Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or imminent disaster and is a normal response to danger. It can be a part of your personality, or it can be genetic and biochemical make-up.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous when faced with a problem at work, before taking an important decision, before taking a test.
There are many things that trigger anxiety, such as your environment, stressful situations, work pressure, family problems or trauma.
Anxiety is an individual response, what makes one person anxious may not have the same effect on another person.
Anxiety disorders are however different, they can cause distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life.
An Anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.
Anxiety signs and symptoms
Anxiety can affect both your physical health and your mental health(behaviour and feelings). It may pass quickly or stay for a long period of time. If you, or your friend, has some or many of these symptoms it may be worth talking to a doctor, a clinical psychologist or a counsellor about ways to reduce anxiety.
Some common ways that anxiety might affect your mental health include:
- Irritability or constantly being in a bad mood
- Being worried or having a constant feeling that something bad is about to happen.
- Often ask many unnecessary questions and require constant reassurance.
- Getting upset when a mistake is made or if there is a change in the routine, for example, the game day for sports, a substitute teacher, unexpected visitors, or a trip to an unfamiliar place.
- Being a loner, or hanging out with a small group of people.
- Being a perfectionist, for example, taking a long time to complete tasks because you try to have it absolutely correct.
- Being argumentative, especially when trying to avoid a feared situation
- Being pessimistic and easily able to tell what may go wrong in any given situation.
- Not answering questions and rarely volunteering comments or information.
- Some common ways that anxiety might affect your physical health may include
- Dry mouth or difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty getting to and staying, asleep.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Muscle tension and headache.
- Rapid heart rate and breathing.
- Flare up of another health problem or illness like asthma.