Nervousness, anxiety, and panic are not the same thing. Nervousness is a very human and important emotion that can happen after an event or a difficult period of time in your life. If it lasts and starts impacting other parts of your life (i.e., work, relationships, etc.), this is when anxiety may be the cause. Panic tends to be a feeling associated with anxiety and can progress to a heightened “attack,” representing more acute symptoms.
Answering a few questions can be a great start to examining the impact of your situation:
Read on to identify if you may have an issue that could be addressed with the help of other resources or a peer mentor.
Signs are what may be observed by others. Symptoms are the things reported by a first responder. Many of the following can be signs or symptoms:
Panic attacks are a progressed version of anxiety that manifest with a sudden feeling of terror. These episodes can occur at any time, even during sleep, and are often experienced with many physical symptoms. This is why many visits to the ER or emergency calls show no abnormal heart rhythm or elevated enzymes.
Think of anxiety or panic as an alarm system. If you try to ignore what is going on, over time, the “alarm” gets louder and louder until it creates symptoms. At this point, you may be forced to deal with these feelings, which can be overwhelming. Thankfully, both anxiety and panic are very treatable.
There is symptom crossover with many medical issues. Feelings of anxiety can be related to or caused by many disorders, such as:
These goals are only examples. Use them as a guide, not an absolute. You know if there is a problem; let now be the time to fix it.
Reaching out for help is never a sign of weakness, but rather one of strength. It may be annoying or frustrating to think about what to do and how to approach it, but it can be done. There are other first responders who understand where you’ve been. If you cannot reach or maintain all of these goals on your own, get connected with a peer support mentor.