Here, I define anxiety and its symptoms. But never self-diagnose. The symptoms of anxiety are also the symptoms of other conditions, so play safe and visit your doctor. But how do we define anxiety? There are two sets of symptoms: symptoms of anxiety and those of anxiety attacks. The signs of general anxiety are signs that you would be aware of on a daily basis almost. Whilst the symptoms of anxiety attacks (panic attacks) manifest themselves during an attack. Often, folks are only diagnosed with anxiety after suffering an attack.
So how do you define anxiety? General anxiety is a disorder in which the victim is constantly worried or fearful about situations or things that normally would not bother them or others. When this continual anxious state starts to interfere with their social, family and work life, and prevents them functioning in a normal fashion, they may be said to have a General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
General anxiety symptoms are things such as; continual tiredness / exhaustion, inability to relax, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, fear of public places, fear of socializing, frequent feelings of irrational anxiety / fear, compulsive behaviour, worrying about making mistakes, regular nightmares, disturbed sleep patterns, excessive crying, headaches, stomach problems, diarrhea, nausea, aching muscles, and so on.
Symptoms of anxiety attacks are things like; sweating, shaking and tremors, palpitations, shortness of breath, hyperventilating, racing heart beat, tingling in hands and feet, feeling of impending doom, feeling you are having a heart attack. There are more, but these are the usual ones.
These symptoms, more or less, define anxiety but they can also be signs of other problems, so your first port of call has to be your doctor or other health care professional. They will be able to define what your problem is exactly, and propose the appropriate treatment. Since the theme of this article is defining anxiety, we'll assume that your doctor has diagnosed you with anxiety …
Your doctor's first line treatment is usually through drug-based medication; for example antidepressants, anti-anxiety tablets and beta-blockers. These can be very effective, but they all have their side effects, some worse than others. This can tend to put folks off continuing with them. However, no matter how bad you feel, never, ever discontinue treatment unless advised by your doctor to do so.
There are other non-drug therapies which are becoming very popular such as; self-hypnosis, meditation, yoga, cognitive behavioural therapy, counselling, acupuncture, etc. These are therapies to help you 'manage' or 'cope' with your anxiety and / or anxiety attacks.
But what about the underlying cause (s) of anxiety? The two treatment types above focus on either reducing the symptoms of anxiety, or, helping you cope with your disorder. They do not seem to do anything about the underlying condition (s) that are causing your anxiety.
And the very 'fear' of another anxiety attack can bring one on. As long as this irrational fear exists it's very difficult to stop attacks and resolve your general anxiety. If you can eliminate this fear, you can prevent further attacks and get rid of your general anxiety much more effectively.