The purpose of this self-evaluation is to help you organize your symptoms so you can better understand your experience and so you can communicate clearly with your health care providers, such as your physician, acupuncturist, massage therapist, and mental health counselor.
Anxiety is another disorder that may exist in conjunction with emotional or physical pain. As is true of depression, anxiety can range from mild to severe. Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety. People worry about everyday life events and continually fret about their family, work or school, money, or health. They tend to expect that something bad will happen. When the anxiety is severe, it interferes with their daily life, their activities, and their relationships.
Check the symptoms below that you experience on a regular basis.
___ I worry more often than not
___ I experience excessive tension
___ Others say I have an unrealistic view of problems
___ I feel restlessness or edgy
___ I experience irritability
___ I have excessive muscle tension
___ I have frequent headaches
___ I perspire more than others for no apparent reason
___ I have difficulty concentrating
___ I feel nauseous
___ I go to the bathroom frequently
___ I feel tired or fatigued
Several factors can contribute to anxiety, including genetics, brain chemistry, and environmental stresses. Some believe that genetics is often a myth and that our beliefs have a greater influence than our genetics. In the brain, the levels of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that communicate from one cell to another may affect anxiety. Environmental factors such as stress from a job loss or change, relationship issues, financial issues, or loss of a loved one can also create anxiety. Like my clients who suffer from depression, my clients who struggle with anxiety are often focused on the future. Learning to stay in present time has been helpful for many.
___ I tend to worry more days than not
___ I have difficulty controlling the worry
___ I feel restless or on edge
___ I am easily fatigued
___ I have a difficult time concentrating
___ My mind goes blank often
___ I tend to be irritable or others say I am irritable
___ My muscles are tense
___ I have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or have restless sleep
If you have checked several of these, please contact your doctor or a local mental health professional to do further testing.
When assessing possible symptoms of anxiety, it’s also important to assess whether you are consuming caffeine. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate all contain caffeine and may create these symptoms. If you need to stop using caffeine for a time to determine whether it is contributing to your symptoms, you may want to change to a high quality green tea. Green tea has enough caffeine that you probably will not go into withdrawal, but you will be able to assess whether your anxiety is caffeine related. Allow yourself one cup of green tea that is full of anti-oxidants in the morning.
In addition to anxiety, you may suffer from panic attacks. Panic attacks differ from generalized anxiety in that the symptoms are acute, come on quickly, and last for minutes, whereas generalized anxiety can be present for hours, days, weeks, or months. To deal with anxiety, you can find a relaxation mp3 on my website that you can download. A preventive measure for panic attacks is to train your body to be able to move into a relaxed state through meditation, hypnosis, or self-hypnosis.
Panic attacks come on suddenly: you feel terror without warning. These episodes can happen at any time and you may feel as if you are having a heart attack or are going to die. The fear is an overreaction to the current situation, and you feel out of control.
Some symptoms of panic attacks are as follows:
- “Racing” heart
- Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
- Tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers
- Sense of terror, of impending doom or death
- Feeling sweaty or having chills
- Chest pains
- Breathing difficulties
- Feeling a loss of control
Panic attacks usually last less than ten minutes, although some of the symptoms may linger for a while. Although my panic attack was an isolated incident, people who have one panic attack often have them occasionally. If they have them often, it’s known as Panic Disorder.
We are not sure of the cause of Panic Disorder, but changes in life situations can contribute. People who experience anxiety may be more likely to have panic attacks as well. If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, please discuss these symptoms with your doctor.
This preliminary screening test for anxiety symptoms does not replace, in any manner, a formal psychiatric evaluation. It is designed to give a preliminary idea about the presence of symptoms of anxiety.
This is a partial excerpt from my book 12 Weeks to Self-Healing: Transforming Pain through Energy Medicine. In the book you will find several solutions to Self-Healing emotional and physical pain!
© Vesta Enterprises, Press Candess M. Campbell, PhD energymedicinedna.com