Everyone experiences what seem to be unreasonable feelings of worry or fear at some point in their lives. These feelings of anxiousness are entirely normal. For example, you might be anxious about going on a date with someone for the first time. Alternatively, perhaps you are facing mounting fear in the days leading up to a job interview. None of these feelings is cause for concern as long as they subside in due course. When they do not subside, the possibility of an anxiety disorder should be considered.
Anxiety is a condition in which the sufferer cannot control feelings of fear, worry, or nervousness. People with anxiety disorders seem to be afraid of many things most of the time. The difficult thing is figuring out exactly what is going on. Is the patient suffering from general anxiety disorder (GAD), or is anxiety a symptom of something else?
Most cases of manageable anxiety are directly attributable to GAD. This condition is a long-term condition that leaves the patient in the position of constant worry and fear. Those who suffer from GAD are anxious about a wide variety of things, rather than just being focused on a single event or known fear. Symptoms of GAD include:
- constant restlessness
- an abnormal sense of dread
- regularly feeling on edge
- unreasonable irritability
- an inability to concentrate.
As with depression, anxiety can manifest itself with physical symptoms as well. The physical symptoms are too numerous to list all of them here, but some of the more common ones include:
- headaches, dizziness and fatigue
- heart palpitations
- various aches and pains
- muscle tension
- shortness of breath
- excessive perspiration.
The physical symptoms of GAD are similar to that which people experience during normal episodes of heightened fear or worry. Yet they are more pronounced in someone who is clinically anxious. Any persistent occurrence of either the emotional or physical symptoms of anxiety is sufficient reason to reach out for help.
Treatment for anxiety can take one of several forms. It most often begins with a diagnosis provided by a GP or mental health specialist. The mildest forms of GAD may be treatable through individual counselling and self-help programmes that assist the sufferer in identifying anxiety triggers and working through them. Moderate to severe cases usually require professional therapy that can be conducted one-on-one or in a group setting.
In cases where doctors believe anxiety is just a symptom of another underlying problem, they must begin looking at things such as post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder. A diagnosis of one of these conditions will change treatment entirely.
BlueSkies staff understand that anxiety is not always cut and dried. Our counsellors and therapists have the knowledge, experience, and compassion to assist our clients dealing with GAD or an associated condition. We strive to provide a peaceful and relaxed environment that enables clients to encounter a journey of self-discovery and healing. At the root of our commitment is the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to be whole.
We hope you will consider contacting BlueSkies if you are concerned about a possible anxiety disorder. Please rest assured that we are here to help you in any way we can. We want to assist you in achieving your goal of living an anxiety free life once and for all.