What is anxiety?
To feel anxious at times throughout life is normal. But sometimes anxiety becomes problematic if it is frequent or affects daily life. If you find yourself frequently plagued by anxious feelings and low moods you may be suffering from anxiety, depression, or perhaps a combination of the two. Anxiety disorders affect one in 20 people, and is more common in women than men. One third of adolescents reportedly live with anxiety problems. Anxiety can take many forms, from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), to social anxiety.
Symptoms of anxiety:
Physical symptoms of anxiety include:
Characteristic of most of these symptoms is an overproduction of adrenalin. The symptoms when experienced unfortunately promote further production of adrenalin, thus creating a vicious cycle. Anxiety can therefore become a long-term issue which significantly affects our lifestyle and relationships.
People with overwhelming feelings of anxiety may withdraw from social and work situations, their anxiety working hard to convince them that they are incapable and inadequate. Relationships can become difficult to maintain as partners feel pushed out by what they perceive as the anxious person's rejection and often their chronic lack of self-confidence.
There is a cyclical nature to most anxiety disorders and therefore in many ways it feeds on fear and self-doubt. For many sufferers even imagining the situational trigger can inspire anxious feelings, let alone coming into contact with it.