" Body tense with fear
Mind races with past nightmares
Noises put me on edge
Like a razor’s blade across my skin
I look around but there’s nothing there
But I see hallucinations everywhere"
- Poem about PTSD by Joelle
Many adolescents and adults end up in a hospital emergency department thinking they are having a heart attack only to be told it is anxiety. This can be very confusing as the physical symptoms of a panic attack are incredibly intense and terrifying with panic attack suffers frequently reporting an overwhelming sense that they are dying.
When I meet clients for the first time I will ask “what has brought you to my office today?” Some of my clients tell me that they are trying to make sense of what has happened in their life. Others say they want to learn how to deal with their strong and difficult to manage emotions. Many say they are trying to reduce conflict with co-workers, friends and family. Others will say they are having problems adjusting to major changes in their life. However, no matter how different their reasons for attending therapy, they all share one goal……….
Typically there are a number of factors that contribute to the experience of anxiety and rarely is there anyone cause. The experience of anxiety differs from person to person depending on their genetics, life, upbringing and unique personality characteristics. Nevertheless, we have come up with the top five anxiety causes listed here.
When we feel anxious it generally means we are worried about something bad happening. There are an infinite number of things that we can be anxious about; such as, spiders, being humiliated, germs or being hurt. In order to simplify things researchers have categorised the worries into six general areas. It is important to remember that everyone has worries and fears! However, when these worries start to impact on your happiness or prevent you from doing things that you enjoy – that’s when they start to become problematic and affect our day-to-day functioning.
There are not many good things about feeling anxious as it generally creates lots of physical anxiety symptoms that cause us much discomfort. Although we may prefer to feel happy; calm, or relaxed, as uncomfortable as anxiety is, anxiety plays a very important role and needs to be uncomfortable in order to give us the push we need to respond to whatever it is our body, mind and/or spirit is not liking about a particular situation.