Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hit the Nail on the Head

I crossed a site this morning that defined anxiety in a way that I could really relate to, and unlike any site I’ve seen before. Most definitions of anxiety go something like, “a state of uneasiness and apprehension,” then go on to give a list of synonyms like worry, distress, nervousness and botheration. (I have no idea what that last one means). Such an empty explanation for something so complicated. It’s like defining war as, “two countries fighting.”

This site is different; it defines anxiety by breaking it down into three categories: mental, physical and dissociative. It explains that individuals experience some or all of these symptoms at varying degrees. I can relate to all of them; mental being the preoccupation with things going wrong; physical being the tight chest, sweaty palms and shortness of breath; but what really hit home for me, was the dissociative element.

It’s defined on the site as this:

Where certain feelings or thoughts appear separated from you or your personality. Symptoms include - depersonalisation, (the feeling that your body is strange or you are somehow removed from it), derealisation, (the feeling that the world is weird or unreal), narrowing of the time-frame, (so that only now matters), mental confusion, (adding to disorganised and ineffective behaviour), your mind 'playing tricks on you', repeated waves of emotion, occasional sense of dread, emotional numbing, episodes of amnesia. 'Mini-mood swings' are common, i.e. where normal day-to-day changes in mood are exaggerated by your anxious state. Understandably, such symptoms are disconcerting and can make you feel that you are losing grip with reality.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

It goes on to explain that anxiety manifests itself in several different ways, (unfortunately, many of which I know first hand): GAD, Panic Attacks, Phobias, Compulsions, P.T.S.D., Hypochondria, Psychosomatic Illness, and defines each one in simple and relatable terms.

It’s comforting to see my feelings put into words by someone else. It’s the ultimate reassurance that others actually do experience the same craziness that I do.

3 comments:

zero7d said...

very nice blog! If you are lonely, please visitmy blog, we havemany friends in exchange

Anonymous said...

Here's another site which lists similar symptoms, and also seems to have a lot of information.
http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety_symptoms.shtml

Leila V. said...

That was a good site. I especially like this quote, that I found there:

"We probably wouldn't worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do." - Olin Miller