Do you often feel overwhelmed by or underprepared for daily life? Do you struggle to make it through the day without feeling panic or discomfort? If it seems like you are always on edge or scared, waiting for the horrible feeling to pass, you may suffer from a form of anxiety disorder.
If so, you are not alone. As the world has grown more connected, we have become exposed to a never-ending stream of stimuli from all directions, always trying to get our attention. At the same time, society is getting more comfortable with talking about conditions like anxiety, and we are seeing how widespread it is. Millions of people suffer from it, in one form or another. However, from medication, to different types of therapy, to exercises you can do at home and on the go, there are treatments available for all personality types.
You don’t have to suffer specifically from anxiety attacks in order to have a condition worth treating. In fact, some of the most common symptoms are simple, everyday issues that manifest in extreme ways. These include nervousness, increased heart rate, hyperventilation, fatigue or weakness, trouble with concentration, insomnia, excessive worry, and a constant sense of dread.
If symptoms like these are an everyday occurrence for you, chances are good that counselling and therapy can help you overcome them.
Anxiety can present in many different ways, usually focusing on specific areas of life that cause a heightened response. These may be general anxiety disorder (persistent, excessive worry about routine events), panic attacks with certain triggers, social anxiety disorder, phobias, or something else entirely. In addition, many people get anxious about work to some degree (or work performance), and often find themselves too anxious to sleep properly. All of this adds up to affect our mental health.
While there are many free “anxiety tests” you can find online, they are – at best – a tool for raising awareness in an entertaining way. If you feel like any of the symptoms or conditions apply to you, the best thing to do is contact a professional, licensed therapist or counsellor and have an assessment done.
From there, you can work together to decide on a course of action, which may be pharmaceutical, therapeutic, or a combination of the two. Practices like acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) are all well-researched and effective ways to treat anxiety, prevent anxiety attacks, and bring you toward a healthy and more fulfilling lifestyle.
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