Monday, July 15, 2013

Anxiety - When is it too much?

It seems that in our day and age, anxiety is as common as a head cold. But it is very important to understand the difference between good anxiety and bad anxiety. Having butterflies and a rush of adrenaline before a big presentation is fine and can actually be a good thing. On the other hand, if you’re having panic attacks on the daily, it might be time to seek some help to get it under control.

I suffer from anxiety and it took me too long to get help for it. Ever since high school I had a problem. But I never understood what it was that I was experiencing and because I kept it to myself it went on for far too long. I was in some serious denial that I even had a problem. Since anxiety and depression go hand in hand, it got way worse before it got better (and still isn’t 100% better yet).

The difference between normal and needing help:

Good anxiety - Big life moments, such as buying your first house, your first car or life insurance plan, can be stressful. Same applies with planning a wedding, having your first child, or even giving your first real presentation at your new job. Anxiety is expected at these moments. Why? Because it keeps us on our toes and makes us think. “Is this the right choice? Am I ready? What’s the risk?” It alerts our minds to the risks and keeps us alert. We were meant to feel certain levels of anxiety. It’s programmed in our DNA. However, we should only feel it at certain times and certainly not every day.

Bad Anxiety - Racing pulse, burning in your chest, trouble breathing and insomnia are signs that your anxiety is too extreme. If you can say this happens to you on a daily basis, then it’s time to look into it. Chronic anxiety can have a huge effect on your overall health: physically and mentally.

Talk to your doctor immediately and see what he suggests. It took me almost a year to figure out the right solution and care for my problem. As hard as I tried to avoid medication as part of the solution, in the end it was necessary and my life has done a complete 180.

On a side note, a low Vitamin B12 count is linked to depression/anxiety so ask your doctor about getting your levels tested. Once my iron and B12 were in check, I noticed a significant increase in my overall health and my anxiety in general. 

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