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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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What's your worst symptom of anxiety?

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

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joshieboy24
How come all the original people are banned? The admins are crazy....
reply about 1 hour
genius@23
Where did you guys find this thread?? It was posted 11 years ago lol xD
reply about 1 hour
Thorvald
Thorvald posted in Family Issues:
There's a rare disease which currently affects 80 individuals worldwide, called Progeria. A person who is born with this condition experiences rapid aging, and will live to be, on average, about 13 years old. ...how old are you? If you were born with this disease, how would you live differently? Are you older than 13? What would change in your life, if you knew you were living on borrowed time? Are you younger? How would you perceive the world differently, if you knew you only had a few years left? Life is the most precious gift a person can receive. Don't take yours for granted.
reply about 2 hours
EndlessDream
I've been through a heck of a lot too. I have severe health problems and there were so many times I have lain in a hospital bed thinking I was going to die. I deal with severe depression from that along with the matter of loneliness from not being able to leave the house a whole lot my whole life. I don't have any friends  or really anything to do. I almost - you know- did it once. But then after that I went through a chain of dark events ( that I would rather not say for the topic is too arguable on this place. However, in a Catholic way of speaking, I have met a group of Legion. :P ) That practically changed my mind around into a more depth view of life. We, as humans, take life too seriously. I mean it. Is your life really that bad? Really? Are you alive? Are you speaking to another human who might actually smile at you once in your life? Did you see that pretty butterfly that just went by? We are so used to seeing a better, pampered life that tv shows or someone we know has, and we get jealous. " My life is horrible". Oh really? Did you say hi to your dog today? He's happy to see you isn't he? Smell the rain coming? Doesn't it smell good? We fail to look at the small good things in life and concentrate on " Jim broke up with me. I'm never going to be happy again!" Well....maybe Jim wasn't the guy you are supposed to end up with. Ever think of that? Ever think " Well maybe there is an even better guy out there I am supposed to be with! I just have to try and find him!" Eh? I've also learned: Not everyone is going to like you. No matter how nice you are and how much you try to be friendly, Not everyone is going to like you. I just went through this a few days ago with someone on here. She didn't want to talk to me because I was friends with someone who does bad things. Now that is very stereotypical and not right. Just because she does bad things mean I do bad things too? No. It means I accept everyone. Does that mean I accept the bad things she does? NO. But does that mean I have to not like her because of the bad things she does? NO. I love the person, but not the actions, and it breaks my heart to see the person do these things but i still love them. Get it? It's like if your child does something bad. Does that mean you hate them forever? NO. I try to help people, and for some reason i am attracted to those who are wronged or in pain. Another thing, I love horror. Like a lot. I have it allll over my page. Sometimes that scares people and they might say to me " What do you want?" or " You scare me" before I even say hi. You know what else? There are SO many people here that have told me that I am the nicest person on here they have ever talked to. So, some more stereotypes for you. Main theme is, take a break ( seriously) stand outside or something and just look at the sky, breath in the air and watch that bird carry a worm to her nest. Don't judge others by passed on information. Life is good if you make it so.
reply about 2 hours
Gingerkissx
"Sabbie_luv" wrote:I hate when people say suicide is selfish. The people who say that its selfish don't realize how much it hurts. I mean, my life is horrible! I feel like I am getting an anxiety attack everytime someone tries to talk to me (i have not been diagnosed with social anxiety)! They don't know how bad it is. People say that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Well, suicide is the light at the end. I have attempted suicide twice but I always chicken out. I need someone to kill me. Please. You're really strong for getting through these suicide attempts thoughts you may be having, the proof is that you're alive right now - despite everything you're struggling with. If you're strong enough to have made it through life this far (even if things might not be enjoyable to get through day to day) you're strong enough to keep going and get through this. Trust me, anxiety isn't something you have to struggle with for the rest of your life, there are ways to cope, you just need to reach out to somebody (a teacher, parent, doctor, counsellor or trusted adult). Which of course will be the most difficult part, but you can do it, I believe in you. Suicide ends your chances of things ever getting better for you, and you deserve to live, and be happy. Suicide isn't selfish, because you're not thinking about how worthy you are of life. Allow yourself to be selfish in the sense of knowing that you deserve better than death.
reply about 3 hours