Anxiety, from moderate to severe cases, is more common than you might think — especially considering we deal with significant stress in college.
According to Psychology Today, more than 20 million Americans have some form of anxiety. But don’t worry, there’s good news! Anxiety is very treatable with the right routine and support group.
If you’re concerned that you are too stressed, here’s how you can diagnose and deal with anxiety.
Anxiety is not a disease or disorder; it’s a condition. It’s also pretty easy to notice. Here are some symptoms to look out for.
- You find yourself worrying a lot.
- You feel unsatisfied in your everyday life.
- You’re tense and get overwhelmed often
- In serious cases, you’ll experience panic attacks and have difficulty breathing.
If you think you may have anxiety, the first step is to be totally honest with yourself.
Admit that you may be more stressed out than you should be and understand that it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
The most important thing you can do is to seek out support and help.
Do a bit of research on anxiety and if you think you have a serious case, seek out medical help from your normal doctor or even the health and counseling center on your campus.
Be proud of yourself for every step you take, and don’t be shy about talking to trusted friends and getting support from those around you.
When I started to think I might have anxiety, I felt embarrassed and felt like I was broken. By talking to a few good friends, I was encouraged to talk to a health professional and get more information about anxiety. Once I did, I felt so much better!
How to deal with it
As mentioned before, anxiety is manageable. Although some cases are more severe than others, it’s possible to get back to your normal self within time.
You can find plenty of information about different types of anxiety and how to manage it on Anxiety Centre, a website run entirely by people who have experienced debilitating anxiety.
Sometimes, anxiety symptoms or attacks pop up when we are most stressed — like during finals week, for example.
This is called circumstantial anxiety and in these cases, you can beat it by prepping early.
Knowing yourself and your stress limits will be beneficial for planning out your study schedule. Start studying earlier and schedule breaks to relax your mind.
If you still find yourself getting anxious, try to pour your worries into a stress-relieving hobby, like exercise or writing.
Picking up a relaxing activity, like meditation or yoga, can also be helpful in managing anxiety.
According to Anxiety Centre, chronic anxiety is more complex and based on fear.
If you are experiencing anxiety more consistently throughout the year, you should seek out a health professional and discuss your symptoms. A psychologist would be able to find the best solution for your specific type of anxiety.
Medication can be helpful in managing symptoms, but it won’t provide lasting results or freedom from anxiety. Since it doesn’t address the underlying issues behind a person’s anxiety, it can’t fix it.
Instead, seek out a professional counselor — or at least a trusted, wise adult — who can help you find the root of your issues and work through them.
Talking to someone about your problems can be extremely cathartic, and therapists can help you find long-lasting solutions.
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