Anxiety is a feeling that we have all experienced at one point or another. The nerves before delivering a big presentation, jitters on a wedding day, or the uneasy feeling of attempting to conquer a fear.
People with anxiety disorders have a perpetual and excessive fear in situations that are not threatening and might experience one or more physical or emotional symptoms. Some examples include:
- heart racing
- upset stomach
- feeling of dread
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org), anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern effecting 18% of adults and 8% of children/teenagers living in the United States. There are several types of anxiety disorders, each hosting their own set of symptoms. It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed with anxiety to follow these suggestions:
- Get checked out by a doctor (typically the PCP will examine first and might recommend psychotherapy or medication)
- Try to find what triggers the anxiety
- Learn to focus on your breath
- Tell someone. It’s important to find support to help get through the tough moments.
- Remember you’re not alone. Find the support you need in friends, online resources, community resources, etc.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can.