I think it’s safe to say that 99% of this world’s population has experienced anxiety. That feeling before the cop gets to your window after he has just pulled you over for speeding. The moment before the doctor reads you your lab results. Those few seconds before the grades of a big test are handed out. It's also that feeling while creeping up a roller coaster before a big fall. Anxiety is everywhere.
Some Things To Know About Anxiety
- It is very normal to have anxiety. Something would be wrong if you experienced no anxiety.
- It is a useful tool to combat danger. Anxiety helps you swerve into the grass instead of hitting a child on the road. It creates the "fight or flight" response.
- Anxiety helps you perform better. It acts as a motivational tool to excel.
- Anxiety doesn’t last forever
Physical Symptoms Of Anxiety
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid Breathing
- Nausea or Upset Stomach
- Dizziness or Light headedness
- Tight or painful chest
- Numb or tingling sensations
- Vision becoming bright or unreal
Anxiety is no fun for anyone, luckily we have learned it doesn’t last forever. And this is the common anxiety that everyone feels all of the time.
The amygdala and the hippocampus are the generous producers of anxiety. If someone has a mental disorder that affects these parts of the brain (That’s The BPD Gang), they may develop chronic anxiety. Also, if our regular joe shmo anxiety gets extreme and goes untreated, it can develop into anxiety disorders such as Social Anxiety and General Anxiety Disorder.
If your anxiety is a little out of hand, it is extremely treatable through therapy and brain training exercises. Some doctors go as far to say to not take medication because it can debilitate the learning and healing process. However, with chronic anxiety, it can be a little trickier to handle. But not impossible.
Things To Know About Chronic Anxiety
- This anxiety doesn’t go away
- People with chronic anxiety can experience symptoms of anxiety for hours and even days. This exhausting experience that is meant to help us for a short period of time can be dragged out and feel like it lasts forever.
- It isn’t brought on by events or circumstances around you
- Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to the anxiety. Of course, events can bring on chronic anxiety, but often times it comes from nowhere.
- It is experienced almost every day if not every day
The symptoms of chronic anxiety are identical to anxiety, they just last longer and are more severe. While someone with anxiety might get light headed and their heart beat races, someone with chronic anxiety will pass out or have chest pains so intense they can barely stand.
Know The Difference
It is important to recognize the difference between the two for multiple reasons. For starters, you shouldn’t look down on someone because they experience anxiety differently than you. Personally, my legs are fine when I have anxiety. It’s my chest and my head and my heart that bring pain or discomfort. But that doesn’t mean that someone experiencing anxiety is lying when they complain about leg pain. Your anxiety may be bearable and fleeting, but the person next to you could be suffering for hours with symptoms far more severe.
Also, one is a lot more manageable than the other. If your anxiety comes in short intense spurts of discomfort, you are near a solution. You haven’t been brought down to the depths of inner turmoil yet, and hope is easier to grasp onto. With therapy, you can find yourself managing your stress.
If you find that your anxiety lasts hours to days, your situation is a little different. You have probably been living with anxiety for a while, and just trying to get through it. Good for you for being so strong. What therapy can do for you is help you retrain your brain.
Anxiety has this crazy ability to train our minds to think negatively. This makes anxiety disorders become a huge snowball effect, and the longer you take to treat it the more difficult it will be to control it.
I will always be an advocate of therapy because I have met some incredible people who are wonderful at their jobs who spend every ounce of energy they have into helping people recover. If you haven’t tried it yet, and you don’t know how much longer you can do this alone, I would advise checking one out at least once. Therapy has saved my life on many occasions, it can at least make yours a little easier.