anxiety, fear and panic
We can all feel anxious at times. It is a normal part of life and a normal reaction to unsafe situations. However, when it becomes an everyday feeling and is intense, excessive and persistent, it may have developed into a problem which is affecting every aspect of life. It can feel debilitating leaving the sufferer feeling powerless, out of control and in constant fear.
The feelings of anxiety can be out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time. Places, situations and events may be avoided as a way of avoiding the feeling of anxiety. Symptoms may start in childhood or in teenage years and continue into adulthood.
Symptoms can become so severe that panic sets in which can spiral very quickly resulting in a panic attack – which is a sudden feeling of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes - other symptoms can accompany this such as shortness of breath, this is extremely frightening for the sufferer and can lead to the feeling that they are going to die.
some of the symptoms of anxiety may include;
- feeling nervous, restless or tense
- having a sense of impending danger, panic, doom or utter dread
- having an increased heart rate
- breathing rapidly (hyperventilating)
- feeling weak or tired
- trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- having trouble sleeping
- experiencing gastrointestinal problems
- having difficulty controlling worry
- having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
There are different ways to think about anxiety and seeing a therapist can help you to make sense of what these symptoms mean to you within the context of your life; where they have originated from and why and what factors in your life keep the anxiety going at such intensity.
An alternate way of looking at symptoms of anxiety is to deal with the symptom itself and learn some strategies which will help you to change your thought processes.