A few years back, I started experiencing stabbing pains in my chest most nights when I went to bed. As you can imagine, my mind immediately jumped to all sorts of conclusions, all related to heart or lung diseases (especially after I went on Web MD – not a good call!). After many tests with my GP, it turns out I was suffering from mild anxiety.
I like to consider myself a chilled out gal, and as a 20-year-old uni student my life was pretty damn cruisy so I was surprised with this diagnosis! As it turns out, my anxiety was linked to my uni work – the more I had piling up, the worse my chest pains were. As someone who never thought they would suffer from anxiety, the whole experience really opened my eyes to the condition and the fact that anyone can be susceptible. Recently I spoke to Madeline Fedorova, creator of the app Anxiety Reliever to learn more about anxiety including the signs, symptoms and its manifestations. Here’s what I found out…
What is anxiety?
Madeline describes anxiety as “a strong feeling of fear or panic”. Everyone can suffer from these feelings in relation to a particular situation, especially when pressure or stress is involved. However, when the feelings of fear and panic continue to persist, in the absence of stress or pressure, this is when the condition is considered a clinical disorder rather than a temporary case.
beyondblue lists the six most prevalent types of anxiety:
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social phobia
- Specific phobias
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
The symptoms of anxiety are many and varied however Madeline gives us a rundown of the most common ones:
- Overwhelming panic and/or fear
- Heart palpitations
- Shaking or trembling
- Trouble sleeping or resting
- Irrational fears
- Muscle tension
- Excessive sweating
The type of treatment you receive for anxiety will depend on the severity of your case as well as the type of anxiety you’re suffering from. Madeline says the most important step is understanding you’re not alone and also that the process for overcoming anxiety is not an overnight fix but rather, a “healing process”. There are psychological and medical treatments available for those suffering from severe anxiety disorders. Joining support groups, speaking to family and friends and undergoing relaxation training such as meditation can treat milder forms of anxiety. Madeline created her health and wellness app as an anxiety sufferer and is not a medical professional. It’s important to always see your doctor or a licensed mental health professional if you think you’re suffering from anxiety.
If you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, call beyondblue on 1300 224 636.
Have you ever suffered from anxiety? How did you overcome it?