Anxiety: What it is, what to do

Remember to not self-diagnose and talk to a medical health professional if you think these symptoms relate to you. remember to speak to a loved one if you are having overwhelming thoughts. 

Anxiety is a common unpleasant feeling, some experience it before a test or presentation as it’s your body’s natural reaction to stress. If these feelings are extreme, last longer than six months, or interfere with your daily life, you might have an anxiety disorder.

Day-to-day anxiety is normal and agitating but motivating for some. It comes and goes with the situation and does not interfere with everyday life. Yet, in the case of an anxiety disorder, this uneasy and appalling feeling of fear can be extremely intense and overwhelming. This feeling occurs and persists for no apparent reason, leaving the person in distress as they cannot comprehend what is causing this fretfulness. This can lead to depression or debilitation.

This form of anxiety restricts you from doing things you enjoy and simple tasks. If anxiety is left untreated, it only worsens. 

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common forms of emotional disorders and can affect anyone at any age according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

Anxiety is a central part of several different disorders, including:

  • Panic disorder – recurring panic attacks
  • Phobia – excessive fear of a situation, activity, or object
  • Social Anxiety Disorder – anxiety revolving around being judged by other people and their perception of you
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – extreme anxiety and irrational thoughts along with recurring irrational thoughts which cause you to perform specific repeated actions
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder – intense fear and anxiety about being away from home or loved ones.
  • Illness Anxiety Disorder – formerly known as hypochondria; anxiety about health
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – anxiety following a traumatic event, triggers could include anything which reminds them of that event. 
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – constant anxiety and worrying with no specific trigger

The symptoms of anxiety differ from person to person. They range from feeling butterflies in your stomach to a mind racing with overwhelming thoughts. You might experience disassociation or the feeling of being disconnected from your mind. Some symptoms of general anxiety include:

  • Nightmares
  • Panic attacks
  • Overwhelming thoughts
  • Increased heart rate
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Difficulty falling asleep

Symptoms vary from person to person. This is why it is essential to know about all the ways anxiety can present itself and reach out to a medical professional. The optimal initiation is to reach out to a medical professional as everyone is different, creating a specific plan for you. If this is not possible, reach out to the school counselor, Ms. Sladjana, or a trusted adult who can offer help and guidance. 

Works Cited/Work adapted.

Holland, Kimberly. “Everything You Need to Know about Anxiety.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 19 Sept. 2018, http://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety#disorders. Accessed 20 May 2021.

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