Anxiety is your body’s reaction to danger or stress. It can be really helpful in some situations, like when you need to jump out of the way of a speeding car. But sometimes, it's like your body thinks you're in danger when you aren't. That's when anxiety can stop you from enjoying life. Learn more about anxiety disorders and getting help below.
Is my anxiety a disorder?
Everyone feels anxious at times. But if your anxiety is impacting your life and changing the way you think, feel, and act, it might be an anxiety disorder. Here are some signs of various anxiety disorders:
- An intense fear of a specific object or situation.
- A fear of embarrassing yourself in public or worry that people are judging you.
- A constant feeling of uneasiness and difficulty relaxing.
- Unpleasant thoughts and feelings about a past traumatic event.
- Repeating certain behaviours like counting or hand washing because it seems to help stop the anxiety.
- Sudden overwhelming feelings of terror that may include a fast heartbeat, difficulty breathing, dizziness, a fear of having a heart attack, or fear that you're going "crazy."
I think I have an anxiety disorder. What can I do?
Anxiety disorders are treatable. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can get back to enjoying life and achieving your goals.
- Counselling: Counsellors or mental health professionals can help you work through the thoughts, emotions, behaviours, and triggers contributing to your anxiety. They can also teach you coping skills.
- Medication: Anti-anxiety medications can be used in combination with counselling to reduce your body’s response to anxiety.
- Support groups: You are not alone. Anxiety disorder support groups are a great way to share your experiences and learn from the experiences of others.
- Self-help: Making small lifestyle changes can reduce your anxiety.
- Get regular exercise.
- Eat well.
- Use relaxation techniques.
- Spend time with friends and family.
- Be spiritually active.
- Avoid coffee, drugs, and alcohol.