – anxiety disorder is a real medical condition, and having it does not mean that you are weak or lack self control. The next thing you can do is regularly practice activities your therapist teaches you, such as self-monitoring and using positive instead of negative thought patterns. In your own time, you may find deep breathing exercises, meditation, or slow exercises like Tai Chi or Yoga to be helpful in staying calm and focusing on the present instead of potential worries. If you feel comfortable with the social interaction, there are also many support groups available to people who are coping with or recovering from anxiety disorder. There are many things that you can do, both on your own and with the help of professionals, to alleviate your emotional unhappiness. Remember that there is treatment available, and people who are willing to help. You deserve a life where you feel relaxed, confident, and happy, but you have to start by recognizing how you really feel.