Mental health jargon: what is anxiety?

May 03, 18 Mental health jargon: what is anxiety?
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Anxiety… an uneasy feeling

If you look up anxiety in the dictionary it’s defined as apprehension, uneasiness, or nervousness usually in anticipation of something bad happening. Everyone has uneasy feelings at one point or another. Remember the last time you had a job interview What about waiting for test results? There are so many everyday things that can cause you to feel anxiety.  Although anxiety is a normal part of life, anxiety disorder is a medical condition that impacts the ability to function. It can be described as “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), [marked] by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it” (Merriam-Webster).

Anxiety disorder

According to National Institute of Mental Health(NIMH) there are 3 types of anxiety disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

People with generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms.

Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms include:

Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge

Being easily fatigued

Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank

Irritability

Muscle tension

Difficulty controlling the worry

Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

 

Social Anxiety Disorder

People with social anxiety disorder (sometimes called “social phobia”) have a marked fear of social or performance situations in which they expect to feel embarrassed, judged, rejected, or fearful of offending others.

Social anxiety disorder symptoms include:

Feeling highly anxious about being with other people and having a hard time talking to them

Feeling very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected, or fearful of offending others

Being very afraid that other people will judge them

Worrying for days or weeks before an event where other people will be

Staying away from places where there are other people

Having a hard time making friends and keeping friends

Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people

Feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach when other people are around

Panic disorder is another form of anxiety disorder

NIMH describes panic disorder as basically sudden bursts of extremely intense anxiety. According to NIMH, people with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking; and feeling of impending doom.

Panic disorder symptoms include:

Sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear

Feelings of being out of control during a panic attack

Intense worries about when the next attack will happen

Fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past

Speak with a medically professional if you think you or a loved one has anxiety disorder.

Do you have a story about anxiety you want to share? Contact us about doing a SETH TALK.

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