Everyone experiences some day anxiety. Feeling a little anxiety is quite normal. Anxiety protects us and can help us deal with a disturbing or perhaps dangerous situation. Anxiety is felt as a fear whose cause is difficult to define. This feeling is accompanied by physical symptoms and sometimes also by psychological symptoms.
It is natural to feel some level of anxiety in certain occasions, for example when you are living an important life change such as a marriage or divorce. It is also normal to be anxious the day before an exam, when you are being interviewed for a job or at a sporting event. Anxiety is then linked to particular events and usually disappears as soon as life resumes its normal course.
Anxiety however becomes a problem when:
it does not disappear when the worrying situation returns to normal;
it is not connected with any event of life, that is to say, it appears without reason;
it is so strong that it continually preoccupies the person;
it prevents the person from functioning and acting normally at work, in society or in other areas of daily life.
Here are the most frequent physical symptoms:
heart palpitations (heart beating abnormally fast);
sensation of choking;
hot flushes or, on the contrary, chills;
high blood pressure;
tremors sometimes generalized to the whole body;
tightness and chest pains;
numbness or tingling.
The most frequent psychological symptoms are:
a feeling of anxiety
When should you consult?
Do not wait until you are no longer able to do your usual activities. If you have symptoms, you can consult some organizations and associations working in the field of anxiety disorders. They offer information, help and support.
However, see your family doctor or a mental health professional if you are experiencing the following:
. You suffer to the point where your emotions are preventing you from functioning normally.
. You have difficulty assuming your social, professional or family responsibilities.
A health professional will determine whether you are suffering from anxiety or an anxiety disorder or any other health problem with similar symptoms. In order to evaluate you, he will need to assess your physical or psychological condition. A treatment plan adapted to your needs will then be offered to you.
Source: Government of Québec, 2015