Everyone experiences anxiety at times. When people describe their anxiety, they may use terms such as: anxious, stressed, uptight, nervous, worried, tense or hassled. Although anxiety is an unpleasant state, it can be quite useful in helping a person to avoid dangerous situations and to motivate the solving of everyday problems. Anxiety is mostly caused by perceived threats in the environment, but some people are more likely than others to react with anxiety when they are threatened. Anxiety can vary in severity from mild uneasiness through to a terrifying panic attack. Anxiety problems differ from typical anxiety in a number of ways. They are more severe, longer lasting and interfere with the person’s work, activities and/or relationships.
Signs and symptoms of anxiety:
- Physical signs and symptoms of anxiety include:
- Pounding heart, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, blushing;
- Rapid, shallow breathing and shortness of breath
- Dizziness, headache, sweating, tingling and numbness;
- Choking, dry mouth, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea; and
- Muscle aches and pains (especially neck, shoulders and back), restlessness, tremors and shaking
- Psychological anxiety: Anxiety also manifests itself in psychological signs and symptoms such as unrealistic or excessive fear and worry (about past and future events), mind racing or going blank, decreased concentration and memory, indecisiveness, irritability, impatience, anger, confusion, feeling on edge, nervousness, sleep disturbance, and vivid dreams.
- Behavioural anxiety: Anxiety is a cause of behavioural changes such as avoidance of situations, obsessive or compulsive behaviour, distress in social situations, and increased use of alcohol or other drugs.
If you or someone you know are experiencing any of these symptoms, speak to a mental health professional. Our professionals are available to help you 24/7.