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Occasional Anxiety is Normal; How To Know The Difference

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August 28, 2019
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Angela Kathman

A Brief Note on Anxiety

“It’s the weight of the world / but it’s nothing at all”

I had the pleasure of attending a Father John Misty concert a few weeks ago, a tour he was co-headlining with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. Not really familiar with Isbell or any of his music, I kept an open mind and sat back to listen. I was surprised that his opening song immediately struck a chord (pun intended) with me.

How do you always get the best of me?
I'm out here living in a fantasy
I can't enjoy a g---n thing
Why am I never where I am supposed to be?
Even with my lover sleeping close to me
I'm wide awake and I'm in pain

Feeling Anxiety is Human

Experiencing occasional anxiety is a part of being human. An upcoming job interview, meeting your partner’s parents, and making a significant decision are all experiences which might elicit anxiety; once the situation is resolved, those feelings tend to fade away. Sometimes, however, anxiety is more than temporary. For some individuals, anxiety does not easily go away and can often get worse over time.

Anxiety Disorders are Common

Anxiety disorders are estimated to affect 40 million adults in the United States. And yet, it seems anxiety is frequently misunderstood and often easily dismissed. Anxiety is an umbrella term, which refers a large subset of unique diagnoses with their own identified symptoms. Because most people experience some anxiety (as mentioned above) during their life, it can be easy to dismiss indicators of a larger issue when we see them.

Signs of Anxiety

In addition to feelings of worry, anxiety can also be

  • feeling restless/ constantly on edge
  • feeling easily tired or fatigued
  • having trouble concentrating or staying present
  • intrusive thoughts
  • physical symptoms like muscle tension, heart racing, upset stomach, or sleep disruptions

Many Anxiety Treatments Available

Just like Jason Isbell has noted, anxiety can negatively interfere with our daily lives and keep us from enjoying the world around us. For individuals who struggle with anxiety, daily tasks can feel overwhelming and every social interaction a complex maze. It is beyond the scope of this post to talk about the nuances of different anxiety disorders or to offer any diagnostic ability. If this post resonated with you, please know that you are not alone. There are many treatment modalities available to address symptoms, and working with a therapist can help.


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