We all feel anxious at times, it’s a normal response when we are in a situation which is stressful, but for some people, sometimes, anxiety becomes so severe that it interferes with their day to day living.
When we become very anxious, almost as if we were in a tight corner, we begin to feel threatened, although we may not know why, it is a feeling of unease, worry, fear, dread.
Fear is a normal response to an active or imagined threat, like going to the dentist, or attending an interview, but sometimes we don’t know why we feel anxious or distressed.
When we are anxious, we may also experience a range of symptoms, these happen because of the bodies’ fight or flight response, which is caused by the release of a stress hormone, adrenaline.
You may have feelings of terror, your skin may be pale or deep red, you may sweat, have a rapid heart beat, a rise in blood pressure, tension in the muscles, trembling or shaking, dryness and tightness of the throat, difficulty in swallowing, pain in the chest and rapid breathing, nausea, feelings of desperation, and may have a strong desire to run and hide, or cry, you may have tingling in the limbs, fear of fainting, or difficulty sleeping, or concentrating, and may feel detached from your body. So feeling anxious can not only affect you emotionally, but it can also mean you experience unpleasant physical symptoms.
If your anxiety arises only in response to a specific situation, it is called situational anxiety, or phobic anxiety. Situational anxiety is different from everyday fear in that it tends to be out of proportion, for example, driving down the motorway, going to the doctor, or taking an exam. Phobic anxiety is when the fear gets so bad, that you start avoiding these things. You actually sensitise yourself to a situation. For example you sensitise yourself to driving down the motorway, and when you think about driving again you think negative distorted thoughts, what if I feel as I did last time, and then you begin to avoid the situation. So what is happening? you are:
These are the three things that keep the phobia going...