What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal part of life, it helps us prepare for situations and alerts us of danger however it becomes an issue when it impacts our daily functioning and enjoyment of living out lives.
Although there is a lot of information out there about anxiety there are still things that are less known and recognised, here are a few;
The Physical Side
We may be familiar with the over-thinking and emotional side of Anxiety but did you know Anxiety affects your body too?
Stomach/ Digestion Issues
Teeth grinding or Jaw clenching (while you're asleep too)
Dissociation is a deffensive response to heightened stress and anxiety that alters your consciousness, it may be your fight, flight, freeze or flop response kicking in.
Have you ever felt disconnected from yourself and the world around you?
Noticed you forget certain periods of time, information or events?
Perhaps you somes=times feel uncertain about who you are or that you have different identies?
Maybe you notice your child drifting off into their own world or often not remembering stuff?
Feeling disconnected from your surroundings or reality is common
You may already know that anxiety is a response to danger but did you know it isn't always triggered by an actual or real threat?
Anxiety can be triggered by anything or nothing at all, sometime the mind can invent a threat even though it seems irrational.
The trouble is, because the body keeps score, you can find yourself or your child reacting physically or emotionally reacting when there seems to be nothing occuring, in fact often it becomes habitual and long after the threat is over the body and emotional system remembers it and is still reacting as if it is still there.
Example of an imagined threat respnse could be someone avoiding social situations because they feel they'll be judged or ridiculed.
It works both ways, you can experience physical symptoms from anxiety, you may also develop anxiety from having the physical symptoms from serious health issues due to the worry of them.
Some of the physcial sides of anxiety are shown above, it is thought that the presence of anxiety and the stress thet goes with it causes a build up of toxic stress in your body which is why you may develop other health issues too.
It is common for people who experience conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes, and those who have had a heart attack or a life threatening illness or accident to develop anxiety because of the nature of the condition and the impact on long-term health and well-being which can create a lot of worry.
The similarities in anxiety and depression is that they often stem from having had adverse childhood experiences, you can develop either depression or anxiety or very often both together.
Both depression and anxiety inviolve a malfunction in similar brain regions.
People who have had depression are also vulnerable to anxiety too.
Certain personality traits such as neuroticism and perfectionalism can be related to anxiety, often they co-exist side by side.
Neuroticism is characterised by emotional stability and mood swings, there may be a struggles with regulating emotions and behaviours.
You or your child may have a tendancy to feel self-conscious, irritable and angry.
With perfectionalism you may seem very well put together on the outside as there is a fear of failure and seeming less then perfect yet, on the inside there is a huge amount of worry about making mistakes and facing consequences from failings.
It is common for people with perfectionalism and neuroticism to have experienced very critical, disapproving and chastising treatment in younger years or even in school, work or in unhealthy relationships.
The negative emotions associated with neuroticism and perfectionalism provide a gateway to anxiety.
If you or any one you know are struggling with an anxiety disorder please know that there is a way through.
Check out my other blogs on anxiety or my website below to learn more and get support for you or your child