Hello everyone! This thread provides information on anxiety, what it is, the signs and symptoms, how you can seek help and a list of links and resources which you may find beneficial in dealing with your anxiety. We also welcome you to discuss your experiences of anxiety with other members in this thread, give and receive support and post helpful hints and tips on how to deal with anxiety. What Is Anxiety? Anxiety can be described as feelings of worry, unease and fear that incorporates both physical and emotional sensations. We can feel anxious when we are faced with stressful situations, such as sitting an exam, going for a job interview, attending social gatherings, getting married etc. Everybody suffers from anxiety from time to time when faced with stressful situations or big life events, but tends to resolve fairly quickly, or when the situation or event has passed. Anxiety can become problematic and affect your everyday life if you have suffered with it for a prolonged period of time. You may find that you are worrying all the time, worrying about parts of everyday life and routine, worry about things that may not even happen and even having the constant feeling that something terrible might happen. These thoughts can be accompanied by unpleasant physical sensations such as a racing heart, feeling dizzy, feeling sick, shaking and feeling like the world is closing in on you. It can stop you from carrying on with your normal routine such as leaving the house, answering the telephone, meeting up with friends, going shopping etc. Signs and Symptoms There are many different signs and symptoms of anxiety, and can be split into two domains, physical sensations and psychological sensations. Here are a list of the common signs and symptoms of anxiety: -Feeling tense -Feeling on edge -Having a sense of dread -Feeling like something terrible is going to happen -Feeling restless -Not being able to concentrate -Replaying a situation over and over in your mind (rumination) -Feeling paranoid of how others view you (mind reading) -Racing thoughts You may also experience these physical symptoms in conjunction with the psychological symptoms: -Feeling sick -Racing heart and palpitations -Sweating -Shaking or trembling -Muscle tension -Headaches -Pins and needles -Breathing faster -High blood pressure -Stomach churning -Needing the toilet more frequently -Not being able to sleep properly -Dry mouth Panic Attacks Panic attacks are a byproduct of anxiety and are different from anxiety attacks. They are caused by a rapid build up of overwhelming physical sensations, such as: -Chest pains -Feeling sick -Feeling unable to breathe -Shaking and trembling -Feeling like your legs are turning to jelly -Sweating -Racing heart and palpitations People who have panic attacks often feel like they are losing control, are having a heart attack and can feel like they are going die. Most panic attacks last between 5-20 minutes and usually settle once the person has been removed from the environment they are in, or trigger. You may find that after the panic attack you have extremely high levels of anxiety, so self-care is extremely important. Treatment Anxiety is a very treatable illness that can be diagnosed by your GP, family doctor or psychiatrist. There are different types of anxiety disorders, so it is important to get a diagnosis from a doctor so you can get the optimum treatment for your disorder. Your doctor may want to undertake some blood tests, listen to your heartbeat and check your blood pressure to ensure that any physical illnesses are not responsible for your symptoms of anxiety. Your doctor may suggest that you need some therapy to deal with the underlying issues for your anxiety and is usually the preferred choice of treatment. Some doctors may want to start you on some anti-depressant medication, as they often also treat symptoms of anxiety and you may find that you will need a combination of both medication and therapy. In extreme cases where anxiety attacks are acute and debilitating, your doctor may prescribe you a short course of benzodiazepine medication. These are for short term use only as they are highly addictive. Links and Resources If you would like more information on anxiety, here are some useful links below: http://www.mind.org.uk/information-...and-panic-attacks/about-anxiety/#.VVhwIOlFBMs http://www.nopanic.org.uk/ http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/understanding-panic-attacks.aspx http://www.patient.co.uk/health/anxiety http://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/ http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Anxiety/Pages/Introduction.aspx http://www.rethink.org/diagnosis-tr...orders/about?gclid=CJTL1YzMyMUCFYkBwwod8U4AIA http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/category/blog/anxiety http://www.adaa.org/ http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/anxiety-disorders Self Help and Management http://www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/anxiety.asp http://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/how-to-stop-worrying.htm http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/gad.htm http://www.anxietybc.com/resources/selfhelp.php http://bemindful.co.uk/ http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22&oTopID=22 If you have any other useful links and resources, then please feel free to share them in this thread and we can add them to this post! Share Your Experiences! Please use this thread to share your experiences of anxiety with other members. Sharing experiences and hints and tips are useful to other members, and be sure to post if are you are looking for support, help and advice.