What is it?
- Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder that can affect ability to concentrate, sleep and carry out ordinary tasks.
Anxiety can become so bad you feel immobilised and if left untreated, may lead to depression. Anxiety can develop gradually which can make it difficult to work out when it has become a serious issue.
What are the symptoms?
Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can affect you both physically and mentally.
How severe the symptoms are varies from person to person. Some people have only one or two symptoms, while others have many more.
You should see your GP if anxiety is affecting your daily life or is causing you distress.
Psychological symptoms of GAD
GAD can cause a change in your behaviour and the way you think and feel about things, resulting in symptoms such as:
a sense of dread
feeling constantly “on edge”
Your symptoms may cause you to withdraw from social contact (seeing your family and friends) to avoid feelings of worry and dread.
You may also find going to work difficult and stressful and may take time off sick. These actions can make you worry even more about yourself and increase your lack of self-esteem.
Physical symptoms of GAD
GAD can also have a number of physical symptoms, including:
a noticeably strong, fast or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
muscle aches and tension
trembling or shaking
shortness of breath
pins and needles
difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)
- Aromatherapy is a good treatment for anxiety, and you can do it on your own. Lavender oil is particularly effective, but you can also use jasmine or sandalwood.
- Vitamin Deficiencies: Vitamin B in particular can often cause anxiety. Try taking a daily supplement of a B-complex tablet.
- Learn some meditation and yoga techniques to calm yourself. If nothing else, closing your eyes and breathing deeply will do. These techniques can be used whenever you start to get an anxiety attack, and also as part of your daily routine.
- A daily workout will help you calm down. The physical exertion itself helps fight anxiety, plus it prompts your body to produce certain chemicals that calm you and make you feel good.
- When you feel an anxiety attack coming on, you can have a cold shower or soak in a warm bath, whichever works for you.
- When you start to feel stressed out, drink a whole glass of water, or else sit back and sip a cup of tea.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is well-known as an anxiety inducer
- Avoid alcohol. Feelings of anxiety can be so overwhelming that you might feel the urge to have a cocktail to help you relax.
Things to watch out for
Feelings of anxiety at certain times are completely normal. Share your anxiety issues with you GP if it is affecting your daily life or causing you distress.