There are different types of anxiety. There is normal, everyday anxiety that everyone experiences now and then, and there are severe anxiety disorders that can ruin your social life, destroy your health or hold back your career. Anxiety disorders can range from generalized, low level anxiety, to highly acute, chronic and debilitating anxiety. Some people have social anxiety or social phobia. Others have panic attacks. Do you experience any of these types of anxiety?
Is Your Anxiety ‘Normal’ or Serious?
Many people don’t know if their anxiety is ‘normal’ or if it is a sign of a serious issue they should seek help for. Some people don’t realize that very effective therapies exist and that they no longer need to suffer from and be held back by anxiety.
Read these 3 examples to determine if you have a serious anxiety issue:
1. Eating Food Related: It is common or normal to feel a bit anxious about something, like going on a new date you are excited about. Maybe it causes you to snack more than usual, or to feel restless or not hungry. We may get excited or feel stressed. Though it passes, it’s temporary.
Anxiety can become serious if you are constantly worried for many months about one specific thing or situation, or perhaps you worry about just about everything. This constant worry and anxiety can cause severe stress and lead you to overeat all the time. Or cause anorexia or bulimia. It can lead to an addiction to food, sugar, alcohol or pills.
Underlying the anxiety can be a serious issue, incident or trauma. Or, it can be influenced genetically, by our upbringing, nutritional deficiencies, or other causes. The anxiety symptoms are a sign that something much deeper needs to be looked at and resolved.
2. Loneliness: We all have times we feel lonely. Maybe our family or friends are away, or we find ourselves with nothing to do one night and can’t find anyone to connect with. This may lead us into a good book, or to get out our instrument or art supplies. We may be away on a business trip and find ourselves all alone. This type of loneliness passes and has no long-term affect.
Other people find themselves alone most of the time. It can lead to serious depression. Sometimes the cause is social anxiety (or social phobia), which makes it very difficult to make friends or to keep them. This is something I suffered with for years. Just being around people, making a connection or even a phone call made me extremely anxious. I would just shut down and not be able to even speak. I was highly self conscious, and often my body was very cold or get overheated abnormally.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi
What causes social anxiety? Along with my own history, I have worked with many individuals in therapy who suffered from social anxiety. The cause usually stemmed from a combination of things. Emotional experiences are often involved, such as a parent or sibling that caused the child to live in fear of humiliation, criticism and judgment. There was often a lack of security, love and nurturing. Sometimes there was physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
Though this is not always the case, there can be other reasons. During therapy we find out the reason and we find a way to resolve it. Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, severe anxiety can all be fully resolved. It can be done without any medications. I have helped many people resolve their anxiety issues.
3. Specific Person or Work Related: We may find ourselves in a relationship or work related situation that is causing us anxiety. Maybe an issue has come up that is not getting resolved and causing us to worry and be stressed. We may feel uncomfortable and not know how to deal with it. We may seek out a friend or family member to talk about it and get some advice. Or perhaps we just need a session or two with a counselor or coach to resolve the issue.
Though what if it has gone on a long time? What if we have tried many things or we just can not resolve it, and it is causing a lot of stress in our lives? Perhaps it is affecting our sleep or health, causing us to be irritable or depressed, even destroying our relationships or seriously affecting our work?
When Is It Time To Seek Out Help for Anxiety?
There are times in everyone’s life where anxiety and stress become too much and are having a serious negative affect. Or, it is constant, we have a high level of anxiety and stress in our homes, relationships or work place. At some point we may have begun to use alcohol, smoking, drugs or medication to deal with life. Or, we have become addicted to food or have an eating disorder.
Some people suffer alone and isolate themselves. Other signs are chronic procrastination or failure to thrive or succeed. Years can slip by along with our hopes and dreams. Perhaps we have underachieved in school or in our careers.
If You Have Serious Anxiety Symptoms, Seek Help
Get help. Don’t do what I did. I lost years of my life because I did not know how or where to get help. I did not trust that anyone could even help me. I was afraid to trust anyone. This is common with people who suffer from anxiety, especially social anxiety.
Severe anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, ruin people’s lives and careers. It leads to depression, suicide, divorce and broken families. It sets the children up for failure and to have the same issues in their adult lives.
Put an end to the cycle of anxiety, addiction and depression that runs in many families, and is very prevalent in our culture. Seek help. Help exists. There are very effective psychotherapists and counselors that can help you transform your life.
Wishing you peace and an anxiety free life,
If you want guidance on where and what kind of help to seek in your area, contact me here.