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Understanding anxiety

Updated on August 23, 2014


There are a lot of half-truths floating around about anxiety.

Although the term is easily understood, people frequently get the wrong idea of what it is. A lot of people think it’s something to do with ‘nerves’ when in fact it’s a psychological condition.

Anxiety symptoms

  • Feeling apprehensive all the time
  • Weariness
  • Tetchiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problem with focussing on things
  • Palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Sensation of being giddy or faint
  • Upset stomach or diarrhoea 
  • Muscle tension and pains
  • Trembling
  • Breathing heavily

Most people experience a sensation of anxiety sometime during their life. They might feel concerned and anxious about an exam, or medical test, or perhaps a job interview. Feeling occasionally anxious is normal. However, if the feeling of anxiety is constant and affects your day-to-day life, then you have a problem.

Anxiety can impinge on all ages, no matter the sex, religion or social standing. It can be about anything or anyone. Anxiety is a widespread psychological condition, yet unfortunately doctors seem to have a little hole in their collection of cures for it.

Most general practitioners have little training to deal with in-depth psychological matters and are too pushed for time to look into individual patient’s background.

In effect, anxiety is just a single point on a growing yardstick of unease. The scale starts with concern. When concern increases, we call it anxiety. If anxiety escalates, we call it fear. If that fear spirals totally out of control, it is called panic.

The purpose of treatment should be to deal with the anxiety before it intensifies.

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Anxiety and fear

When treated correctly, fear can be cut down to a level that is shared by most people. For instance, it is quite ordinary to have a slight concern about flying, but incorrect to have concern to the point where it is not possible to fly at all.

Anxiety is excessive fear about something that MAY happen at some time in the future. It usually occurs because of some incident or knowledge about some incident that has happened in the past.

Panic symptoms

  • Sudden and overpowering dread
  • Unexplained perspiration
  • Feeling of no control
  • Gulping for air
  • Drumming heartbeat
  • With a bad panic attack, you may feel that you are going to die

Anxiety can go off

One of the significant things, is that anxiety is all about a POTENTIAL event. Since the cognisant psyche cannot see what will happen in the future, it conjures up a potential incident and intensifies the damaging side of it until it becomes stressful.

What is remarkable is that if the nightmare actually happens, the anxiety goes off. When something awful takes place, people typically try to put an end to the condition and experience no anxiety at all whilst doing it.

This is quite significant in the understanding of what is going on.

Anxiety and panic frequently come with:-

  • Sensations of despair
  • Losing your desire for food
  • Considering the future as depressing and without hope.

Anticipation is worse

A sufferer is often aware, at a profound level, that they fear an incident taking place. The anticipation of whether it WILL actually take place can be overwhelming. It is the fear of not knowing that is the real heart of the problem. When people know the ending, there is no anxiety.

Anxiety takes place in the involuntary mind, it keeps asking ‘what if’ questions until there can be no sensible answer.

A lot of people become so used to being anxious that they seem to require it. Some get to a state where they worry about worrying. If things are going in a good way, they worry that it will end.

Self-help for anxiety and panic

  • You can learn relaxation methods from books, CDs and DVDs. Repeated exercises will assist you in relaxing when you want it most.
  • You can read self-help leaflets and books based on cognitive therapy.
  • You may not want to discuss your problem with family – but it can help.
  • Perhaps you can talk to a friend you can confide in. They may have had a similar setback, or know someone who has.
  • Sometimes it’s less difficult to speak to people with similar problems. They appreciate what you are going through and may recommend ways of dealing with it.


The subliminal mind

Some anxieties go away without therapy. The subliminal mind finally acknowledges that the horror is groundless and it goes away. If the fear has continued for more than six months, it is considered chronic and will most likely not go away without help.

Doctors will often recommend tranquillisers for anxiety, and in many cases, this will be enough. In these cases the involuntary mind simply needs a little time to sort out it’s problems.

Often though, psychotherapy will be needed. This could be considered as massage for the brain. Psychotherapy endeavours to find the underlying cause of the anxiety and handle it in a rational manner.

Hypnotherapy might also be used. With help of hypnotherapy, a therapist is able to delve into the inner recesses of the mind to uncover what the root cause of the problem is. Hypnotherapy can also be used to help get over the anxiety with positive suggestions.

Under what might have been a normal state of affairs, anxiety is a problem with a clear-cut treatment. People can handle it themselves. The thing to do is to put the anxiety into scale. It may not be proper to do away with the anxiety, just return it to the degree that most people have.

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Anxiety should be taken seriously

The cause should always be examined or there is a danger the anxiety will occur again. Frequently, simply having a plan, is sufficient to make it controllable.

It’s the most widespread psychological condition, and anxiety should always be taken seriously.

However, it should be regarded as one of those things in life that CAN be resolved, and life CAN be restored to normal.

The author's home is in Xalo, Spain


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    • ajbarnett profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Thank you for the comments, Minnetonka Twin. I'm glad the article was useful.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      4 years ago from Minnesota

      Awesome and useful hub. I know a lot about anxiety as someone with a Master's in Counseling Psychology and a person who has struggled with anxiety all her life. My anxiety was the worst in my mid twenties. I have learned many skills to help ease the anxiety and also take medications when needed. I am sharing this helpful article.

    • ajbarnett profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      You're very kind, Matrixkavi, and so very right in your observations. Most people have someone close, either friends or family who suffers or has suffered.

      There needs to be more understanding about the problem.

    • Matrixkavi profile image


      9 years ago from India

      Sorry for the late reply, ajbarnett. And you are right, doctors prescribe tranquilisers for anxiety, that may seem to be okay for a short time, but the patient will become somewhat addicted to it in the long run. They may even develop insomnia without it. This is actually a serious topic for discussion. Thanks again for this praiseworthy hub

    • ajbarnett profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Thank you Hira.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      very good articla, thanks

    • ajbarnett profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Thank you Elena. Glad you agree. So many people misunderstand this ailment.

    • Elena. profile image


      9 years ago from Madrid

      I enjoyed this, Anthony! You're so right that when disaster actually hits anxiety goes off, anxiety is all about potential! Very well put!

    • ajbarnett profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Costa Blanca, Spain

      Thanks Matrixkavi.

    • Matrixkavi profile image


      9 years ago from India


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