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Anxiety and Panic Disorders

Anxiety is a painful uneasiness of mind, usually over an anticipated ill. An abnormal apprehension and fear, often accompanied by physiological symptoms such as sweating, increased pulse rate, doubt about the nature and reality of the threat, along with self-doubt are common signs of anxiety.

We all feel anxious at various points in our lives when our stress level becomes overwhelming. Anxiety is a close relative of excitement, but it is best described in terms of worry, or an uneasy feeling of apprehension and impending doom. In a person with an anxiety disorder, the worry is persistent and habitual, often initiated by unrealistic situations or thoughts. In addition, this worry seems uncontrollable and often interferes with the ability to concentrate or otherwise function normally. This type of anxiety may be learned and therefore can be unlearned.

The most common complaints of people suffering from chronic anxiety include:

  • strong anxiety episodes
  • racing heart/chest discomfort
  • trembling
  • nausea
  • hot and cold flashes
  • feelings of unreality and disorientation
  • dizziness
  • scary, uncontrollable thoughts
  • depressed feelings
  • fatigue
  • feelings of helplessness
  • panic episodes
  • muscle tension
  • migraine headaches
  • numbness in various parts of the body
  • strange aches and pains

People suffering from anxiety disorder often have extreme apprehension about the following:

  • dying
  • having a heart attack
  • fainting
  • losing their breath
  • going “insane”
  • losing control
  • embarrassing themselves in front of others
  • choking
  • hurting themselves or someone else

The four most common concerns from this list are:

  • dying
  • embarrassing themselves in front of others
  • going “insane”
  • losing control

During a panic attack, the sufferer truly feels he/she will lose control, go “insane” or die if they do not get to a “safe” place or person. The “safe” place is usually home or somewhere very familiar and comfortable. The “safe” person is usually a spouse, boy/girlfriend or close friend – someone who can be there if the sufferer needs help. God may seem far away.

If anxiety is a problem that troubles you, call the University Counseling Center at 279-4347.

Contact info

Anxiety/Phobias/Stress

Agoraphobics Building Independent Lives
Phone: 804-257-5591; www.mhav.org

Phobics Anonymous
Phone: 760-322-2673

Trichotillomania Learning Center
Phone: 831-457-1004; www.trich.org

www.healthanxiety.org
Anxiety and Phobia Treatment Center

www.healthyminds.org
Anxiety Disorders

www.npadnews.com
National Panic/Anxiety Disorder Newsletter

www.lexington-on-line.com
Panic Disorder

www.panicattacks.com.au
Anxiety Panic Hub

www.panicdisorder.about.com
Agoraphobia: For Friends/Family

www.intelihealth.com
Mastering Your Stress Demons

www.jobstresshelp.com
Job Stress Help

www.selfhelpmagazine.com/article/stress
Meditation, Guided Fantasies, and Other Stress Reducers

 

 

 

 

 

Counseling Center
501-279-4347
counseling@harding.edu

Office Hours
M-F 8am-5pm