What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a basic human experience. The only difference with a diagnosed anxiety disorder is that a person experiences anxiety more frequently and with a heightened sense of panic and fear, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Anxiety is a physical reaction to danger or threat, part of the “fight-or-flight” response. The physical reaction is caused by a rush of adrenaline through the body and can last for any duration of time, depending on whether the person continues to feel threatened or not. The body will relax when the person feels less threatened.
Panic attacks are a side effect of anxiety and are caused when anxiety gets out of hand. According to Medical News Today, if a person lets their fears build up inside, they may have a panic attack when they realize something is wrong. If you experience a panic attack you will have shortness of breath, sweaty palms and forehead, and clammy skin. It is important to remain calm and try to control and focus on your breathing.
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Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Excessive amounts of fear, panic and worry
- Panic attacks
- Hyperventilation or difficulty breathing
- Problems concentrating
- Change in appetite
Treatment and Management
Anxiety can be managed by incorporating healthy lifestyle changes, such as exercising daily and eating well. Journalling and/or counselling are also ways to express your fears and worries. If you experience a panic attack(s), consult your physician. Prescribed medications are available to treat anxiety and a doctor can give advice on how to best treat your personal situation.
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