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.
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.
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.
Absolutely. Consistent exercise, journaling, avoidance of caffeine and other stimulants, and other lifestyle changes have been found to reduce anxiety.
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.