Do you suffer from anxiety - often apparently for no reason at all?
Do you worry about anything and everything?
Does 'logic' just not seem to come into it?
Do you constantly have 'the jitters'?
Feeling on edge all of a sudden or even all of the time?
You might even worry that, behind your back, people call you a 'wimp', a 'weakling' or 'strange', but I certainly don't...
I'm so glad you've landed here to discover what it's all about, and uncover some effective self-help strategies. This series of articles is for you and/or your partner depending on which one of you needs the help, as anxiety can affect all aspects of your life including your relationship.
But let's get to basics first - just in case you're unfamiliar with the subject...
What does anxiety mean? Here are some words to describe it: apprehension, fear, dread, trepidation, panic, nervousness.
There are three anxiety disorders: panic -, social- and generalised anxiety disorder. In this article I am mainly aiming to help you deal with the latter - that constant fear in the pit of your stomach, often apparently for no reason at all. Suffering from one of the other forms? Do read on as my self-help interventions will help to settle you, whatever your fears.
Let's look at it worst form first. This is when a doctor may diagnose it as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). You can decide for yourself how that compares with what you are going through.
Oh... and don't forget to also have a look at my page on the signs and symptoms of a nervous breakdown - you'll find the link at the end of this article.
So, now you can see what generalised anxiety disorder looks like when the symptoms are at their worst.
GAD is of course label. The label may be helpful in the sense that you - or more likely, your doctor - has a shorthand description for a seemingly diverse set of symptoms.
If you are suffering from these awful, soul-destroying, energy-sapping symptoms of anxiety, you care perhaps less about what it is called. Whether it is generalised or not, classified as a disorder or not. You just want to put an end to it - now!
To find the best self-help strategies we need to look at the causes of anxiety first, as therein lies the answer to what you can do to help yourself.
But, before we get to that...
Yes, there are positives. You are likely to be the one that spots real danger, where others merely wander without thought.
You'll be the one to offer practical refinements to an impromptu dreamed up plan. There's nothing wrong with dreamers - it's just that they need someone like you to balance the team!
And to be honest - I'd rather have a worrier as a dentist or accountant who think twice before giving some dodgy advice, or pulling a tooth.
Also, all of us have that 'tell-tale', like the canary in the mine - it will be the first to warn us that all is not well. It can be physical or mental, so for example, I'm likely get back-ache. Chances are that for you it'll be those anxious feelings.
Let's get to the bottom of your troubles now.
Before we can begin to help you get over that constant feeling of dread, trepidation and nervousness, we need to know how and when it started, so that you get clear on how best to help yourself.
Have you always suffered?
Did it appear 'out of the blue'?
Did it start after some 'disaster'?
Has it built up over time and you now have chronic anxiety?
Does it come on in waves?
It makes a big difference in whether or not the onset of your anxiety is due to a sudden event or you have always been an 'anxious type', a worrier, someone for whom the glass is always half-empty, and even on a sunny day you can see the storm clouds ahead.
If anxiety appears to run in the family it may be that your genetic inheritance- that biological lottery - has set you up for some vulnerability to anxiety. That does not mean that you can blame your genes for your constantly being in a state of alarm. The story is far more complicated than that.
Not every timid, shy and anxious child develops into a fearful adult with anxiety. Lifestyle factors, parenting and other experiences, as well as your manner of dealing with stressors (stressful events and situations) determine the ultimate outcome.
Your personal development, and here the development of anxiety, depends on...
These experiences would have shaped your own reactions and general attitude to stressful situations and life-events.
So, what can you do about it?
You've always been a nervous type - chronically anxious? Regardless of whether that is through a genetic predisposition or any of the above, you just need to follow all the steps below to permanently get over that sense of panic. Unless you need treatment for traumatic reactions, decide to focus only on 'the here and now' from here on.
The above causes of anxiety may overlap and/or be exacerbated by: -
For all of these you'll benefit from, and feel tons better for, following the advice on how to deal with the immediate symptoms that I'm giving you further on.
It is important that your doctor or other health professional rules out any other problems you may have, such as:
These conditions can also cause you to suffer from anxiety and anti-anxiety medication (if you were to be advised to take any at all) would absolutely not be necessary. Indeed, long-term it may make the problem much worse. I'd be delighted therefore, that you want to know how you can help yourself. So for my three-step plan to overcome your anxiety, hop straight over to the second part of this series of articles.
Panic Miracle Review
Signs and Symptoms of a Nervous Breakdown
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
How to overcome PTSD
Depression in Men
How to Help Your Partner Overcome OCD
The Link Between Diet, Depression and Anxiety
Anxiety and Depression Association of America - Facts & Statistics