What is Anxiety?
Feelings of Anxiety can sometimes be hard to identify. In today’s society, it is not uncommon to lead a busy or stressful life with our daily schedules full of work, family and social commitments. In this fast paced society, it is not uncommon for people to feel like they are over reacting or losing the plot when in fact they could be suffering from anxiety and need support.
Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where a person feels under pressure, it usually passes once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.
It is the most common mental health condition in Australia. On average, one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – will experience anxiety at some stage in their life. In a 12-month period, over two million Australians experience anxiety.2
Beyond Blue an Australian organisation dedication to reduces depression and anxiety in Australia says Anxiety is common, but the sooner people with anxiety get help, the more likely they are to recover.1
The following are a number of different types of anxiety disorder:
- Generalises Anxiety Disorder – excessive worry
- Specific phobia – fear of particular objects or situations
- Panic Disorder – sudden surges of panic, chest pain, breathlessness
- Agoraphobia – intense anxiety due to public spaces, crows or being home alone
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD – recurring persistent distressing thoughts, images or impulse known as obsessions such as fear of catching germs or feeling the need to carry out certain behaviour such as hand washing or picking
- Social Anxiety Disorder – severe anxiety about being criticised or negatively evaluated by others leading to one avoiding public situations in fear of embarrassment or humiliation
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – symptoms occurring after exposure to a frightening or traumatic event leaving one with nightmares, avoidance of places or people, negative view of oneself and the world.3
Symptoms of Anxiety?
- Feeling of being on edge or nervous
- Persistent and irrational fears or
- Excessive worry
- Difficulty concentrating and remembering things
- Trouble sleeping
- Avoidance of situations, places, people, activities, thoughts or feelings that trigger anxiety
Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety?
- Pounding heartbeat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Tightness in chest
- Sweating, trembling, tingling or numbness
- Dry mouth
- People who experience anxiety over long periods of time can also develop muscle tension and headaches.
1. 2015. . [ONLINE] Available at: http://resources.beyondblue.org.au/prism/file?token=BL/0384. [Accessed 18 July 2015].
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (4326.0). Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics.
3. Australian Psychological Society : Understanding and managing anxiety . 2015. Australian Psychological Society : Understanding and managing anxiety . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.psychology.org.au/publications/tip_sheets/anxiety/. [Accessed 18 July 2015].
4. 2015. 5 Quick Tips to Reduce Stress and Stop Anxiety | Psychology Today. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/finding-cloud9/201308/5-quick-tips-reduce-stress-and-stop-anxiety. [Accessed 18 July 2015].