You’ve probably heard someone say that they have anxiety, or that they feel anxious . And, although at first glance these two statements may seem the same to you, they are far from it. While feeling anxious at times can be positive, because it is considered a defense mechanism, feeling anxiety in situations where this is not necessary is considered a psychological disorder.

Anxiety is a response to an external fear, an alert system that practically all living beings have and, of course, human beings. It is normal to feel anxious in times of stress, be it before an exam, before a job interview, or in any situation in which we feel in danger. However, if there is no real danger, if there is nothing that can produce this fear, this anxiety leads us to paralyze ourselves. It incapacitates us, restricts us and does not allow us to relate properly to our environment. It is very difficult to relate in situations of anxiety, because even though that fear is not real, the person feels it as such.

Anxiety is a natural reaction of people

What we know as anxiety is, therefore, a totally natural and even positive emotion. And it is that feeling that we are in danger leads us to seek safety and, therefore, to stay safe. But pathological anxiety, known as a disorder, occurs when that danger that is conceived as real is not.

Pathological anxiety can occur in many different ways , depending on the person who suffers from it, and it can become a real problem if you do not go to a professional to treat it. It is usually reflected in both physical and mental symptoms; The person may notice from tachycardia to palpitations, through nausea, a feeling of dizziness and even sleep disturbances. In the psychological field, you will notice a constant feeling of danger, a desire to flee, depersonalization and great difficulty when making decisions. That could lead you to behave impulsively, to not being able to stop moving, or even to block completely. And it is that the symptoms of anxiety are very varied, and it depends a lot on the person that it occurs in one way or another.

But why does anxiety occur? Again, each person will feel that anxiety appears at specific times when they feel most vulnerable. For example, a person who feels insecure with himself and does not want to speak in public, or simply interact with many people, will feel anxiety and panic to interact with strangers, or little known. But anxiety can also be caused by stressful situations , in which everything seems to go too fast and you hardly have time to think about what is happening.

When a person is excessively perfectionist, when he does not allow himself to fail under any circumstances, this can end up generating generalized anxiety. Because by not wanting to fail, you end up not even allowing yourself a break , and this can cause you a feeling of anxiety in which the fear of making a mistake is too great. We must not forget that, above all, we are people, and as such it is logical that from time to time we make mistakes. It is not bad to want to rest at some point, to want to disconnect from work and obligations.

Anxiety can also be caused by biological factors , perhaps even genetic, or by the environment in which the person grew up. It is important to know what is causing this anxiety, and why it occurs at what times; For that, the best thing is for an expert to help us analyze ourselves. Factors such as being afraid of one’s own fear are those that favor this anxiety to be maintained in the long term, and it is much more difficult to eliminate it. Learning that being afraid is just one more phase of life is also essential for our development as people.

Not everything is negative in anxiety

Although generalized anxiety is a disorder and, as such, it carries many complications , not everything has to be negative in these situations. Because really anxiety is an alert system that all living beings have, and that is very useful to protect ourselves in according to what circumstances; Completely eliminating this feeling is not only impossible, it is also strongly discouraged. The key is to know that there are times when it can help us, and times when it is better to let go of it.

Of course, this is not easy. To treat anxiety it is necessary to have the help of a professional , since no one better than a psychologist (sometimes accompanied by a psychiatrist) to give us all the keys to overcome our disorders. Although it may be scary, although there are many taboos about it, the truth is that there is nothing better than having an expert to solve our problems. Going to the psychologist is the same as going to the family doctor when we have a cold: we feel bad and we decide to tackle this matter, always counting on the help of a person who has studied our problem in depth.

Anxiety is a widespread disorder, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. While it is true that, controlled, it does not have to be an obstacle to personal fulfillment, if it is not controlled it can end up leading to a lot of problems. A person with anxiety may end up avoiding all those situations that lead them to feel anxious, such as social encounters, or job interviews, or exams. You will seek to protect yourself, rather than face your fears and try to turn them into an incentive to grow and evolve. This is precisely what should be avoided; Because anxiety can be alleviated with the right therapies, and it is better to partially eliminate it from our lives! Absolutely not, because remember that it is still a natural defense mechanism that we all have. Anxiety is that which leads you to flee from situations of imminent danger,The key is to understand it, and know how to use it to your advantage.

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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