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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.

 

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Comments

american_brit

american_brit wrote:

I suppose I suffer from anxiety then.
commented: Wed Jun 25, 2014

imcoolurlame

imcoolurlame wrote:

i have social anxiety
commented: Wed Jun 25, 2014

AidaGetAcro

AidaGetAcro wrote:

my doc told i had anxiety attacks every day and a high level of anxiety
commented: Fri Jun 20, 2014

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Dear Dish-It in the forums

heyitsangel
heyitsangel posted in Style:
Both
reply about 1 hour
InternetOwl
What part of it are you scared of? Is it eating in public and around other people, or just eating in general?  What it might be, if it's eating in public you don't like, is social anxiety, or social phobia. You should ask your doctor to check, because if it is, they can offer you ways to help. For instance, they might recommend therapists or group sessions to help ease your fear.  Even if it's just a phobia or, in unlikelier circumstances, an eating disorder, you should still go to your doctor or a therapist so you can try to overcome it. Try doing things that calm you down before these situations as well, like exercise, reading or listening to music (I'm not sure what relaxes you but sometimes these help). Also, you should try to slowly get used to the situations. So don't force yourself to eat straight away when you're out, but slowly start doing so whenever your comfortable with doing so. Unlike your mum wants, you can't just "stop" being scared because that's not how it works.  But right now, please don't force yourself into any of these situations. It's not good for your mental health to be forced to face a phobia of yours often. 
reply about 2 hours
ElfyKathy
Dear Dish-It, Within the last few years I have felt a bit sick and shaky when we go out to eat. It's not so bad when it's a carvery lunch or something at a pub, but settling down for a chocolate brownie and a milkshake shakes me up. Don't get me wrong, I love going out with Mum, but it's just sitting down and taking a bite. I want to chuck it in the bin. I love eating brownies and stuff at home and I'm pretty healthy. But I refuse to go to the town before lunch in fear. Mum told me I got to stop this or I'm going to develop a terrible phobia.  Please help! ElfyKathy, worried
reply about 2 hours
NianiNaturallyNerdy3
She isn't jealous she is just dissappointed that you chose to get lessons when she did to get better . She had to get better to catch up to you so you can enjoyher as your best friend. Then you went ahead and got lessons as if you needed them. She is just upset that you showed off a talent that she didn't have. And she tried to get better to impress you but you got better as well. Which kept her at the stage she will always be at my best friend sings way betyer than me but I try. 
reply about 3 hours
NianiNaturallyNerdy3
It may be hard but break it down to them we aren't friends but we can be associates. It may leave them a bit dissappointed but tell them we aren't in the same category to be as close as friends. 
reply about 3 hours

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