We have all experienced moments of great anxiety . . . an important job interview, a final exam, buying a home. For many people, anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and uncertainty. In such instances, anxiety can actually motivate us to work harder, study longer or be more thorough in our activities. Anxiety and stress often go hand in hand, and certainly in these difficult economic times many people know all too well the anxiety associated with a job loss, home foreclosure or financial uncertainty. To feel stress under such situations is normal. However, it is when stress becomes anxiety, a persistent and excessive worry or fear, that it becomes problematic.
For people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, the impact can be experienced physically, emotionally and socially. Symptoms can include:
- Muscle tension, headaches or fatigue
- Racing heart, nausea, upset stomach
- Feelings of apprehension or dread
- Irritability or restlessness
- Profuse sweating
- Difficulty concentrating
- Avoidance of people or places
Struggling with an anxiety disorder alone can be overwhelming and often debilitating. However, there is tremendous hope in the ability to manage and treat anxiety. Through the use of therapeutic interventions and social support systems, you can take control of your life again and experience your fullest potential.