Anxiety! How to know when you need help

Anxiety is your body’s alert system going off telling you that something is wrong.

Anxiety is a state of alert that is expressed by tension, constant worry or preoccupation, and physiological responses such as sweating easily, difficulty breathing, and racing heartbeat.  Anxiety is reaction to situations that are perceived as uncertain or stressful. It is your body’s way of telling you to be careful and to stay alert.  It’s a way of protecting yourself.

Sometimes, this emotion persists and we are not able to calm down and regulate it. We might get to the point of excessive worry about daily things such as going out and seeing people or simply having this sensation that something bad will happen throughout your day without any apparent reason.  In these cases, we might be talking about an anxiety disorder.  When we are experiencing overwhelming anxiety, we might not know how to stop feeling this way.  Even the thought of how we feel may increase the intensity of our anxiety.  We might realize that the intensity does not match the situation, we might be aware that we might be overreacting, but we cannot stop it.

We define disorder when an emotion gets in the way of your daily life activities such as your interaction with others and work. Anxiety disorders are classified in several types which vary on their symptomatology, cause, and treatment

If you feel intense anxiety and it is not related with a particular event (for example, being anxious to make a presentation to your boss, to have a conversation with someone, or to speak in public) and this has been going on for six months or more, you might want to visit your physician or a mental health provider to see what might be causing you to be feeling this way and what your anxiety is trying to tell you.  Many times anxiety has to do with painful experiences from your past that have not healed. Feelings you have swallowed in the hopes of them disappearing.

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