Anxiety is a specific type of stress which has become more and more common in the past few years. People live their lives in a hurried, anxious, and tense way because of these hectic changing times, and have a hard time relaxing.

Which symptoms indicate anxiety or an anxiety disorder?

Anxiety is first of all indicated by an anxious feeling, the suffocating, paralyzing feeling that you cannot do anything anymore and that you want to postpone or avoid everything. Except for this feeling, heart palpitations are also common, as well as a tingling feeling in the limbs or at the corners of the mouth; even a hazy, absent feeling is sometimes present. Anxious people often describe it as if they are no longer inside the world, but instead experience it from the outside. They often say that this is a surreal feeling.

Anxiety as a tool to avoid danger

Anxiety can be a useful feeling which warns us for danger which needs to be avoided. This makes it so that we will act in such a way that it is possible to avoid the danger. This coul save our lives and therefore it is a useful feeling in itself.

Fear of fear

Anxiety, however, becomes problematic when one starts fearing the fear. Then you get anxious because you might feel anxiety in a certain situation. As a result you start avoiding things which are not actually dangerous. This creates unhealthy avoidance behavior which can start to dominate your life. When this happens, you ought to take action, for example by following an online self-help program or by getting a different type of therapy or treatment.

How do you test if you have anxiety?

Anxiety can easily be measured via our online anxiety test. Do the self-test now. You will get three indicators which will show your anxiety scores. It is best to repeat this test after a few weeks to see if your scores have improved.

Paul Koeck, MD.