Life has its problems – that’s for sure, and as a result it’s inevitable that we will experience some anxiety and worry as and when those problems occur – this is a normal part of life.
However, when anxiety has become an ongoing daily experience that is making your life miserable and can’t be shaken off, then it’s possible you may have Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Some typical symptoms of this are:
- Feeling nervous, tense or on edge – like being on alert all of the time and finding it hard, no matter how much you try, to relax.
- Excessive worrying – worrying about all sorts of different things and not being able to control it. You may find that you can rationalise in your mind that some things don’t need to be worried about and yet the worries keep creeping back into your mind and that general feeling of unease remains.
- Struggling to concentrate – even on things like watching a TV programme or reading a magazine – you’re trying to focus but your mind wanders or goes blank – you lose the thread of what’s happening on the screen or you have to re-read the paragraph – sometimes several times over and it’s very frustrating.
- Not wanting to make decisions – losing confidence in your self to choose the right option and worrying about making a mistake.
- Feeling agitated and restless – sitting still is hard to do and there’s nervous energy that can manifest itself in wringing your hands, biting your nails, pacing the room etc.
- Becoming easily annoyed or irritable – snapping at members of your friends, family or colleagues, experiencing more road rage or getting annoyed and angry with yourself – just not being able to tolerate minor irritations as much as you usually do.
- A sense of dread – feeling as though something really bad is going to happen and you won’t be able to cope.
- Finding usual daily activities such as going to work, looking after children, socialising etc. much more difficult and feeling tempted to avoid doing them.
Depending on how many of these kinds of symptoms you experience and how often, indicates the severity of the anxiety – if you can identify with some or all of these and find that they are affecting your ability to live your life well then it’s important to seek some help.
Anxiety can also have physical symptoms such as: a sickly feeling in your stomach, nausea, a change in appetite or other digestive problems, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, tense muscles, fast heartbeat and/or heart palpitations, headaches, dry mouth, excessive sweating, trembling / shaking.
So what can cause anxiety? – sometimes, as mentioned earlier, anxiety is simply a reaction to a problem or difficult life event and the anxiety passes in time. It may be an immediate reaction to a known fear such as a phobia of spiders, heights, confined spaces etc. Whereas with generalised anxiety it can be difficult to know why you feel this way and that can cause a sense of fear that there’s no way of recovering. There may be one or a number of influences that has led to generalised anxiety disorder such as abuse, bullying, low self-esteem, depression, serious physical health problems, drug or alcohol misuse, ongoing stress amongst many other factors. However every person is unique, which is why it’s helpful to talk to a counsellor – to talk through your experiences, feelings, emotions, fears, and help you uncover what’s going on and why, and tailor some strategies that can help you to manage and overcome the anxiety.
So if this blog has resonated with you and you’d like to take a step in seeking further help with your anxiety then please get in touch – I’d like to help.