Question: I am having problems with feeling anxious. What are some of the causes of anxiety and when should I get help?
Answer: Anxiety is one of this century's most common problems. We live in an "age of anxiety." Some of the most common causes are: a real or perceived threat, conflict with someone or abuse, reoccurring memories of trauma, stress, perfectionism, unmet needs, excessive guilt and physiological problems. Sometimes people have such difficulty with anxiety and worry that it impairs their thinking, sleeping, appetite, relationships, daily functioning and ability to cope with work.
When this occurs you need to get help.
First obtain a physical exam to rule out any underlying health problems and then seek out pastoral and professional Christian counseling. There is spiritual help and hope if you are suffering from any of the anxiety disorders. Billy Graham wrote: "anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us." And the Lord addresses our fears by providing Himself as our security. In Isaiah 41:13 He says "Do not fear I will help you..." and Jeremiah 1:8 "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you".(NIV) Turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for real inner peace when your fears and the circumstances of life are weighing you down. He said in John 10:27-28 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."(NIV)
To discover whether you have a significant problem with anxiety ask yourself whether any of these statements are true of you:
1. I have had intense fear, excessive worry or apprehension occurring much of the time for the last 3-6 months.
2. I have difficulty controlling the worry
3. I am experiencing restlessness
4. I feel keyed up or on edge
5. I am easily fatigued
6. I have difficulty concentrating
7. I feel irritable most of the time
8. My muscles usually feel tense
9. I am having sleep disturbances
10.I am having difficulties socializing
11.I am having difficulties going to work or working
12. I am having difficulties in other areas of functioning
13. I am having appetite and weight disturbances.