ANXIETY & INSOMNIA
NOT SURE IF ITS ANXIETY OR ADHD?
ANXIOUS SYMPTOMS AFTER TRAUMA
Are you prone to excess worry? Do you feel like your worry is disproportionate to the issue at hand? Anxiety is incredibly common, and along with it are some other challenges you might be living with: post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or phobias.
First, it’s important for us not to vilify anxiety. Anxiety is a normal part of life; it gives us the energy to focus a little harder when studying for that big exam, taking care of a new baby, or in preparing more thoroughly before a high-stakes job interview. But it’s important to distinguish between those times when it gives us a much-needed boost of energy to allow us to circumvent a threat, and those times when the anxiety itself is more real than the supposed threat. In short, anxiety can take on a life of its own if not proactively managed.
Where anxiety becomes a problem in your life is when it takes over the whole show, and actually leads to crippling effects rather than good performance. When it is so overwhelming that you feel paralyzed, or totally panicked.
The “fight, flight, or freeze” nervous system response, aka "stress response," helps our brains and bodies prepare for some perceived danger, up ahead. The problem with anxiety disorders, is that the brain is triggered to initiate a stress response to when there is not imminent danger. Sometimes your brain triggers this response at relatively mundane challenges, like traffic, a move, or starting a new job.
And at other times, your brain starts triggering your stress response when there is no clear reason.
The variety and degree of symptoms are unique to each individual’s history and physiology, but some symptoms are pretty universal (e.g. muscle tension, sweating, rapid heartbeat or breathing, dread, or difficulty sleeping).
— Elyse Gong, Clinical Social Worker in Berkeley, CA