While anxiety can be a normal and healthy reaction, it can also start to grow out of proportion. It can even become a disorder. When our anxieties and fears take over and control our lives, that is when it becomes a problem. There are different types of anxiety disorders that people may suffer from:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: This is where you are anxious overall. Every day you feel anxious about multiple different things.
- Social anxiety: This is where you feel very anxious in social settings such as public speaking, or in a group of people.
- Specific phobias: This is when you are very anxious about one particular thing. It could be a place, a certain object, animal, or a specific situation.
- Panic disorder: This is when you have multiple panic attacks throughout a short period of time. Typically you will feel a shortness of breath, some chest pains, and sweat a lot.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): There are two parts to this disorder. You may experience recurring thoughts, the obsessive part, that control your behaviors, the compulsive part. These thoughts and actions are often unwanted and very difficult to control.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Lots of people go through very traumatic events in their lives. It is essential to realize that it is not just a one-time event for some. Lots of times that stress and anxiety will show up again later on in life.
Many people have anxiety about public speaking, job interviews, and other everyday situations. When this grows into a constant anxiety, our bodies can become overloaded in a fight or flight mode, which can lead to health problems as well as making it hard to live our lives.
My younger sister, at age 6 developed severe anxiety. She could not go to school or have my mother leave her side. It was intense and a struggle for us all. She was able to see a therapist who helped her understand her fears. She gave her tools that she could use when she felt anxious.
Now, my sister is 11 years old and is thriving in school. She is happy and living her life to the fullest. Now and then she starts to feel anxious but can identify it and use her tools to overcome it.
And so can you. Help is out there waiting for you. You can overcome your anxieties and go back to living your life. If you are struggling with anxiety and what to change, find someone to talk to. Reach out and get that help you need; it is always worth it in the end.