The Real Truth about Anxiety

Dear World

Are we all up to date with the latest most prevalent Mental Health1 condition – ANXIETY?

ADD this to the same category as Depression, which we know has been a plague throughout our world for some time now.

Anxiety affects our day and night.

Anxiety affects every area of our life.

Anxiety does not seem to just go away.

Anxiety is like an internal noise that will not simply shut up and leave.

Anxiety gives us that constant internal jitter and stops any form of true settlement inside our body.

Anxiety seems to be trending, but have we got to the root cause, or are we getting anxious because our Band Aid Solutions are simply not doing the job?

The following extract is taken from our book called The Real Truth about Anxiety.

It is wise to consider what is being presented by the author of this website, who does not have Anxiety on their radar.

What is Anxiety?

Definition

Anxiety is a type of fear usually associated with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future but it can also arise from something happening right now.
Mental Health Foundation (1)

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear that can be mild or severe.

Anxiety is the main symptom of several conditions including:

  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias such as agoraphobia or claustrophobia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) (2)

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Anxiety Disorders are real, serious medical conditions – just as real and serious as physical disorders such as Heart Disease or Diabetes. Anxiety Disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States.

It is a normal part of life to experience occasional Anxiety. (3)

FIRSTLY, are we ALL in agreement with the definition?

Let’s start with this Question – WHAT is our definition of normal these days?

How normalised is Anxiety today in our world because the masses including Social Media influencers and our celebrities are showing symptoms or admitting they suffer with some form of Anxiety?

From the above words given to us by the world wide web – our Internet search tells us Anxiety has some kind of fear, worry, unease, panic, phobia or PTSD.

WHY are we known as the most Intelligent species residing on this planet and yet we have yet to work out how and WHY we have Anxiety Disorders, which are classified as real and serious medical conditions?

WHY are Anxiety Disorders the most common and pervasive as we either suffer with the symptoms or we know someone that has a form of Anxiety?

WHY are we even going there with the throwaway line that Anxiety is a normal part of life and it is ok to experience occasional Anxiety?

What if it is not normal and by accepting this we subscribe to an ‘abnormal’ and buy into that, which means we will never question it again?

Society has made normal much that is not true and natural to our state of being and just because the masses and that means most of us, display symptoms of Anxiety, it does not make it ‘normal’ whereby we suck it up and accept this is how it is.

Everyday Anxiety

  • Worry about paying bills
  • Worry about landing a job
  • Worry about a romantic breakup
  • Worry about important events
  • Embarrassment of self-consciousness in an uncomfortable or awkward social situation.
  • Nerves or sweating before a big test, business presentation, stage performance or other significant event.
  • Realistic fear of a dangerous object, place or situation
  • Anxiety, sadness or difficulty sleeping immediately after a traumatic event

Anxiety Disorder

  • Constant and unsubstantiated worry that causes significant distress and interferes with daily life.
  • Avoiding social situations for fear of being judged, embarrassed or humiliated
  • Seemingly out-of-the-blue panic attacks and the pre-occupation with the fear of having another one.
  • Irrational fear or avoidance of an object, place or situation that poses little or no threat of danger.
  • Recurring nightmares, flashbacks or emotional numbing related to a traumatic event that occurred several months or years before. (3)

Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States.

40 million adults aged 18 and older are affected every year.
(19% of the population).

36.9% suffering from Anxiety receive treatment even though Anxiety Disorders are highly treatable.

Anxiety Disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics brain chemistry, personality and life events. (4)

EVERYDAY ANXIETY
With the current state of our world, there seems to be a 911 of some kind in every country and we simply cannot escape the reality that most are now showing signs of “Everyday Anxiety”.

There seems to be something to be anxious about.

Let us explore and ask some sensible common sense Questions2 on the following topics:

PAYING BILLS
We worry about this and allow the
News and MEDIA to feed us more of the worry, so we literally ingest more of what is going on out there.

Not once do we give ourselves a break from getting caught in all of the noise and frenzy around any cost of living crisis and just actually sit down and look at every detail of our income and outgoings.

What if we went back to pen and paper, good old fashion common sense and looked at our ledger with a magnifying glass? That means we get a Reality Check of what is going on and how much we are bringing in and what is going out in expenditure.

What if we applied the old fashion way of budgeting – only spend what you have and never anymore? Save for what you want and buy only if needed. Save not for a rainy day but because it is sensible to have some monies that may support if it is needed should something unexpected occur.

What if most of us live in this modern day world of 24/7 demand of wanting this, that and the other at the touch of a button called Online Shopping and we forget the consequences that follow?

What if we were never schooled about how to look after our finances, regardless of how much or how little we actually have?

What if we need to sharpen up and get our house in order? That means we need to live within our means and do what it takes to ensure we do not deviate.

What if things are tight but we can manage as we cut back or stop completely all the wastage that we spend on Alcohol1, excess foods which are mainly Junk, subscriptions that are simply to entertain us and all the other distractions we seek to demand to stimulate us including the multiple extravagant Holidays?

What if we stopped buying gifts just because we always do that when in truth it leaves us very short in the money department of our life?

What if we got a second job to get back on track and use the time in-between jobs to rest and prepare our meals, clean our home space and ensure we go for a walk? Before we throw our arms up and refute what has been presented, if this is what it takes to get responsible and support our Foundation then give it a go. Being worried or fretting about the next thing is not going to pay the bills. Fact.

What if we made some foundational movements to take care of our body and that means equip ourselves so we can deal with life, everyday going forward?

What if this website is a whole library of articles that can support to make the sensible adjustments that are needed to live life Another Way to how we have been raised or continue to live?

What if our values need to be reviewed as they may not be true or supportive for us now?

What if our ingrained behaviour of not expressing, sharing or talking about our worries, has not helped and it is time to be vulnerable and get help if it is needed?

What if getting a loan to clear the debts accrued but not making any sensible plans will mean we end up at the same place we were, or even worse financially, as we ignored all the signs that Change was needed?

What if our lack of responsibility when it comes to dealing with our finances is what adds to the worry that we have labelled as “Anxiety”?

What if our constant worry about everyday stuff needs not be there if we take action and not Sit on the Fence hoping it will go away or bury our head in the sand, as the saying goes and ignoring the inevitable?

What if the basic everyday living that this website goes on about is EXACTLY what is needed to eradicate the un-settlement we feel consistently inside us?

SLEEP
Something happens and it is ‘traumatic’ and this means we have difficulty sleeping.

What if BEFORE the actual trauma we experienced, there was already a waywardness with our Sleep routine and sleeping patterns? In other words, we were not going to bed early consistently and we seem to have endless distractions when it was time for sleep.

What if we were simply not equipped to deal with what happened BECAUSE we were not taking deep care of our body and resting when we needed to?

What if we are always on the go and when it comes to the end of the day, we have no regular winding down routine that has NO screen time, Alcohol2 sugar or copious amounts of food and this means we are not equipped the next morning to deal with whatever life presents – in this scenario a traumatic event?

What if our Sleep problems were evident even before the thing that happened added to it and yet we want to make out it was that ‘event’ that gave us the sleep issue?

What if we demand what we want, when we want and do not value Sleep at all and find it rather gets in the way of our entertainment which stimulates us?

What if lying awake at night worrying about something that has not even happened tells us we are not present and in our body, but escaping and this comes from reacting to life and not responding.

What if we are spending money we don’t have on sleep solutions but nothing is working and the anxiousness-ometer is rising daily?

What if responding to life means – get a regular Sleep routine going and stick to it? There is incredible support available as we have under our Sleep category imparted much from our book that would benefit any reader, if they are ready to make some real changes.

WORRY ABOUT LANDING A JOB
We spend endless nights being fed by all kinds of images – what this job is going to do for us and all kinds of expectations that we have, so we set ourselves up.

Deep down we have this internal state of un-ease as we have heavily invested in getting this job that may not even be what we want, but our desperate state loses all sense of reality and we convince ourselves, this is it.

We dread the phone going or we keep obsessively checking our emails to see whether we landed the job, even though we were told they were not going to advise us until next week.

We sit back initially and stop looking for more work as we are sort of convinced we got it and forget this seems to happen to us a lot – where we kick back and relax, take our foot off the acceleration and cruise waiting for a response that we want, all the while living in a constant state of Anxiety as we know there were hundreds of other applicants going for this one same job.

We worry about landing a job, but there is no point and absolutely zero purpose if we stop looking for proper work or even consider 2 jobs as this is what is currently needed to get our butt in gear and get on top of the everyday living costs that seem to be mounting up as the days pass.

We worry about landing the job like it was the only job in the world and our life will be ruined if it does not happen when in reality, none of this nonsense is true, but yet we are almost convinced and the narrative in our head tells us “Its ok, you landed the job”. We then go out on the town or start the early Alcohol1 related celebrations, when we know that this all could go belly up and with that comes the Anxiety.

Worry about landing a job is the story of our life. We compare ourselves with others and we feel the jealousy that they may be ahead of the game and we are not getting anywhere and the Anxiety just seems to follow us through the day and the night. There is no break from the incessant anxiousness we feel, as we have hedged our bets on this one job and forget there are loads more out there and they may even be grander and greater for our evolution, but we don’t entertain that kind of way at looking at this.

We worry about “must have” this job as we have calculated and have a strategy that this job will keep things away like the debt collector and we could then keep going “business as usual” and fingers crossed it will work out. Meanwhile that shudder in the pit of our stomach seems to have no relief and we damn well know that is Anxiety.

What if instead of worrying about landing a job and feeding our Anxiety, we make some other practical movements like taking an honest look at our lifestyle choices and what exactly we are getting up to every single moment in every single day and seeing where sensible changes can be make? In other words, swap the fretting and worrying and replace it with what can be done while the job applications are going on.

What if we can get our house in order and that means deal with the everyday house stuff that needs attending to and if we are holding a job currently, appreciating that and giving it our best every day and not being half hearted, as we plan on landing another job. Leaving our current employer in reaction because of what happened is not going to be a great start to the next one if Anxiety is going to follow.

40 million adults in the U.S. are affected with Anxiety. (5)

This is a very serious statistic and as we all know, by the time we receive the stats the numbers have already changed.

For the record – this number is one nation back in 2017.

So what is the real, true and accurate figure today for this country?

What is the global millions or is it billions affected by Anxiety today?

Some of us will see this as a mere number or we may wake up and realise that Anxiety is going on for the masses and no amount of statistics will give us the real truth because it simply is not possible.

We have access to a number that is 6 years old and if we go by this alone, we are really not getting the reading that the situation has escalated beyond epic proportions and if we need evidence or proof, then do a search for the thousands of news stories telling us we have Anxiety all over the world.

If that doesn’t cut it, take a look around and observe – is anyone steady and if so, for how long and how do they move and live in daily life?

Are these people coping or do they have an internal settlement that equips them to deal with whatever life brings, regardless of how big or small it is?

Each and everyone of us represents the whole world. We are a statistic whether it be for Anxiety or something else. What makes us a statistic for Anxiety is how we live in daily life and what Foundation we have in place that will support our body to be equipped with life in all areas. This is not an overnight Solution or a quick fix type of Band Aid answer. Each step to take deep care of our body and remain Consistent is what will bring the much needed changes, as we cannot ignore what is going on.

ADD to the 40 million, all those under the radar who go undiagnosed or unreported. The real number is most likely to be a lot higher as we all now know Anxiety is on the rise and there are no signs that it’s slowing down.

If 19% of just one nation has an Anxiety epidemic – what is this telling us?

WHY do we have generations of people who are simply not prepared and not equipped to deal with the real life aspects of everyday living that gives rise to a state of anxiousness in the body?

Can we Blame the pandemic or every other thing out there, or is it time to look inside and see how we are running our own show and that means our life every single day?

This website is dedicated to bringing awareness about all matters relating to our true health and well-being. Simple Living Global present Another Way to live that works and is possible for all of us equally.

NEXT –

We are informed that Anxiety Disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors which include life events.

What if we start to get Back to Basics, live in a way that is not the 24/7 online on the go, rushing, life in the Crazy Lane, never taking Sleep seriously?

What if we put a stop to anything and everything that disturbs our internal state of being from just settling down?

In other words, end the Late Nights and boozing which we know does enormous harm to our body and spills over into our home and work life in a never ending pattern of disturbance.

What if anything complex has to go and be replaced with the word SIMPLE?

Read our articles about Simple and Simplicity as it may just start to make some sense.

What if we live life in a way that deeply supports our body and this allows us to simply Get On with It (life) and whatever comes our way or whatever we get thrown in our day is NO BIG DEAL, as we feel more than adequately equipped to deal with it, regardless of what it is – big or small or insignificant to some?

WHY – because we have a supporting Foundation that holds us steady when there is a storm (call it a life event).

Decluttering

Many of those dealing with Anxiety Disorders share experiences online of feeling trapped by the presence of objects.

How do we know when decluttering has crossed the line from normal tidying to something compulsive?

“Clutter can cause extreme Anxiety to the point that they need to get rid of it right away.

The perfectionist mentality would mean that the person has such high expectations as to the standard of tidiness of their environment that they take decluttering to an extreme level – often getting rid of useful items that they may require later or even throwing away gifts.

Warning signs include when the individual experiences excessive Anxiety and their quality of life is affected, when they are consumed by feeling of guilt at the amount of their possessions or they believe that something negative is attached to that item.”
Lorna Mograby – Psychologist, Counselling Directory (6)

Ataxophobia is an extreme, irrational fear of disorder or untidiness.

People with Ataxophobia feel intense distress in untidy settings. They may experience Anxiety just thinking about being in a situation where disorder or messiness surrounds them. (7)

Chaos breeds Anxiety and can lead to a lack of direction and Focus. (8)

CHAOS BREEDS ANXIETY AND CAN LEAD TO A LACK OF DIRECTION AND FOCUS.

Let’s go to town on this one bold sentence…

CHAOS – it would be wise to read our blog coming soon about Chaos as it is very relatable to Real life and how we live.

For now, if we have read that Chaos Breeds Anxiety, would it be worth considering where in our life we do have chaos?

Does chaos seem to follow us around like some bad smell?

Do we ignore the chaos we live in everyday as we would rather distract ourselves with the next numbing self-medication that takes away what we don’t want to deal with?

Are we aware that we actually created the chaos and it did not just appear one day on our doorstep?

Are we ignoring the messy footsteps that we seem to leave everywhere and then complain our life has chaos?

Are we adding to the chaos by not taking responsibility to deal with everyday life and could this be adding or “breeding” Anxiety within us?

Everything matters and as much as we want to ignore, deny, refute or dismiss this, it remains and always will.

We as a world have become too loose with our wayward “Getting Away with It” behaviours and expect things to Change by applying what we see on Social Media or what we search on the Internet as a short term “fix it” remedy.

It is high time we all receive the 911 wake up call that reminds us we have a serious dis-order in the Mental Health2 arena called Anxiety and it seems to be widespread.

Just because the world and its brothers have Anxiety does NOT make it normal. The problem we have today is the majority say nothing, Do Nothing and simply accept things BECAUSE we have normalised the abnormal. YES, you read correctly – Anxiety is the abnormal to how we can truly live human life.

Next – continuing on the same sentence, we have established that Chaos Breeds Anxiety and the above commentary is worth pondering on…

We now know that chaos can lead to a lack of direction and that means we are not on Track, getting on with it or having any purpose in our movements. Simple.

Chaos tells us things are upside down, all over the place and there is no proper Routine, rhythm or any kind of order or Flow in our day, as we lack the direction of what is needed NEXT.

Is this making sense?

This means that we created the chaos and so we equally have the ability to Change things and get back on track with clear direction on what it is we need to do next…

This leads on to FOCUS.
A must read is our article on this website called
FOCUS as the author presents in their usual no nonsense, straight talk style of Saying it as it is – take it or leave it.

We know that chaos brings lack of Focus and that of course means lack of direction, so now what?

Where do we start and how do we bring about real true lasting Change?

This website does not hold back or pander to any reader, nor is it looking for more traffic or subscriptions. That was never a goal and never will be. Those who seek awareness and are making a call that they want something different will find this website when they are ready for real Truth and that means taking Responsibility.

What if we nailed our chaos ways of living and moving in every day life and locked in a true and deeply caring Foundation (another article well worth reading) that would support us to have meaning and purpose even in the small everyday taking care of ourselves tasks?

What if our approach to life needs to Change and how we attend to all aspects of life, so that there is an ease and Simplicity?

What if distracting and stimulating ourselves has consequences and one of them is a deep level of Anxiety that we simply cannot shake off overnight?

Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterised by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. People with GAD may anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about money, health, Family, work or other issues. Individuals with GAD find it difficult to control their worry. They may worry more than seems warranted about actual events or may expect the worse even when there is no apparent reason to concern.

GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least 6 months and has 3 or more symptoms. This differentiates GAD from worry that may be specific to a set stressor or for a more limited period of time.

6.8 million adults affected by General Anxiety Disorder in any given year in the U.S.

Women are twice as likely to be affected (9)

The disorder comes on gradually and can begin across the life cycle, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age. Although the exact cause of GAD is unknown, there is evidence that biological factors, Family background and life experiences, particularly stressful ones, play a role.

Sometimes, the thought of getting through the day produces Anxiety. People with GAD do not know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realise that their Anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants.

All Anxiety Disorders may relate to a difficulty tolerating uncertainly and therefore many people with GAD try to plan or control situations. Many people believe worry prevents bad things from happening so they view it is risky to give up worry. At times, people can struggle with physical symptoms such as stomach aches and Headaches.

When their Anxiety level is mild to moderate or with treatment, people with GAD can function socially, have full and meaningful lives and be gainfully employed. Many with General Anxiety Disorder may avoid situations because they have the disorder or they may not take advantage of opportunities due to their worry (social situations, travel, promotions, etc).

Some have difficulty carrying out the simplest daily activities when their Anxiety is severe. (9)

Headaches

Headaches can be a common symptom and sometimes a good indicator of an Anxiety Disorder, particularly GAD – Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

Chronic co-occuring Headaches can make functioning even more difficult for someone with an Anxiety Disorder. (10)

Migraine and Anxiety Disorders

Researchers have suggested that a common pre-disposition to Anxiety Disorders, Depression and Migraines may exist. Migraines and Chronic Daily Headaches are common in people who suffer from Anxiety Disorders.

According to a study in 2009, Migraine headaches can precede the onset of mental disorders. Researchers found some participants in the study had migraines and a variety of disorders:

  • Major Depression
  • General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Dysthymia*
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Panic Attacks
  • Panic Disorder
  • Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Agoraphobia
  • Simple Phobia (10)

*Dysthymia is a long lasting milder form of Depression (11)

Many studies have found that people with GAD and panic disorder in particular experience Migraines or other types of Headaches.

People with a co-occurring Anxiety Disorder and Migraines have an increased likelihood of experiencing major Depression.

40% of patients with Migraine experience Depression. (10)

Effects of Anxiety on our Body

  • Churning feeling in the stomach
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Pins and needles
  • Feeling restless or unable to sit still
  • Headaches, backache or other aches and pains
  • Faster breathing
  • Fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat
  • Sweating or hot flushes
  • Sleep problems
  • Grinding your teeth, especially at night
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Needing the Toilet more or less often
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Having panic attacks

Other Effects of Anxiety

Anxiety symptoms can last for a long time, or come and go.
Some find difficulty with day to day parts of life, including:

  • Looking after ourselves
  • Holding down a job
  • Forming or maintaining relationships
  • Trying new things
  • Enjoying leisure time

Anxiety can also have a serious impact on our ability to work.

Real life quotes from MIND (Mental Health Charity UK)

I could feel all these physical symptoms building inside me, literally filling every part of my body until I felt completely light-headed and disembodied. 

I constantly thought I was dying of undiagnosed illnesses, because I was convinced that the physical symptoms were too bad to be ‘just anxiety’. (12)

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are a type of fear response.

During a panic attack, physical symptoms can build up very quickly. These include:

  • Pounding or racing heartbeat
  • Feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
  • Feeling very hot or very cold
  • Sweating, trembling or shaking
  • Nausea (feeling sick)
  • Pain in chest or abdomen
  • Struggling to breathe or feeling like you are choking
  • Feeling like your legs are shaky or are turning to jelly
  • Feeling disconnected from the mind, body or surroundings, which are types of dissociation. (13)

Difference Between Stress and Anxiety

There is a fine line between Stress and Anxiety.

Both are emotional responses but Stress is typically caused by an external trigger. The trigger can be short-term, such as a work deadline or a fight with someone in a close relationship or it can be long term, such as being unable to work, discrimination or chronic illness.

Stress can bring on mental and physical symptoms, such as irritability, anger, fatigue, muscle pain, digestive troubles and difficulty sleeping.

Anxiety is defined by persistent, excessive worries that do not go away even in the absence of a stressor. Anxiety leads to a nearly identical set of symptoms as Stress:

  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Tension
  • Irritability (14)

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of GAD include:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Being irritable
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomach aches or unexplained pains
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having Sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep

Panic Disorder

People with panic disorder have frequent and unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear, discomfort or sense of losing control even when there is no clear danger or trigger. Not everyone who experiences a panic attack will develop panic disorder.

During a panic attack, a person may experience:

  • Pounding or racing Heart
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or tingling
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Feelings of being out of control

People with panic disorder often worry about when the next attack will happen and actively try to prevent future attacks by avoiding places, situations or behaviours they associate with panic attacks. Panic attacks can occur as frequently as several times a day or as rarely as a few times a year.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. For people with Social Anxiety Disorder, the fear of social situations may feel so intense that it seems beyond their control. For some people, this fear may get in the way of going to work, attending school or doing everyday things.

People with Social Anxiety Disorder may experience:

  • Blushing, sweating or trembling
  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Stomach aches
  • Rigid body posture or speaking with an overly soft voice
  • Difficulty making eye contact or being around people they do not know
  • Feelings of self-consciousness or fear that people will judge them negatively

Phobia-Related Disorders

A phobia is an intense fear of or aversion to specific objects of situations. Although it can be realistic to be anxious in some circumstances, the fear people with phobias feel is out of proportion to the actual danger caused by the situation or object.

People with a phobia:

  • May have an irrational or excessive worry about encountering the feared object of situation.
  • Take active steps to avoid the feared object or situation
  • Experience immediate intense Anxiety upon encountering the feared object of situation.
  • Endure unavoidable objects and situations with intense Anxiety

There are several types of phobia and phobia-related disorders:

Specific Phobias (sometimes called simple phobias)

Intense fear of, or feel intense Anxiety about, specific types of objects or situations. Some examples of specific phobias include the fear of:

  • Flying
  • Heights
  • Specific animals, such as spiders, dogs or snakes
  • Receiving injections
  • Blood

Social Anxiety Disorder

Previously called social phobia, people with Social Anxiety Disorder have a general intense fear of, or Anxiety toward, social or performance situations. They worry that actions or behaviours associated with the Anxiety will be negatively evaluated by others, leading them to feel embarrassed. This worry often causes people with Social Anxiety to avoid social situations. Social Anxiety Disorder can manifest in a range of situations, such as within the workplace or the school environment. (15)

Social Anxiety Disorder – more than just Shyness.

Signs and Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder

When having to perform in front of or be around others, people with Social Anxiety Disorder may:

  • Blush, sweat or tremble
  • Have a rapid heart rate
  • Feel their “mind going blank” or feel sick to their stomach
  • Have a rigid body posture or speak with an overly soft voice
  • Find it difficult to make eye contact, be around people they don’t know or talk to people in social situations, even when they want to.
  • Feel self-consciousness or fear that people will judge them negatively
  • Avoid places where there are other people (16)

Research Study

Social Anxiety Disorder had the strongest association with Alcohol2Use Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder predicted Alcohol Use Disorder over and above the effect of other Anxiety Disorders.

Social Anxiety Disorder was prospectively associated with Alcohol Use Disorder, whereas other Anxiety Disorders were not. Alcohol Use Disorder was associated with a slightly elevated risk of later Anxiety Disorders other than Social Anxiety Disorder.

Conclusions

Unlike other Anxiety Disorders, Social Anxiety Disorder plausibly has a direct effect on Alcohol Use Disorder. Interventions aimed at prevention or treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder may have an additional beneficial effect of preventing Alcohol Use Disorder, whereas interventions aimed at other Anxiety Disorders are unlikely to have a similar sequential effect on Alcohol Use Disorder. (17)

12.1% U.S. adults experience Social Anxiety Disorder at some time in their life

Past year prevalence of Social Anxiety Disorder higher for female adults

9.1% adolescents aged 13 to 18 had Social Anxiety Disorder and higher for females (18)

Agoraphobia

Intense fear or 2 or more of the following situations:

  • Using public transportation
  • Being in open spaces
  • Being in enclosed spaces
  • Standing in line or being in a crowd
  • Being outside of the home alone

People with agoraphobia often avoid these situations, in part because they think being able to leave might be difficult or impossible in the event they have panic-like reactions or other embarrassing symptoms. In the most severe form of agoraphobia, an individual can become housebound.

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Separation Anxiety is often thought of as something that only children deal with. However, adults can also be diagnosed with Separation Anxiety Disorder. They fear being away from people they are close to. They often worry that something bad might happen to their loved ones while they are not together. This fear makes them avoid being alone or away from their loved ones. They may have bad dreams about being separated or feel unwell when separation is about to happen.

Selective Mutism

A rare disorder associated with Anxiety. Selective Mutism occurs when people fail to speak in specific social situations despite having normal language skills. Selective mutism usually occurs before the age of 5 and is often associated with extreme shyness, fear of social embarrassment, compulsive traits, withdrawal, clinging behaviour and temper tantrums.

People diagnosed with Selective Mutism are often also diagnosed with other Anxiety Disorders. (15)

Risk Factors for Anxiety

Researchers are finding that both genetic and environment factors contribute to the risk of developing an Anxiety Disorder.

The risk factors for each type of Anxiety Disorder vary. However, some general risk factors include:

  • Shyness or feeling distressed or nervous in new situations in childhood
  • Exposure to stressful and negative life or environmental events
  • A history of Anxiety or other mental disorders in biological relatives

Anxiety symptoms can be produced or aggravated by:

  • Some physical health conditions, such as thyroid problems or Heart arrhythmia
  • Caffeine or other substances/medications (15)

Child Anxiety

According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), the average age for and Anxiety diagnosis in children is between 4 and 8 years old. This often coincides with the time a child starts school. But this is not the only time a child might develop Anxiety symptoms.

A younger child might not know how to express their emotions. An older child might feel you won’t understand them, even if they tried to explain. This is natural and not uncommon.

  • Common Anxiety Disorders in children include:
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Specific Phobias
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Selective Mutism
  • Separation Anxiety

Some children will develop symptoms of one or more Anxiety Disorders but it does not mean that they have the condition. If the symptoms are temporary, it is likely not an Anxiety Disorder.

In general, symptoms of Anxiety in children may include:

  • Bed-wetting
  • Needing constant reassurance
  • Complaining of a stomach ache or other pains, particularly before specific activities or events.
  • Avoiding everyday situations, like school or social events
  • Difficulty eating or sleeping
  • Tearfulness without reason
  • Clinginess (especially if this is a new behaviour in the child)
  • Angry outbursts
  • Being fidgety or unable to rest
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty doing chores or schoolwork
  • Physical symptoms like shaking or flushing

These symptoms may or may not be part of an Anxiety Disorder. (19)

What if bed wetting tells us Anxiety is linked to the bladder and we have yet to join the dots and come to this Dear World?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Children and teenagers with GAD may experience persistent and severe worries about no specific situation or issue. These concerns are mostly about themselves and how they perform in life.

Anxiety symptoms can arise suddenly and without an apparent reason, from school activities to family reunions to a friend’s party.

Symptoms of Generalised Anxiety Disorder in children and teenagers can include:

  • Avoiding new situations altogether
  • Worrying about the future in an unrealistic way (for example – worrying about failing school even if performing well, or worrying about the sudden death of a loved one even if they are healthy).
  • Intense and excessive concern about everyday things that concern them
    (for example – schoolwork or sports performance).
  • Self-consciousness
  • Fear of rejection and worrying about not meeting other people’s expectations, which in some instances can look like people pleasing.
  • A constant need for reassurance
  • Irritability, restlessness and trouble concentrating
  • Frequent pains and aches without any apparent reason

Social Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder in children and teenagers can include fear of being rejected and feeling embarrassed in front of others.

A child or teenager might appear overly concerned about what others think or say about them.

For example –
They could look anxious or nervous about social situations with adults or other children, like at birthday parties or school.

A child might also develop a fear of talking to others, meeting new people or even “being there” in front of others.

Other symptoms of Social Anxiety in children may include:

  • Shaking, sweating, wetting themselves, flushing or gasping for air when in social situations.
  • Avoiding all social situations, including school
  • Clinging to parents or loved ones during social events or when out and about
  • Being extremely quiet or silent, particularly when addressed
  • Fear of public speaking or performance (like playing in front of others)
  • Concern about how they look (19)

The above is a small introduction taken from our ever growing book about Anxiety.

To summarise for now…there is more to consider.

Before we seek the next remedy, the treatment, the Solution, the book, the gadget or the self medication to suit us, we need to take a proper STOP moment.

What if we are bouncing around in reaction to what we want eradicated from our body because we hate being in this constant  debilitating state of being, as it holds so much tension?

What if we need a big dose of Honesty and a Reality Check that our ‘go to’ methods are simply not working or doing the job and it’s high time we got Real and get to the root cause of how and why we are at this point in our life where Anxiety well and truly runs our show?

What if responding is totally the opposite to reacting when it comes to attending to all aspects of life and that includes our ill called Anxiety?

What if we seek relief as that’s as far as we want to go and so we find all kinds of suppliers for our “Band Aid to bullet wound” requests, but its short lived and we know it will not last but it’s about as much as we ask for, as this taking Responsibility thing does not bode well for us?

What if when we go looking for relief and we are in the reaction of “I want this to go away and never come back” we were not in a true settled state genuinely seeking help and so we find what we are looking for, but it will not offer any real and lasting Change?

What if our self-medication relief therapies that we seek out may offer some kind of calmness or relaxation, but it does not last and we sense that Anxiety soon after?

What if our relief seeking relaxed state is achieved and we are convinced our symptoms have disappeared but they are just simply buried deeper because the top layer is now calm and not anxious?

If we do not Question with What If, we are left to join the masses on the bandwagon of ‘Everyone has it’ or the latest, which is ‘A bit of Anxiety is good for us’ and it is these throwaway lines that could be damaging us more than we realise.

What if going into our mind with relaxation techniques could be more damaging than anxiousness because our body reacts and knows something is not right with those Anxiety symptoms, like it is under some kind of threat/attack but when we feel lovely and calm, relaxed and blissful, we think it’s all sorted as we compare it to the frantic anxious state we had before?

ALL the above is worth considering and not just dismissing because as a world we have a global modern day plague called Anxiety and we are throwing everything at it and nothing seems to be working.

It is time to ask “Is There Another Way?” and what are those that live Anxiety free saying to us as their bodies may hold the answers.

Have we really got the time to waste and search for answers to our anxiousness or can we be open to what another is saying whose life does not have an ounce of Anxiety on the radar?

Much more will be included in our book including chapters on –

  • Global Statistics on Anxiety
  • Treatments
  • Medication and Side Effects
  • Benzodiazepines

 

 

References

(1) Anxiety: Statistics. Mental Health Foundation. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/explore-mental-health/statistics/anxiety-statistics

(2) (2022, June 24). Anxiety NHS 111 Wales. Retrieved 9 July 2023 from
https://111.wales.nhs.uk/encyclopaedia/a/article/anxiety

(3) (n.d). What Are Anxiety and Depression? Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety

(4) Anxiety Disorders – Facts & Statistics. Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics

(5) (2017, December). Anxiety Disorders. National Alliance on Mental Health. Retrieved August 12, 2023 from
https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Anxiety-Disorders

(6) Scott, E. (2019, April 11). What Happens When Decluttering Becomes an Obsession? Metro. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/11/decluttering-becomes-obsession-people-throw-everything-away-9149493/

(7) (2021, November 18). Ataxophobia (Fear of Untidiness or Disorder). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved July 20, 2023 from
https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22084-ataxophobia

(8) Klosky, J. (2020, May 4). 9 Things You May Not Realize Are Causing You Anxiety. Entrepreneur. Retrieved July 29, 2023 from
https://www.entrepreneur.com/growing-a-business/9-things-you-may-not-realize-are-causing-you-anxiety/350100

(9) (n.d). Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/generalized-anxiety-disorder-gad  

(10) (n.d). Headaches. Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/headaches 

(11) (n.d). Dysthymia. John Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved July 11, 2023 from
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/dysthymia 

(12) (2021, February). Anxiety and Panic Attacks. MIND. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/symptoms/ 

(13) (2021, February). Anxiety and Panic Attacks. MIND. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/panic-attacks/ 

(14) (2022, February 14). What’s the Difference Between Stress and Anxiety? American Psychological Association. Retrieved July 7, 2023 from
https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/anxiety-difference 

(15) (2023, April). Anxiety Disorders. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved July 11, 2023 from
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders  

(16) (2022). Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Shyness. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved July 9, 2023 from
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness

(17) Torvik, F.A., Rosenström, T.H., Gustavson, K., Ystrom, E., Kendler. K.S., Bramness, J.G., Czajkowski, N., & Reichborn-Kjennerud, T. (2019, March 5). Explaining the Association Between Anxiety Disorders and Alcohol Use Disorder: A Twin Study. Wiley Online Library.  Retrieved 9 July 2023 from
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/da.22886  

(18) (n.d). Social Anxiety Disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved 9 July 2023 from
https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/social-anxiety-disorder  

(19) Ferguson, S., & Silva Casabianca, S. (2021, May 5). Common Symptoms of Anxiety in Children. PsychCentral. Retrieved 7 July 2023 from
https://psychcentral.com/anxiety/symptoms-anxiety-children-teens  

 

 

 

 

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Comments 1

  1. What message are we sending out to the general public when we have a ‘dazzling career’ – a young actress with both parents famous actors and a multi-millionaire partner who is famous in the music industry suffers Anxiety to the point they need 10 to 14 hours sleep a night, 2 sessions of meditation a day, hot baths and pilates and weight training 5 x a week.

    Most young people idolise celebrities and the majority have no awareness or understanding of how they are living really – the daily living every day despite the fame and fortune that comes with that.

    We could say the media exaggerate or this is all made up, but there are now enough stories out there that confirm life is not as great as a social media account may display or the red carpet award ceremony may show.

    What is going on when we have something so grand that others would love that kind of life yet we are suffering just like many other ‘normal’ ordinary people doing a non-glam job? Is this telling us that no amount of status, job title or accolade is equipping us to deal with something like Anxiety and it seems that our solutions are not working and our quick fix ways are not really cutting it at the root?

    When are we going to question further why and how anyone develops Anxiety in the first place?

    Where does it come from and how can we knock it out so we are not waking up every single day with that deep shudder that seems to be subtle, or disappears with our list of self medication?

    Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, drugs, distractions anyone?

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