You can better understand the nature of anxiety by looking both at what it is and what it is not.  For example, anxiety can be distinguished from fear in several ways.  When you are afraid, your fear is usually directed toward some concrete external object or situations.  The event that you fear is usually within the bounds of possibility.  You might fear not meeting a deadline, failing an exam, being unable to pay your bills, or being rejected by someone you want to please.  When you experience anxiety, on the other hand, you often can't specify what it is you're anxious about.  the focus of anxiety is more internal than external.  It seems to be response to a vague, distant, or even unrecognized danger.  You might be anxious about "losing control" of yourself or some situation.  Or you might feel a vague anxiety about "something bad happening."

Anxiety affects your whole being.  It is a physiological, behavioral and psychological reaction all at once.  On a physiological level, anxiety may include bodily reactions such a rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, queasiness, dry mouth or sweating.   On a behavioral level, it can sabotage your ability to act, express yourself, or deal with certain everyday situations.  Psychologically, anxiety is a subjective state of apprehension and uneasiness.  In its most extreme form, it can cause you to feel detached from yourself and even fearful of dying or going crazy.

Symptoms include: 

* Shortness of breath

* Heart palpitations (rapid or irregular heartbeat)

* Trembling or shaking

* Sweating

* Choking

* Nausea or abdominal distress

* Numbness

* Dizziness or unsteadiness

* Feelings of detachment or being out of touch with yourself

* Hot flashes or chills

* Fear of dying

*Fear of going crazy or out of control

If you find that anxiety is ruling your life, there are many therapists at QC Counselor who would love to work with you to find solutions.  Visit our Staff page for more information.