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Coping with Anxiety

Colleges are designed to be challenging academically, personally, and socially. Some anxiety is a natural by-product of the accelerated pace of learning and growth. To be sure, everyone feels anxious in certain situations, but anxiety disorders can make it difficult for students to function.

Anxiety is a feeling of worry that can be a completely normal response to stress. However, it can also be out of proportion to what is going on or be impossible to control. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the US. Anxiety can feel so overwhelming that a person’s ability to work, study, interact with people, or follow a daily routine is affected.

Contrary to what prior generations of your family may have believed, anxiety disorders are not “all in one’s head.” Anxiety can be a real medical condition, developing from a complex set of biological and environmental factors, including genetics, biochemistry and traumatic life events.

Fortunately, it is possible to manage anxiety with counseling and/or medication.

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

  • Intense episodes of fear or panic
  • Recurring nightmares
  • Avoidance of social situations
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Repeated, unwanted thoughts (obsessions)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Upsetting, intrusive memories of a traumatic event
  • Physical symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, rapid heart rate, muscle tension, sweating, shaking, dizziness, numbness, or difficulty breathing

The above information was taken with permission from The Jed Foundation, http://www.jedfoundation.org/

Self-Assessment for Anxiety

  1. Have you had extreme worry or anxiety the past few months?

  2. Have you had recurrent periods of intense and sudden fear or discomfort that could be classified as a panic attack?

  3. Do you have specific fears to an object or situation that create anxiety or distress?

  4. Have you had reoccurring obsessions and compulsions that create distress in your life?

  5. Have you had continual reoccurring anxieties of a traumatic event that occurred?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, and it has hindered your normal functioning, then it is recommended that you come to Student Counseling Services.

Links to Additional Information on Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Books on Anxiety

The Christian and Anxiety- Hans Urs von Balthasar

Stop Obsessing! How to Overcome Your Obsessions and Compulsions- Edna B. Foa, Ph.D. & R. Reid Wildson, Ph. D.

The Anxiety Cure – Dr. Archibald D. Hart

The Anxious Christian: Can God use Your Anxiety for Good? Rhett Smith

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques- Margaret Wehrenberg

While these books and links are resources to use, Student Counseling Services at Liberty University is not endorsing these books and websites or the authors of the books or websites.

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