First ask yourself some questions…
Definition: First, nervousness, anxiety, and panic are not the same thing. Nervousness is a very human and important emotion that can happen following 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 both a feeling associated with anxiety but also can progress to a heightened attack representing more acute symptoms. This tab can be used to help you identify if you may have an issue that could be addressed.
Panic Attacks: Panic attacks are a progressed version of anxiety that manifests 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.
Example: 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.
Feelings of anxiety can be related to or caused by many medical disorders. A few examples are as follows:
Thought Goal: I’m nervous, anxious, or panicky because I think (insert problematic thought here).
I can stop or lessen my nervousness, anxiety, or panic by thinking about:
Feeling Goal: I’m nervous, anxious, or panicky because I feel (insert problematic feeling here).
I can stop or lessen my nervousness, anxiety, or panic by feeling:
Behavior Goal: I’m anxious or panicky because my behavior (insert problematic behavior here).
I can stop or lessen my nervousness, anxiety, or panic by:
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 intimidating, annoying, or frustrating to think about what to do and how to approach overcoming this, but it can be done. You do not have to do it alone. If you cannot reach or maintain all of these goals on your own, contact a peer supporter, medical provider, and/or a psychology professional.