Everyone experiences anxiety.
It is when anxiety impacts our ability to function that it is considered clinically significant.
Pervasive anxiety can be described as excessive worrying that can affect the way we think and physically feel. Racing thoughts and inability to focus are some of the most commonly reported symptoms. Physically, individuals may feel tightness in their chest, rapid breathing, and increased perspiration.
How can I tell if I suffer from clinical anxiety?
The best way to determine if you struggle with clinical anxiety is through an evaluation by a qualified mental health professional. Clinical interviews, information from collateral sources (family, co-workers, teachers etc.) and psychological testing can provide important information for a professional to make a diagnosis. If you experience excessive worry more often than not and have found that it is more difficult to carry out daily tasks, then you may suffer from pervasive anxiety.
How common is clinical anxiety?
Everyone experiences some form of anxiety. Pervasive anxiety is more common in individuals stressful academic and occupational environments. Another factor to consider is family history. Individuals with a family history of anxiety or depression are more likely to suffer from clinical anxiety in their adolescent and adult years.
How is clinical anxiety treated?
Individuals with clinically significant anxiety respond very well to talk therapy. In talk therapy, triggers of anxiety are identified and coping mechanisms are developed. Medication as prescribed by a psychiatrist is also effective but not always necessary.
Instead of medication, are there other ways to treat anxiety?
Absolutely. Consistent exercise, journaling, avoidance of caffeine and other stimulants, and other lifestyle changes have been found to reduce anxiety.
At what age is clinical anxiety most common?
Clinical anxiety is common across all age groups. As individuals age, their response to stressors (school, work, social) may change as more responsibilities and involvement in many activities can increase frequency and intensity of clinical anxiety.