5 things you should know about anxiety
We’ve all felt anxious at one point in our life or another. Whether that’s been in the lead up to a job interview or giving a speech, we all know how it feels. But imagine feeling like that all the time. This is what anxiety is like.
Having anxiety means having intense feelings of worry that can’t be controlled. People living with anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) or any associated mental health disorder, can experience difficulty living their lives due to the condition. Anxiety can interfere with practical, everyday activities like work, sleep, socialising and studying.
Severe anxiety is part of a group of mental health disorders including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), separation anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Did you know?
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia.
Causes of anxiety
There is no one cause of anxiety. People are likely to experience a combination of life events that might lead to a diagnosis of anxiety. These could include:
- Genetics. People with a family history of anxiety disorders are more likely to have one themselves.
- Brain chemistry. Psychologists widely believe that sometimes a misalignment of electrical signals in people’s brains can cause generalised anxiety disorder and other mental health conditions.
- Life stress. Problems with work, family or intimate relationships can cause stress. If these are ongoing, they can lead to anxiety.
- Withdrawal from substances. Withdrawing from substances, especially recreational drugs, have the potential to intensify the impact of other causes of stress and anxiety. Withdrawal from pain medication, alcohol, or even banned substances, have the ability to increase feelings of sadness already being experienced.
Signs of anxiety
Some common signs and symptoms of anxiety include:
- feeling worried or afraid most of the time
- feeling tense
- feeling agitated or irritable
- feeling detached from your body
- having sleep problems (can’t get to sleep, wake often)
- excessive sweating
- pins and needles
- stomach aches
- problems concentrating
- excessive thirst
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, you should consult your doctor. If you think you may have anxiety, you can take The Black Dog Institute’s Anxiety Self-Test as a first step.
Did you know?
Up to one-third of women and one-fifth of men will experience anxiety at some point in their lives.
A mental health professional, specifically a psychologist, can diagnose anxiety as well as identify possible causes. There are many treatments that can successfully help people with anxiety feel better, so it’s important to seek help to manage the condition to be able to live your life to the fullest.
To receive a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), a person will generally be presenting with at least three ongoing anxiety symptoms in the last six months and experience severe worrying about multiple events or activities in their life.
People living with anxiety
According to Beyond Blue, on any given year over 2 million Australians will have anxiety. Anxiety can affect anyone, at any time. But research has shown that women are more likely to experience anxiety at some point in their life than men.
Getting a job with anxiety
A person with anxiety can definitely find and keep a job. At AimBig Employment, our Job Coaches have experience working with people who have a range of mental health disorders. We will work with you to:
- Build your confidence, resilience and routine
- Help you develop better relationships
- Improve the tasks and activities of daily living
- Attend appointments, social functions and community activities
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