Anxiety: When worrying becomes more than just worrying.
Writing a big final exam, or taking the last shot during the championship game. We all have events in our everyday life that make us feel stressed, nervous and even a little anxious at times. Having a little bit of nervousness in your life is completely normal. However, what happens when these feelings of uneasiness and stress last longer than just until you hand in that test paper? Or what if they show up more often than not? What do we do when we start to feel anxious so often, it almost feels like it controls everything we do? Well, it may be that your feelings stem a little bit further down than just nerves and jitters, it may be that you are actually suffering from a mental illness known as anxiety.
I know thoughts of mental illness can be a bit tricky to understand, but not to fear! I’m here to help you break it down, and learn how to handle it.
First off, let’s talk about (a few) of the different kinds of anxiety that exist:
In short, a sufferer of this form of anxiety typically worries about things…a lot. Unlike a healthy amount of worry, someone with general anxiety tends to worry and stress about something so much it becomes completely life consuming. It’s all you can think about! The worrying becomes so overwhelming it may lead to vomiting, headaches and the feeling of a tight chest. It can get so intense you may even skip out on things like school or work.
This is when we get intense feelings of anxiety from settings involving other people. This could be you feel completely overwhelmed speaking in front of the class, or you feel extremely uncomfortable when surrounded by large groups of people.
This is a physical form of anxiety. When a sufferer is having a panic attack, they may feel physical discomforts such as a very fast heartbeat, a loss of breath, or even a tight chest. Sometimes panic attacks can strike without any warning, or clear reason.
There are a variety of other forms of anxiety as well, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Phobias and OCD. All of which, can be experienced by people of any age group.
- Take slow, deep breaths.
- Slowly count to ten.
- Take time for yourself, and enjoy an activity that helps clear your mind.
- Talk to someone you trust and remember you aren’t alone!
If you feel like any of the things mentioned above apply to you and you have some concerns or questions regarding anxiety, reach out to your family doctor. The only way to receive proper treatment for anxiety is to get properly diagnosed, so speak with a medical professional to receive the help you deserve.
By Mariann Roberts