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What is anxiety?

Anxiety is fear of something real or imagined and is part of our fight or flight response, that is whether we stand and fight or we run because the we feel the danger / threat is too much of a risk. This is an innate trait left over from prehistoric times when we hunted wild animals and we had to make snap decisions whether to stay and fight for food for our family or to run, because we could end up being the food for the animal.

But those of us who are not afraid for our lives project this feeling about other perceived threats / fears, ie: phobias, after a road traffic accident we may fear driving in a car again both as a passenger and as a driver, or indeed any accident situation train, car, plane, mountain, or sea etc., we may be afraid of being in any of these locations again for ever, or at least for some time. As you will now relate to them as being unsafe.

Also our minds create what if threats say, you feel hot and stressed shopping in the supermarket one day, all you want to do is get your shopping done and get out of there. But it is very busy and it takes longer than usual or it seems to take longer, you get more and more tense, you begin to take short breaths, your heart palpitates, your head becomes light and you feel like you are going to faint. You cant get out of there fast enough. What started out as being stressed and in a hurry turned into a panic attack. Following that episode you may think what if I fainted in there, Id fall on the floor all the people would crowd round me and Id feel such a fool etc. You have created a huge picture in your mind of the worst scenario. By doing this you are giving the fear your full attention and so you give it energy, by doing so you are more likely to make it happen again, and again. So turn your thoughts to positive outcomes instead.

Symptoms of anxiety

Anxious Mood

  • Worries
  • Anticipation of the worst
  • Apprehension
  • Irritability

Intellectual

  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Poor memory

Respiratory Symptoms

  • Pressure in chest
  • Choking feelings
  • Keep sighing
  • Tightness of breath

Depressed Mood

  • Loss of interest
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression
  • Early waking
  • Loss of pleasure in hobbies

Genito-urinary Symptoms

  • Frequency
  • Urgency
  • Suppressed periods
  • Excessive bleeding - periods
  • Development of frigidity

General Body Sensations

  • Tinnitus
  • Blurring of vision
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Feeling of weakness
  • Prickling sensations

Gastro-intestinal

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Dyspepsia, sinking feeling
  • Looseness of bowels
  • Constipation

Fears

  • Of the dark
  • Of strangers
  • Being left alone
  • Of animals
  • Of crowds
  • Of traffic

Physiological effects

  • Premature ejaculation
  • Tremor of hands
  • Furrowed brow
  • Strained face
  • Belching
  • Sweating
  • Facial pallor

Insomnia

  • Broken sleep
  • Unsatisfying sleep
  • Fatigue on waking
  • Dreams
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty falling asleep

Autonomic symptoms

  • Dry mouth
  • Giddiness
  • Loss of Erection
  • Impotence

General Muscular

  • Aches and pains
  • Stiffness
  • Muscular twitching
  • Grinding teeth
  • Weight loss

Heart Symptoms

  • Tachycardia
  • Palpitations
  • Chest pains
  • Throbbing of vessels
  • Fainting feelings

TICK ANY OF THE ABOVE SYMPTOMS YOU SUFFER FROM FREQUENTLY TO FIND OUT HOW ANXIETY HAS TAKEN OVER AND CLOSED DOWN YOUR LIFE.

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