(continued from www.gatehealing.com)
Sometimes related to performance anxiety. A persistent feeling of being judged or watched by others, especially in social, romantic or professional situations. This anxiety often causes a person to withdraw from others (as a wallflower at a party, or by just not going to the party at all in order to avoid this feeling). People suffering from social anxiety often express a difficulty in grasping social norms in the moment. . . that they understand how to have a conversation in theory, but when faced with a new person to talk to, the understanding seems to vanish. Please understand, a person who is shy or introverted (shy and introverted are NOT the same though) may not suffer from social anxiety.
Sometimes related to social anxiety. Most of us can remember the pangs of anxiety just before a major exam in high school or college; perhaps the nervousness before a theater production or band performance. Performance anxiety is more than just the normal butterflies before a production. Like social anxiety, a person may very well understand that they know the material, but the idea of performing in front of others becomes overwhelming, sometimes to the point of nausea or a full-blown panic attack.
Anxiety relating to the meaning of life and death, etc.
This relates to concerns about being able to meet one’s basic needs, and/or the basic needs of their family. In our society, our basic needs (food, clothing and shelter) are directly tied to our finances . . . if we are concerned about our money situation, it is likely because we are not sure where we are going to get rent from, or groceries, etc. When this type of anxiety manifests, it often keeps people on edge during the day, and awake at night.
(in the extreme, where there is no actual physical problem, this may be referred to as Hypochondriasis) – When concerns about one’s health becomes overwhelming due to actual physical conditions, or if one becomes consumed with anxiety about the possibility of declining health (i.e., finding out that you have worked for 15 years in an office with asbestos (a cancer causing material)). Here’s an example of how health anxiety can feed upon itself and make itself worse:
A man goes to the doctor to get his high blood pressure checked. . . the doctor comes into the room and tells the man that his blood pressure is still quite high . . . to this news, the man begins to talk about how he is certain that he will have a heart attack within the year, then begins to sweat, pace nervously, etc. All of this serves only to increase the anxiety, and the resulting blood pressure, even further.
It should be easy to see how both stress and anxiety have physical manifestations that can feed back into themselves if not addressed.