What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is an emotion which usually involves an element of worry and fear. It is a state of mind but can also affect our thoughts, behaviours, and physical reactions in our body.  Although anxiety can be unpleasant, it is actually an evolutionary survival mechanism.  When we find ourselves in dangerous or stressful situations, anxiety helps us by preparing our body to either run away or fight back.  This is known as the ‘fight or flight response’. 

Although anxiety exists for good reason, sometimes it can start to become a problem when the ‘fight or flight response’ kicks in even when there is no real imminent danger.  This activation of the ‘fight or flight’ response can be thought of as a faulty misfiring.

What causes Anxiety?

Anxiety can be caused by psychological reasons or because of side effects of other medications.  Illicit drugs like methamphetamines and alcohol can also cause or increase anxiety. 

What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety?

You may be experiencing anxiety if you have any of the following symptoms

  • You frequently feel as though something awful is going to happen
  • You feel as though you will not be able to cope
  • You worry that you won’t be able to do things right
  • You worry or are afraid of what others may think of you
  • You feel as though you need to escape situations and feel irritable when you can’t
  • You avoid situations
  • You are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
  • You’re consuming more alcohol than normal
  • You are under or over eating

If you think you or a loved one, may be experiencing anxiety give us a call or contact your family doctor for help

Is Anxiety Treatable?

Yes. Medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy) are very effective for most people with anxiety. Your doctor or psychiatrist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms. However, many people with anxiety also benefit from seeing a psychologist or other mental health professional.  

Anxiety can be treated with any of the following: 

  • Psychotherapy/talk therapy 
  • Benzodiazepine class of medications – short term use 
  • Mindfulness techniques