By Catherine Revak
Hello Chambers County,
How is your mental health this week? Have you given thought to it?
This week, with the potential stress of Thanksgiving, I’d like to discuss anxiety, as it seems to be the number one mental health concern among many.
Many people experience various levels of anxiety throughout their lives. To experience anxiety is part of being human and existing in many different environments. Experiencing anxiety in some cases is a good thing as it might help you prepare for an exam, run faster in a race, escape harmful situations or cause you to review your work more thoroughly. In other cases, when someone’s experience of anxiety symptoms are chronic and interferes with daily functioning, we are speaking about anxiety disorders. There is a difference.
At this time, the causes of anxiety are not completely clear. However, there is a fair amount of research that shows experiencing traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders, and heredity may be a contributing factor.
Here are some common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
· Feeling nervous, restless or tense
· Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom
· Having an increased heart rate
· Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
· Feeling weak or tired
· Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
· Having trouble sleeping
· Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
· Having difficulty controlling worry
· Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Here is when you may want to consult with your doctor if:
· You feel like you're worrying too much and it's interfering with your work, relationships, or other parts of your life
· Your fear, worry, or anxiety is upsetting to you and difficult to control
· You feel depressed, have trouble with alcohol or drug use, or have other mental health concerns along with anxiety
· You think your anxiety could be linked to a physical health problem
· You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — if this is the case, seek emergency treatment immediately
Anxiety is treatable, with psychotherapy, with or without medications, a combination of both, and with specific anxiety reduction techniques which I will discuss next week. If any of this article resonates with you, please seek help - you deserve it.
Take good care,