At the moment, there’s around 3 million people (that we know about) severely struggling with anxiety and a whopping 70% of people in the UK say that they have experienced high anxiety in their lives.

But what is anxiety really?  A lot of people talk about it, but it is strange really because when I ask, a lot of people aren’t really sure how to define it.  They can describe how they feel (symptoms), which is fine, but not actually what it is.  So I thought I would rip open the definition here.

Generalised anxiety disorder

Anxiety that is generalized and persistent but not restricted to, or even strongly predominating in, any particular environmental circumstances (i.e. it is “free-floating”). The dominant symptoms are variable but include complaints of persistent nervousness, trembling, muscular tensions, sweating, lightheadedness, palpitations, dizziness, and epigastric discomfort. Fears that the patient or a relative will shortly become ill or have an accident are often expressed.

  • neurosis
  • reaction
  • state

Ref:  International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision

This taken from the Diagnostic Manual used by UK Doctors.  Bear in mind that this is the basic classification that Doctors are looking for with Anxiety.  And if they see these things, this is how they diagnose (worth knowing that this is a short summary of the information available to them, and there is a lot more to it!)

One in six people have a diagnosed Anxiety disorder

Which is all very interesting, and there is much information about this available via Google and Anxiety UK, and various other resources.

Why anxiety is interesting to me

I have never been diagnosed with Anxiety.  Most of the people I work with don’t have a diagnosis of Anxiety.  I do not have time to go to the GP to talk to them about Anxiety, and neither do my clients.

And yet, it is the biggest subject that my I talk about with my clients.

To me Anxiety is worry gone onto overdrive.

It is no longer just worry – which I consider to be a normal part of life – it has become irrational.  Heightened concern for things, others, or ourselves.  Built on our worries, growing out of real things, but becoming blown out of all proportion.

Anxiety is a big deal

Living in the world today is an anxiety provoking experience.  There is a lot to rationally worry about (all man made I might add).  When worry becomes anxiety, a sense of responsibility can set in, feelings of doom or dread, that nothing will change, one isn’t able to control the source of the worry, and this is where symptoms of Anxiety can start to set in.

They can be unnoticeable at first, and then get worse.  Very often we don’t notice until someone else does.  At times the first thing to notice is a full blown panic attack, where we attribute the symptoms to something physical, and can even end up in hospital, via ambulance assuming that we might be dying.  Only to feel embarrassment when told the symptoms are Anxiety.

It’s still a big deal.  Nothing to feel embarrassed about, and yet – there is it is (but that’s a different article – shame).

Anxiety can be chronic and low level.  Going unnoticed for a long period before one figures out what it is; it can feel exhausting.

Physically our senses are on alert, hormones functioning on over-drive, adrenaline over producing, impacting on our adrenal system, this in itself can bring on massive physical changes for us, causing all kinds of problems with different parts of our bodies.

The way I see it…

“Worry is a normal thing that humans do, Anxiety is when it becomes a problem.”

Has reading this post been helpful to you?  Did it make you think of someone who might find it useful?

Please feel free to share with others, via social media or email: #whatcouldbebetter?

Do you experience Anxiety?  Want to change that?  Talk to me