The main function of anxiety is to signal to us that something is wrong. This can be a very good thing when we perceive something dangerous or that doesn’t feel right. As an inherent safety mechanism, anxiety is an important emotion, however, when feelings of anxiety become excessive and uncontrollable, worry and unease can permeate your relationships and cause issues.
In couples therapy, it is not uncommon for one partner to be extremely anxious - about the relationship, wanting change, and wanting "the nervous feeling" to go away. This condition is typically best assessed by a therapist, or mental health professional.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotion causing a feeling of powerlessness or helplessness. It is the inability to control things we think may hurt us that makes us anxious. When clinical anxiety exists, life feels out of control.
What are the key symptoms of anxiety?
Excessive anxiety and worry about a number of events or activities (such as work or school performance) occurring more days than not for at least 6 months. If you find it difficult to control worry, you are likely suffering from a condition of anxiety. Other key symptoms:
- Restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge
- Easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
What is the best treatment?
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy including relaxation techniques, stress reducing activities, and enhancing coping skills
- Self-help/group therapy
How can I better cope with anxiety?
- Don’t feel ashamed. This is a common clinical issue, and many people suffer from anxiety.
- Look for root causes. Did something in your life or family happen to make you feel unsafe?
- Talk to a professional. A therapist can help you understand the source of your feelings and help you improve your coping skills.
- Take medications if needed. Medication paired with therapy can be helpful and is the considered the best treatment model to treat anxiety.