Anxiety is the normal human feeling of fear that we all experience when faced with threatening or difficult situations.

But, if these feelings of anxiety are too strong, it can stop us from doing the things we want to do. It can become difficult to control worry. A person can become keyed up, restless and on edge.

Sometimes it is obvious what is making you anxious, changes in life such as: becoming unemployed, changing job, moving house, a new baby, a traumatic event, or relationship breakdown.

Often when the problems is resolved or passed the Anxiety will reduce or go completely.

However, some Anxiety can go on for much longer, and this is when it becomes problematic.

The effects of Anxiety on the mind can include feeling worried all the time, being tired or irritable, sleep disruption and problems with attention or concentration.

The effects of Anxiety on the body can include a racing heart, dizziness, muscle tension, shaking, sweating, indigestion or diarrhoea.

What can you to help yourself with your problems?

We at Wirral Pathfinders have found that the best route to recovery is through Self Help Support. Talking with people who experience similar problems to your own, understand what you are going through and can suggest ways that they have found helpful which may be beneficial to you. It is always easier to talk to somebody who has gone through the same experiences as yourself.

When you are feeling anxious, you often feel like you are ‘going mad’ - You are not ‘going mad’.

The feelings of anxiety and panic attacks can often make you feel like you are going to die - Anxiety and Panic Attacks will not kill you. They may feel uncomfortable and scary, but will not cause you any serious harm.

A Pathfinders Member.

Signs and Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder

  • • Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more days than not for at least six months, about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance)

  • • The person finds it difficult to control the worry

  • • The anxiety and worry are associated with three or more (only one for children) of the following six symptoms, with at least some symptoms present for more days than not for the past six months: restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbance

  • • Anxiety and worry owing to panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and separation anxiety disorder are excluded

  • • ICD, 10th revision (ICD-10)

    • At least four of the symptoms below must also be present (at least one of which is from the first group):

      Autonomic arousal symptoms:

      • Palpitations or pounding heart
      • Accelerated heart rate
      • Sweating
      • Trembling or shaking
      • Dry mouth (not due to medication or dehydration)

      Symptoms involving chest and abdomen:

      • Difficulty breathing
      • Feeling of choking
      • Chest pain or discomfort
      • Nausea or abdominal distress (such as churning in stomach)

      Symptoms involving mental state:

      • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, faint, or light-headed
      • Feeling that objects are unreal (derealisation)
      • Feeling that the self is 'not really here' (depersonalisation)
      • Feeling of losing control, 'going crazy', or passing out
      • Fear of dying

      General symptoms:

      • Hot flushes or cold chills
      • Numbness or tingling sensations
      • Muscle tension or aches and pains
      • Restlessness and inability to relax
      • Feeling keyed up, on edge, or mentally tense

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