According to MIND “45 million working days are lost each year through anxiety and stress-related conditions.” Are you at risk?
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling of fear and apprehension. Normally anxiety can be useful, helping us to avoid dangerous situations, making us alert and giving us the motivation to deal with problems. However, if the feelings become too strong or go on for too long, they can stop us from doing the things we want to, making our lives miserable.
It is quite normal to feel anxious when you are facing something dangerous or difficult, but it is not usual to feel anxious all the time or to feel that anxiety is ruling your life. Extreme anxiety is manifested as phobias, panic attacks or obsessive compulsive disorder.
WHEN ANXIETY HAS GONE TOO FAR…
Severe anxiety is similar to a ‘false alarm’. Our bodies over-react, and respond with anxiety to something that is not threatening. It can happen if we exaggerate the danger in our minds, if we are under stress, or when we start thinking about past difficulties.
Severe anxiety doesn’t just fade away; it can be so unpleasant that you begin to find ways of avoiding the situation or event that makes you feel so bad. Every time you succeed in avoiding the event your anxiety level drops and so in the short term you feel better. However long term you can become a recluse, avoiding any situation that may evoke anxiety and never knowing whether that danger was all in your mind.
We as humans are particularly prone to stress in areas of vulnerability, emotions, work related and physical conditions. There is a huge misunderstanding when it comes to stress which makes the average person confused, when attempting self-diagnosis or seeking advice.
I often hear comments like “It’s just the times we live in” or “Everybody gets stressed” “Pull yourself together”.
They suffer in silence pretending they don’t feel irritable, tired or tense. Emotional stress can arise when dealing with identity, ambitions and needs while coping with the demands of others and events, particularly the personal ones which can be different for everyone.
You should ask yourself:
- Are you are overloading in any of these areas?
- Does each day feel comfortable?
- Does it feel like a strain?
- ARE YOU BALANCING YOUR EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL, INTELLECTUAL, AND RELATIONSHIP NEEDS?
There are also, associated conditions linked with stress that have there own consequences, depression, anxiety, fears and phobias, addictions, anger and violence, which can be crippling and debilitating.
Depression is a symptom, not a cause – depression and stress can become linked in a situation – if you are sufficiently stressed over a long period of time, then it becomes a side-effect of stress that is no longer endurable.
It can become deep and prolonged at which point becomes critical if not managed. Anxiety may also appear firstly the vague sensation of tension at certain times or in relation to a particular event, a sense of disorientation may occur for no reason. You may find yourself making small mistakes or being clumsy. Much of this links to lack of self esteem, the feeling of not being able to perform a particular task or the feeling of just not being good enough in a personal or work related situation leading to a feeling of enormity which feels unbearable.
These combined experiences may then lead to addictions in order to alleviate the symptoms such as alcohol, drug, or sex dependency, or lack of sex drive.
Depression is very common. Almost anybody can develop the illness; it is certainly NOT a sign of weakness. Depression is also treatable.
Between 5% and 10% of the population are suffering from the illness to some extent at any one time. Over a lifetime you have a 20%, or 1 in 5, chance of having an episode of depression. Women are twice as likely to suffer fromdepression as men.
In reality, depression can literally bring your life to a halt. It can prevent youfunctioning on a day-to-day basis and can affect your relationships with those close to you.
At The Claremont Practice in Crawley, we can help you work your way through depression using a series of therapies. Benefit from our leading expertise in this area.