Anxiety, at one time or another, is a fact of life. Many people experience feelings of anxiousness when facing stressful situations or important decisions. General anxiety causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event. An Anxiety disorder, however, is a serious mental illness and can interrupt a person’s ability to lead a normal life. For people with anxiety disorders, irrational worry and fear are overpowering and relentless. There are several different anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia.
Symptoms of general anxiety
With general anxiety an individuals may feel anxious most days and have difficulty remembering the last time they felt relaxed. When the person has resolved an anxious thought another often appears related to a different issue. Symptoms may be psychological (mental) and physical and can vary greatly between individuals but may include; feeling restless or worried; difficulty concentrating or sleeping and suffering dizziness or heart palpitations.
Symptoms of general anxiety may vary, but generally include some type of extreme, irrational fear and feelings of dread. Many people with an anxiety disorders also have physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, tension headaches, nausea, or muscle weakness. Anxiety disorders (characterized by at least six months of symptoms) are fairly common, affecting about 18% of the population. A mental health professional can be helpful in dealing with normal feelings of anxiety as well as specific anxiety disorders.
What causes general anxiety?
The exact cause of general anxiety is not completely understood however a combination of factors may be involved which may include having had a history of stressful or traumatic experiences, such as domestic violence, child abuse or bullying or having a history of drug or alcohol misuse as well as a possible imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline, which are involved in the control and regulation of mood.