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The Truth About Anxiety

Mar 12, 2013

If people are always telling you that you’re a worrywart or accuse you of being angsty, chances are you’re already familiar with anxiety, but anxiety is actually very common and there’s a lot that most people don’t know about it. Find out more in The Truth About Anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a type of psychological stress that includes feelings of dread, fear, uneasiness and worry. It can be triggered by all sorts of different situations and things that are generally beyond our control, for example worrying about events in the future or situations we can’t avoid. For some people it is short term and minor (we all face anxieties in our day-to-day lives, whether it’s psyching yourself out about a test or worrying about how to act in front of classmates) and for others it is more long term and can be serious, sometimes requiring medication or treatment. Evolutionary theorists say that anxiety is a natural reaction that would have made us hyper-alert about possible threats in our environment. Here are some different types of anxiety:

  • Social Anxiety
  • Test/Performance Anxiety
  • Generalized Anxiety
  • Existential Anxiety
  • Decision Anxiety

Symptoms of Anxiety

Whether you’re biggest fear is embarrassing yourself in public (Social Anxiety) or the bigger question of why we’re all here (Existential Anxiety), anxiety has some key symptoms you can’t miss like restlessness, jumpiness, tenseness, nausea, sweating, trembling, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headache, stomach ache, and even dilated pupils. More extreme anxious episodes can result in anxiety attacks or panic attacks, in which you feel a heightened response featuring some or more of the above symptoms to the point where you may not feel that you can even move or breathe and that you may die or lose consciousness. There are many techniques you can learn (like learning to refocus and calm yourself through breathing) and even medications available if you feel you suffer from anxiety attacks.

Quick Facts

  • Anxiety is the most common mental illness in America (40 million adults are affected by it)
  • More women than men report feeling anxiety
  • Anxiety can affect your sleep and enhance nervous habits like biting your nails or tapping your feet
  • One plus side: studies say that anxious people are less likely to die due to accidents
  • Sometimes anxiety is the symptom of more serious health problems, like heart failure
  • The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard was the first to examine the issue of Existential Anxiety in his book The Concept of Anxiety.
  • Anxiety is often spurred by or the cause of irrational thoughts

Have Your Say

What gives you anxiety? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

53 Comments

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Anxiety poll

What's your worst symptom of anxiety?

  • Biting Nails
  • Inability to Focus
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Stomache Ache

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

jordand08
jordand08 posted in Friends:
Next time she tells you, see if you can find any evidence that she did, bruise etc.  even if you find nothing that doesn't mean she hasn't. But she or you should tell an adult, or someone you can trust that is older. 
reply about 10 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
"RavenClawRaina" wrote:Here for the past year, i have been having bad memory problems and rlly bad grades cuz i can never focus. I looked up my symptoms and showed my mom that I might have APD ( auditory processing disorder ). She said we will get it looked into but still hasnt becuz we have had my brothers friend move in with us becuz his adoptive dad beat him and its been putting stress on my mom and she doesnt want to deal with it. I need help in school but no matter how the teachers word things i cant get it. How do I make my mom listen to me and take me to the doctor? Its been getting worst too. I have had problems remembering what we did the day before is certain classes. HELP ME!  At first, I thought it sounded like ADD, but it wouldn't effect your memory like it is. If not, catch your mom while she's not rushing around. Maybe before she goes to bed or while she's making dinner. Maybe even while she's sitting down or send her a text for her to see when she can. I wish the best of luck with the stress! It most likely doesn't help with the APD; stress can add to just about any condition!
reply 2 days
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
"iiDeadxInside" wrote:I refused to talk to anyone else besides my friends, and my family. I would advise you to try and reach out to other authorities than friends and family. They'll be able to do more.
reply 2 days
RavenClawRaina
Here for the past year, i have been having bad memory problems and rlly bad grades cuz i can never focus. I looked up my symptoms and showed my mom that I might have APD ( auditory processing disorder ). She said we will get it looked into but still hasnt becuz we have had my brothers friend move in with us becuz his adoptive dad beat him and its been putting stress on my mom and she doesnt want to deal with it. I need help in school but no matter how the teachers word things i cant get it. How do I make my mom listen to me and take me to the doctor? Its been getting worst too. I have had problems remembering what we did the day before is certain classes. HELP ME! 
reply 2 days
iiDeadxInside
I refused to talk to anyone else besides my friends, and my family.
reply 2 days