What is Anxiety?

What is Anxiety?

If you have recently been diagnosed as having an anxiety disorder, you probably have a lot of questions. What is anxiety? What is anxiety disorder? What is generalized anxiety? What is an anxiety attack? What does an anxiety attack feel like? What do I do to cope with anxiety? Many people think of anxiety as being worried about something. While that can be one meaning, an anxiety disorder is much more than simply being worried.

What is anxiety? Well, anxiety is the state of being anxious, worried, or afraid. We’re all anxious at times. Your spouse is late coming home and hasn’t called. Your son has a fever and you don’t know why. There’s a thunderstorm coming through and your daughter is driving home from work in the rain. These situations understandably make us worried and anxious. But when you’re talking about anxiety disorders, it gets a little more complicated.

You might feel anxious for no reason. Small things may cause a disproportionate reaction. You feel out of control and wonder if you’re crazy. There must be something wrong with you, since no one else you know acts this way. You know there’s nothing to be worried about, but you just can’t help it. Welcome to the world of anxiety disorders.

What is anxiety disorder? An anxiety disorder simply means that you have an abnormal level of anxiety. While everyone’s experience is a bit different, some things are similar. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may feel anxious constantly for no reason. Everyday situations, such as going out in public or meeting new people, may cause an extreme reaction.

What is generalized anxiety? Generalized anxiety is a condition where symptoms of anxiety persist over time. Although it can be accompanied by panic attacks, it isn’t always. You may not even be aware of feeling anxious. You feel stressed out, you’re irritable and don’t sleep well. Headaches, nausea, and many other symptoms can occur.

What is an anxiety attack? An anxiety or panic attack is a sudden acute worsening of anxiety symptoms. The sudden rush of fear causes a fight-or-flight response. The resulting flood of hormones causes frightening sensations.

What does an anxiety attack feel like? Many feel like they’re having a heart attack. You may have difficulty breathing, chest pain, and numbness. Your heart rate and blood pressure may rise quickly. It has been described as one of the most frightening experiences that many have had in their lifetimes. You may think you’re going to die. Many people, especially if it’s their first experience with a panic attack, call an ambulance or go to the emergency room.

What do I do to cope with anxiety? There are many ways to treat anxiety. Medications, such as antidepressants, are often used and may help with symptoms. There are many herbal supplements that can help, and certain lifestyle changes like increased exercise, meditation, and controlled breathing can also help to alleviate symptoms over time. While you are definitely not crazy, a trained psychiatrist or psychologist can help you to discover the causes and improve the situation.

What is the best way to deal with anxiety attacks? Since each person has different triggers and different symptoms, there is no simple answer. If possible, it helps to have friends and loved ones who are aware of the disorder. They may be able to spot an oncoming attack, help you with breathing exercises, or calm you during an episode.

An anxiety disorder can be embarrassing, disruptive, and frightening. Proper treatment can help to alleviate symptoms and may prevent panic attacks. The most important thing is to remember that you are not crazy and you are not alone. Reach out for help in coping with your disorder, and with time, you can learn to control most of your anxiety symptoms.