Monday, March 24, 2008

"Now What's On The Worry"

When our anxiety is a result of a continuing problem, such as money difficulties, we call it worry, if it is a sudden response to an immediate threat, like looking over a cliff or being confronted with an angry dog, we call it fear.

Normally, both fear and anxiety can be helpful, helping us to avoid dangerous situations, making us alert and giving us the motivation to deal with problems.

However, if the feelings become too strong or go for too long, they can stop us from doing the things we want to and can make our lives miserable.

A person with a phobia has intense symptoms of anxiety, but they only arise from time to time in the particular situations that frighten them.

About one in every ten people will have troublesome anxiety or phobias at some point in their lives. However, most will not ask for treatment.


Some of us seem to be born with a tendency to be anxious - research suggest that it can be inherited through our genes. However, even people who are not naturally anxious can become anxious if they are put under enough pressure.

Sometimes it is obvious what causes anxiety. When the problem disappears, so does the anxiety. However, there are some circumstances that are so upsetting and threatening that the anxiety they cause can go on long after the event. These are usually life threatening situations like car crashes, train crashes or fires. The people involved can feel nervous and anxious for months or years after the event, even if they have been physically unharmed.

Talking about the problem, This can help when the anxiety comes from recent stressors, like spouse leaving, a child becoming ill or losing a job. Who should we talk to? Try friends or relatives who you trust, whose opinions you respect, and who are good listeners. They may have had the same problem themselves, or know someone else who has. As well as having the chance to talk, we may be able to find out how other people have coped with a similar problem.

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