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About Anxiety

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of unease. It can be characterised as worry or fear and it can range from mild to severe.

Certain levels of anxiety are normal; everyone experiences anxiety throughout their life. For example, it is normal to feel anxious before sitting an exam or having a job interview.

However, if your feelings of anxiety are more constant and is affecting your daily life, you may need treatment to help manage your anxiety. Treatment for anxiety can include therapy and medication.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety symptoms vary from person to person. Anxiety not only manifests as psychological symptoms, but can also cause physical symptoms.

Psychological symptoms:

  • Panic
  • Fear
  • Uneasiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Physical symptoms:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Tense muscles

As previously mentioned, anxiety symptoms vary from person to person. If you’re suffering from anxiety you may not experience and of the symptoms above, but may experience different symptoms.

What causes anxiety?

Researchers don’t know exactly what causes anxiety. However, it’s likely that a combination of several factors cause anxiety. Researchers believe that some of the causes of anxiety may be:

  • Overactivity in areas of the brain involved in emotions and behaviour
  • A chemical imbalance of serotonin and noradrenaline in the brain
  • Your genetics
  • A history of stressful or traumatic experiences, such as child abuse or bullying
  • A history of drug or alcohol misuse

What is a possible course of treatment for anxiety?

To treat anxiety, you can undergo psychological therapy. In addition, there are medications you can take to help you prevent and manage panic attacks.

There are also physical things you can do to help ease your anxiety. These include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Stopping smoking
  • Cutting down on your alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Meditation

How can you help to prevent anxiety?

With treatment, you can help control your anxiety levels. Treatment and control are a huge part of preventing anxiety. For people with anxiety, learning to manage and control their anxiety is a crucial part preventing further anxiety.

Further resources for anxiety:

  • MIND (a leading mental health charity)
  • Anxiety UK (a leading charity in treating anxiety and stress)
  • No Panic (a charity that specifically helps people who suffer from panic attacks)