Even though anxiety is a very unpleasant thing to experience, not all anxiety is a obstacle when it comes to coping with every day life. We have some choice in whether we suffer, especially when we know how to take care of ourselves. How much anxiety is tolerable is a complex interaction of deep beliefs and tolerance levels. What may be unbearably stressful for one person may not be for another. However, this isn’t about mental strength as much as it is about holistic health which includes many factors such as cumulative stress, genetics, cultural attitudes, environmental factors and unique personality.
Anxiety can be appropriate or inappropriate. For example extreme panic at the sight of a bear in real life is appropriate and natural, if it makes us run fast to survive. However, extreme panic because of news item on TV can seriously reduce one’s quality of life, because we lack control over them. Anxiety sufferers say that what makes the panic worse is when they panic about panicking.
As an organization, HHA supports and promotes an anxiety free society and believes that we are all different in our abilities to cope. In a society which is aware of mental health and values it, understanding anxiety and how to cope with it should be addressed as early as possible. A proactive, informed, gentle approach is highly preferable to ignoring it, because anxiety can escalate into more complex disorders if left untreated.
For anxiety to be considered a disorder, an assessment is required. The Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), created by Aaron T. Beck and other colleagues, is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory that is used for measuring the severity of anxiety in children and adults. Anxiety and depression are present in almost all mental health disorders of any origin. According to the American Psychiatry Association which publishes the DSM, there are several types of anxiety disorders with several types of symptoms arranged in the following categories.
- Physical responses
When people experience anxiety more often (e.g. most days, and for months at a time), and more intensely than others, it can create significant disruption in their lives. To fully overcome anxiety such that there is a solid sense of calm on most days and times is a major achievement for anxiety sufferers. At the Academy we offer interventions that have solid evidence for their efficacy and results across cultures.
Below is a handy self assessment. It is not a substitute for professional assessment. Self assessment can act as motivation to become more proactive with your self care and self awareness. Scores on the higher side indicate higher anxiety.