Just worried or anxious?
Being concern over finances, feeling anxious about the upcoming event like interview, social gathering, going to take any examination, speaking in front of unfamiliar faces (public speaking) these are just the few examples which makes us worry or anxious. Then how do we differentiate whether we are just worried or suffering from anxiety? The difference is not very complex. We all worry from time to time and we all worry differently for different matters. Worry is a universal emotion and we feel it especially during periods of heightened stress or uncertainty of the ongoing situations in our lives. Worry is temporary short lived which comes with the stressful situation and as the situation passes away worry also leaves the person. But worries, fears and intrusive thoughts that are intense, extreme, unrealistic, or exaggerated and that interfere with normal life and daily functioning could constitute an anxiety disorder. The person suffering from anxiety disorder starts avoiding the situations which can trigger or heighten the anxiety.
Anxiety affect almost every aspect of life be it from the person’s physical sensation to the capacity of processing different stimulus. Anxiety alters the brain functioning, hormone levels and how the body processes nutrients It changes the way we think, perceive, and process information. (cognitive functioning). Anxiety sometimes causes anhedonia – which is a total loss of the ability to feel pleasure to euphoria and continuous laughing in some cases. That’s because anxiety alters the neurochemicals (Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA and Norepinephrine) associated with mood. Anxiety is occasionally called “The Great Imitator,” due to its ability to mimic other health conditions. Anxiety changes perception, awareness, the way we think, and process information, make the person notice physical sensations that someone without anxiety would never notice. A person suffering from anxiety develops a construct of negative affectivities hence experiences negative feelings such as worry, anxiety, self-criticisms, and a negative self-view.
Nevertheless, if a person is struggling with symptoms of an anxiety disorder it is not uncommon to feel alone and misunderstood. Person suffering from anxiety disorder often come across the suggestions that “there is no reason to worry about it” or that you “should just let it go”. but the person suffering from anxiety disorder is not able to do it so simply because their brain would not let them to do so. This makes the struggle with an anxiety disorder even harder and may prevent one from looking for help. However, it is very important to talk about these anxieties with someone and preferably find a mental health care professional as soon as the anxiety symptoms are experienced.
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