In a previous article, we discussed 3 different ways anxiety may arise in when someone is in public or in front of people. We also covered fear of leaving the house and fear of specific items. Now let’s explore some additional panic attack areas that may cause a person to become nervous or filled with anxiety. How many of these seem familiar?
Fear of reliving a painful event – When traumatic events strike close to home, they are indelibly etched in our memories. There is a normal period of grieving we go through and in time, we should be able to move past the event. In some cases, the event remains in the forefront of our minds and the details are relived, sometimes with vivid accuracy, both during waking hours and during sleep. The possibility of coming in contact with something that might serve as a reminder of the painful event is often enough to keep a person away from even routine events.
Fear about one’s appearance – There are people who are absolutely convinced they are so homely that no one wants to look at them. They obsess about the size or shape of their nose, their crooked teeth, their imperfect hair, skin, body shape, or size. They might even repeatedly visit cosmetic surgeons in hopes of finding a doctor who will agree with their opinion and do something to fix it. Unfortunately, if the person actually does go through with surgery, they will most likely continue to be unhappy afterwards. The problem is not their appearance, but their manner of thinking about their appearance.
Fear about one’s health – Have you ever met someone who continually complains about one ailment or another? Are they really sick or do they just enjoy the feelings of attention they receive from enumerating their symptoms to the world? A person who continually focuses on every little sign of illness, such as numerous aches and pains, a unexpected coughing or sneezing spell, or a bump the suddenly appears on an arm or leg, may be certain that they are suffering from some life-threatening disease. These people are the bane of anyone who is trying to legitimately get an appointment at the doctor’s office on a Monday morning!
Fear of one’s own thoughts – When you leave on vacation, do you have an uneasy that you have forgotten to do something? Perhaps you left on the iron or forgot to lock the back door. While these thoughts are not unusual, some people go overboard in worrying about such details. They then develop some type of repetitive behavior that they perform in order to cope with the repeated thought patterns. A good example is someone who continually washes their hands because they are afraid of germs everywhere.
Fear of anything and everything – Some people find a reason to worry about anything that comes to mind. The majority of their days are filled with concerns about family, money, job, health, politics, religion, weather, and whatever else about which they are capable of pondering. The fears are not necessarily about specific details, but are usually more general in nature.
When life is filled with constant thoughts of adverse events, either real or imagined, a person is unable to find joy in daily living. Problems in life are normal and expected, but not as a regularly-repeated experience. Recognizing that something is not right is an crucial first step and healing cannot start until that initial step is taken.