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Stress Anxiety and Panic Disorders
Anxiety is a feeling that everyone will experience at some point. We all experience it when faced with situations we find threatening or difficult. It can affect somebody both in their body and mind, and could be caused by worry or fear.
1 in 10 people will experience anxiety or a phobia at some point in their lives.
Normally fear and anxiety can be helpful, helping us to avoid dangerous situations, making us alert and motivating us to deal with problems. However, if the feelings become too strong or go on for too long, it can stop us doing the things we want and make our lives miserable.
People who are stressed or anxious may:
- Feel worried all the time
- Feel tired
- Be unable to concentrate
- Feel irritable
- Sleep badly
- Have heart palpitations
- Sweat heavily
- Aching muscles and pain
- Heavy breathing
A panic attack is sudden onset of intense fear and worry. Symptoms of a panic attack are
- Increased awareness of heartbeat
- Trembling or shaking
- Feeling of choking, shortness of breath or smothering
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Feeling sick or stomach pains
- Feeling of unreality or detachment from oneself or surroundings
- Dizzy, unsteady or faint
- Fear of dying
- Numbness, tingling or pins and needles
- Chills or hot flushes
Talking about the problem to friends or family can be beneficial. Finding ways to relax can help control anxiety and tension - anything from self help books and DVDs to asking for professional help.
Medication can help e.g. vallium like drugs or tranquillisers. They are effective at reliving anxiety but can be addictive, and when people try to stop taking them they may experience unpleasant side effects. They should not be used for longer-term anxiety issues.
- Talk about your feelings
- Keep active
- Eat well
- Limit your alcohol
- Spend time with your friends and family
- Ask for help
- Take a break
- Do something you are good at
- Be yourself
- Care for others