Anxiety is the body’s natural response to danger; an automatic alarm that goes off when you feel threatened under pressure, or are facing a stressful situation. It is characterized by feelings of worry, nervousness, stress, fear and unease about something that has an uncertain outcome. Anxiety often arises along with outward signs such as sweating, tension, and increased heart rate.
Anxiety may arise in different forms…
- An individual may experience excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment.
- Unrealistic or exaggerated fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that in reality presents little or no danger.
- Repeated and unexpected panic attacks, as well as the fear of experiencing another episode.
- The fear of being seen negatively by others and humiliated in public.
- Constant worries and fears that distract you from your day-to-day activities as you are repeatedly troubled by the feeling that something bad is going to happen.
- Anxiety experienced during intoxication of a substance or during withdrawal from a substance.
Do you experience the following?
- Are you constantly tense, worried or on edge?
- Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school or family responsibilities?
- Are you troubled by fears that you know are irrational but cannot ignore?
- Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things are not done a certain way?
- Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety?
- Do you feel like danger and disaster is around you at all times?
- Do you often experience symptoms such as a palpitations, sweating, headaches, stomach upset, dizziness, frequent urination, shortness of breath, muscle tension, tremors, twitches, over-tiredness or the inability to sleep?
Anxiety could also be a good thing. In reality, anxiety can help you stay alert and focused, push you to action, and motivate you to solve problems. However if you or someone you know has experienced several of the above symptoms for a period of 6 months or more, seek immediate help.
Why is it important to get help in such situations?
- To prevent your anxiety from affecting your mental and physical health.
- To prevent your anxiety from affecting your performance at work/school.
- To prevent your anxiety from affecting your relationships.
- To abstain from using alcohol/ drugs.
- To have a satisfying and fulfilling life.
How and where can I find help?
At Home – you may turn to your family and friends for help. A social support structure is vital to combat anxiety.
At School/Work – If your school/workplace has a well qualified counsellor or psychologist, approach them.
Visit a Mental Health Professional – A well qualified and experienced professional will be able to provide you with the best guidance.