It is part of life to feel scared or worried sometimes. Strong fear and worry that is felt in the body can be anxiety. Anxiety is unpleasant, but not dangerous. You can get help managing anxiety if it affects you a lot in life.
Anxiety is usually not visible on the outside. That’s why many people think they are alone in getting anxious. But anxiety is common.
Sometimes the word anxiety is used when something feels painful, nervous or boring. But anxiety is stronger than usual worry, and it usually feels uncomfortable in the body.
Anxiety is unpleasant but not dangerous
Anxiety is uncomfortable and can feel scary. The feelings can be so strong that you think you should go crazy, faint or even die. But you will not go crazy, faint or die of your anxiety. The feelings are not dangerous.
There are several types of anxiety. And anxiety can feel different for different people.
Sudden panic feelings can be anxiety
Some anxiety can come suddenly without you understanding why and feeling clearly in the body. For example, you may feel pressure over your chest, difficulty breathing or notice that your heart is beating fast or hard. You may also feel dizzy and weak or become dry in your mouth.
Then it may be something called panic anxiety. It can feel very uncomfortable but usually go over pretty quickly.
A lot of worry for a long time can be anxiety
Anxiety can also appear as a concern that you feel almost all the time.
You can get tense, get hurt in your body, feel restless, worried, annoyed or sad if you often worry about many things. You can also find it difficult to concentrate, relax and sleep.
Severe discomfort in special situations can be anxiety
Feeling uncomfortable in certain situations can also be anxiety. For example, it may be when you are talking to someone you do not know, or talking in front of a group. Or to ride a lift, take a syringe or be from someone who is important to you.
It may be because you are thinking that something terrible is going to happen. But usually nothing dangerous will happen.
Is anxiety going over?
Anxiety usually goes by itself, but it can take a long time. Sometimes the anxiety goes away after a few minutes, sometimes the anxiety can stay longer.
Most people have had anxiety at some time. Some people experience anxiety more often than others.
Anxiety can be due to many things
You may have anxiety for several reasons. Here are some examples:
You have too much to do, have too many demands on yourself or often worry about things. It is easier to get anxiety if you are often stressed or worried about not being able to.
You are in crisis or have been involved in something difficult. For example, lost someone or something, or subjected to violence or offenses.
You regret anything you have done or not done, and feel bad about it.
You have problems that you cannot solve. For example, you have a hard time at home or at school.
You are jaded, have eating disorders, obsessions or anything else that makes it difficult for you.
You drink alcohol or use drugs.
You can also have anxiety without knowing why. Or get anxious about things that you think shouldn’t cause anxiety.
The body reacts when you have anxiety
Anxiety is really designed to give you extra strength if you need to cope with a dangerous situation. For example, by running fast or defending yourself against something dangerous.
But sometimes the brain interprets a situation as dangerous, though it is not. Then the body can draw on a lot of energy even though it is not needed. Sometimes you can think of something scary to make your brain think you are in danger.
Try not to avoid what is causing you anxiety
It is a pain to have anxiety often or to have anxiety for a long time. It can affect you in different ways.
You may find it difficult to be alone, because you do not want to be yourself when you have anxiety. You may find it difficult to socialize with others because you do not want to have anxiety among other people.
You may be worried about getting anxious again, and start avoiding doing certain things that you really want to do.
But it is better if you can continue to do things that are important to you, even if it can cause you anxiety. Avoiding things that you are afraid of can make your anxiety worse.
There are better ways to deal with anxiety and you can get help if needed. Read more about what helps with anxiety.
You can get help from healthcare
Take help if the anxiety prevents you from doing something that is important to you, or if you need to talk to someone about your anxiety.
You can contact student health, a youth clinic or a health center.
You can contact the student health if you are studying and the anxiety is related to the studies.
You can contact Bup, child and adolescent psychiatry, if you feel very bad about the anxiety or if it affects your life greatly.
You should seek help immediately if you have such strong anxiety that you have difficulty enduring. For example, you can contact a psychiatric emergency room.