Stress or Anxiety?

Anxiety-StressAnxiety has become commonplace in our modern, fast-paced society. For some individuals, it presents itself much more intensely than for others. Signs and symptoms of an anxiety disorder are more intense, long-lasting and disruptive to the lifestyle than the typical stress experienced by almost everyone and should not be ignored. Everyone will experience some anxiety at some point in their lives, but persistent periods of extreme anxiety are definitely not regular.

The anxiety response itself is natural and can be useful. It can act as a signal to the body that something is not right; that we may be in a dangerous or life-threatening situation. The problems with an anxiety disorder is that the symptoms associated with anxiety are experienced long after the dangerous situation has passed, or even if no danger exists at all. This can be exceptionally debilitating and can impact on your ability to live a normal life. Some of these anxiety symptoms include: an increased heart rate, sweating and rapid breathing:

Many people will have felt these symptoms at some point in their lives, but how many have been in the situation where they have become light headed, hyperventilated, felt pain in the chest area and experienced the urgent need to urinate? Faced with impending danger, this is what you may experience thanks to the fight or flight response. If you begin experiencing these symptoms frequently and without any real danger it is likely that you may be suffering from an anxiety issue. If you encounter these signs persistently, you may need learn strategies to cope with your anxiety or seek help from a physician.

These anxiety signs in isolation do not definitely mean you are suffering from an anxiety or panic disorder. After all, everyone responds differently to different situations. Some people, for example, experience extreme panic symptoms at the thought of making a presentation to a huge audience, but these symptoms will disappear once they no longer need to speak in public. The symptoms would not be ongoing and therefore that person would not be diagnosed as suffering from an anxiety or panic disorder. They may however have a phobia of public speaking depending on the severity of their symptoms.

If you experience one or more of these anxiety signs, it is worth investigating. If you start to encounter strong emotions of worry, or even general unease, of certain conditions even when you are not anywhere near to being in those conditions and you encounter the actual physical signs such as sweating, increased heat rate, or dry mouth, it is possible that anxiety is the issue. If you find you are seeking solitude from others this could be a indication of a more serious issue such as social anxiety or agoraphobia. Nervousness, nervous actions, depression, jumpiness; all of these are regular responses under certain conditions, but if you observe a connection between these symptoms and either experiencing or just considering stress-inducing surroundings or activities, it may be time to consider expert help.

Anxiety and stress is a normal part of life for most of us. It can be challenging to figure out if your anxiety is regular or something more. It can be very difficult to take the first step and discuss your anxiety symptoms with a professional, but if you feel that you anxiety is controlling or limiting your life, it may be helpful to seek help. You can begin by taking a self-help course such as The Linden Method which aims to give you the tools to work through your anxiety alone. But if your symptoms continue it is essential to see a doctor.

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