27 Mar What are anxiety disorders?
Give it to me plain and simple…
Anxiety is a feeling that creates both an emotional reaction and a physical reaction. Perhaps you have felt anxiety when you were about to take a test, try out for a sport or go out on a first date. Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling of fear or apprehension over a perceived (meaning what you think you see) or actual threat to the self. It can also make your body feel agitated and make you sweat, shake, or give you a headache or stomachache.
Anxiety is considered to be either normal or pathological (caused by or involving a mentally disturbed condition – or, more simply, unhealthy and could require treatment). Above, Skye shows thoughts of a pathological condition known as an Anxiety Disorder.
Normal anxiety is a typical response to a perceived threat, and may include any of the feelings mentioned above. Anything new can make you feel anxious – that’s normal.
Whereas a pathological response to anxiety is an inappropriate response to a situation and often includes feelings such as extreme fear or dread.
An Adorable Example…
Let’s say your parents brought home a new kitten. This is a new situation, not necessarily a threatening one, but an adjustment that may make you feel a little anxiety (now you have to feed and care for a new animal). If you ran to your room in a panic and you screamed and swore never to come out again because the idea of having a new pet terrifies you, then one would say you are over-reacting to the situation.
Two indicators to the pathological response are the degree of the intense reaction and the length of time it persists.
For example, continuing to throw a tantrum for several weeks over the kitten’s arrival is a long time to be upset over the new pet. The reaction is considered pathological because it lasted for so long and it was certainly above and beyond a typical reaction to a cute kitty.
Is There Hope?…
Of course there is! Anxiety can be treated quite effectively. In fact anxiety treated with a type of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has a very high success rate because it focuses on the link between thoughts and emotions and how to control them…. Imagine that!;) Sometimes medication is prescribed but people also find success through deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness.
Many Anxiety Disorders exist. Check out the anxiety post if you want to learn more about the different types of anxiety disorders or if you think you might have one.
Would you describe your responses to most anxious situations as normal?