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Employee wellness: Dealing with Anxiety

From Dan Ridley:

In the last couple of weeks, we have talked a bit about depression, particularly seasonal depression. We have covered causes, symptoms, and treatments. Seldom do people suffer from depression and not have some degree of anxiety as well. Anti-anxiety medications have replaced anti-depressants and the most commonly prescribed medication for adjustment disorders. With that being said, I would like to take a deeper look into Anxiety. The American Association of Anxiety and depression recently announced that nearly 7 million Americans suffer from anxiety. Yet only 41% have actually sought help for their illness. That leaves roughly 3 million Americans suffering from untreated anxiety. That number may include us and most certainly includes some of our families and team members.

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. Many people worry about things such as health, money, or family problems. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For people with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, schoolwork, and relationships.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) usually involves a persistent feeling of anxiety or dread, which can interfere with daily life. It is not the same as occasionally worrying about things or experiencing anxiety due to stressful life events. People living with GAD experience frequent anxiety for months, if not years.

Symptoms of GAD include:

  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge

  • Being easily fatigued

  • Having difficulty concentrating

  • Being irritable

  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or unexplained pains

  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry

  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep

It is easy to see how these symptoms can become a problem for our workplaces as well as our personal lives. As I have said many times before the first step in dealing with anxiety is self-awareness and social awareness. We must recognize these symptoms in ourselves and those around us. We will discuss treatment options in my next, blog but help starts with recognition.

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