What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. Stress and worry are anxious feelings that are a common response to a situation where we feel under pressure, it usually passes once the stressful situation has passed, or stressor is removed.

Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don’t subside – when they’re ongoing and exist without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings can’t be easily controlled.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety:

The symptoms of anxiety are sometimes not all that obvious as they often develop gradually, and given we all experience some anxiety at some points in time, it can be hard to know how much is too much.

Some common symptoms include:

  • hot and cold flushes
  • racing heart
  • tightening of the chest
  • snowballing worries
  • obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviour

What causes Anxiety?

While it’s different for everyone, anxiety often develops from a combination of factors rather than a single issue or event.

  • Family and personal history
  • Ongoing stressful events
  • Physical health problems
  • Substance use
  • Personality factors

It’s important to remember that you can’t always identify the cause of anxiety or change difficult circumstances. The most important thing is to recognise the signs and symptoms and seek support.

Types of Anxiety

  • Generalised Anxiety disorder
  • Social phobias
  • Specific phobias
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

What can we do to help with anxiety?