Anxiety and Stress

While a certain amount of stress in our lives is inevitable, continual high stress levels are bad for health both mental and physical. Stress is also likely to impact on relationships in the form of irritability, withdrawal or neediness. Unaddressed stress may lead to increased anxiety problems and may even trigger panic attacks or agoraphobia.
People often experience a general state of worry or fear before confronting something challenging such as a test, interview or making a speach. These feelings are justified and considered normal.
Anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person's ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generally speaking, anxiety occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremly debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life.
Anxiety is often co-present with depression and can be very debilitating and lonely. In order to cope some people turn to alcohol or drugs resulting in further problems.
General Anxiety
Anxiety may build up over many years or occur quite suddenly. The symptoms occur in various ways and are often unrecognised or masked by normal ways of coping. These may be isolated to particular people, places or occasions. General anxiety symptoms include:
  • Tension - Feeling keyed up, stressed or worried.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Sexual Problems.
  • Physical symptoms- Muscle tension, headaches or digestive problems.
  • Frustration, restlessness, anger or irritability.
  • Difficulty concentrating or mentally blank.
  • Nightmares, disturbing memories or flashbacks.
  • Racing mind, scary random thoughts.
Specific Anxiety Issues
Anxiety can manifest in many different ways including some specific conditions. While these may sound scary we have increasing understanding that these are responses to stress and varions of normal development.
- Social Phobia ( fear of social situations)
- Panic Attacks/Anxiety Attacks (racing heart, sweating, trembling, diziness)
- Obsessions or Compulsions
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (persistant symptoms following trauma)
- Agoraphobia (fear of public or unfimiliar places)
- Phobias (specific fear such as flying or spiders)
- Dissociative Symptoms (feeling unreal, mentallly blank or emotionally numb)

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