Anxiety Disorders

Experiencing Anxiety

Anxiety disorders include a set of related mental conditions that include: generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social or specific phobias.
Anxiety and stress are all a part of everybody’s daily life.  But simply experiencing anxiety or stress in and of itself does not mean you need to get professional help or you have an anxiety disorder.  Anxiety is a necessary part of our being ready for life and there is an optimum level of stress for every activity.  For example, you are far more relaxed at home watching the television than you would be in a job interview.  Being too relaxed in a job interview would mean you may not come across as treating the people interviewing you and the job itself with enough gravitas.  
So, each of us use stress and anxiety to inform our behaviour, it is about the future we expect to encounter and we are trying to predict our response and reactions to it.  If this anxiety about the future grows too high we can become irrational about the potential threat to us or our loved ones and this is the anxiety becomes problematic and we enter into a cycle of anxiety feeding on itself. 

Anxiety becomes a disorder when the symptoms become interfere with our daily lives and our ability to function.  People suffering from chronic, generalise anxiety often report the following some or all of the following symptoms: 

  • Muscle tension
  • Physical weakness
  • Poor memory
  • Sweaty hands
  • Fear or confusion
  • Inability to relax
  • Constant worry
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations
  • Upset stomach
  • Poor concentration

These symptoms can vary in severity but the key is that they interfere with normal daily life and need confronting.

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