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Anxiety

it's 07 Jul, 2024 7:20 am

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Anxiety

Background

This information is about the specific health area mentioned above. It comprises a combination of textual and video information, on our site and on external sites.  We will be adding new specific health areas and further information continually.

The idea is for you to understand more about the health area you are addressing before you get too far building your action plan.

General Information

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.  However, sometimes this anxiety is not a result of a specific situation, but is an overall feeling.  This is known as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For people with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away as situations change and it can get worse over time. The symptoms can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.  The NHS say there are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and various phobia-related disorders.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – excessive anxiety or worry displayed most days for at least six months, about things such as health,work, social interactions or just routine life. Symptoms include restlessness, edginess, easily tired, difficulty concentrating, irritability,tension, sleep problems.
  • Panic Disorder – unexpected panic attacks where people can experience heart palpitations, sweating,trembling, shortness of breath, feelings of impending doom or being out of control.
  • Phobia Related Disorders – extreme fear of or aversion to a specific object or situation out of proportion to the actual danger or risk from it. People experience irrational fear of it, take active steps to avoid it, experience extreme anxiety if it occurs.  Types include: Specific or simple phobias (of something like flying, heights, animals (spiders!), injections, blood), Social Phobia (or social anxiety disorder) where people have a fear of social interactions, Agoraphobia where people have an intense fear of transportation, open spaces, enclosed spaces, crowds or being outside alone, Separation Anxiety Disorder where people have fears about being parted from people who they are attached to.
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder – where people perform specific repeated behaviours or tasks as a result of recurring irrational thoughts.
  • Illness Anxiety Disorder – also known as hypochondria – anxiety about your health.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – is anxiety following a traumatic event.

There are charities such as AnxietyUK which provide support for people suffering from anxiety.

Background Information

There is information available which will help you formulate your action plan – both on our site and on external sites.

On our site

PersonalityDrive

PersonalityDrive has a lot of information on different aspects of personality, including personality disorders and also some tips and information.

We have relevant information on PersonalityDrive
MindDrive

MindDrive has a lot of information on different sorts of mental issues, and also provides you with some options for sorting these issues out yourself or getting help.

We have relevant information on MindDrive

On external site(s)

Healthline have some information on anxiety – this includes the symptoms, some causes, treatments and the links between anxiety and stress, depression and alcohol.

WebMD have a full health centre dealing with anxiety and panic, with articles, videos and links to other sites.

Video

Sometimes the owner of a video will not allow the video to be played on external sites.  If you see the video is unavailable on the left just click the ‘WATCH NOW’ link on the right and the video will play in a new window.

Mind trick to deal with panic attacks

If you suffer from panic attacks, then there is a way of dealing with these.  This video shows how you can overcome these.  It explains the reasoning behind the panic attacks and why this mental trick actually works.

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Questionnaire

In order for you to assess what you know about this health area, we suggest using a questionnaire. This might help you understand your situation in this area, or taking it might improve your understanding of the area.

You may be able to take this questionnaire online – either here on our site or on an external site – or download it and complete it on paper – it depends on copyright (and whether we’ve managed to build it on our site!).

The ways you can take a questionnaire:

PDF for download, Questionnaire on our site

Take Questionnaire on our site

You can take a questionnaire on our site. This will score the questions automatically and give you a summary showing what your score means.

Our Questionnaire

The Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is a classic stress assessment instrument. The tool, while originally developed in 1983, remains a popular choice for helping us understand how different situations affect our feelings and our perceived stress. The questions in this scale ask about your feelings and thoughts during the last month. In each case, you will be asked to indicate how often you felt or thought a certain way. Although some of the questions are similar, there are differences between them and you should treat each one as a separate question. The best approach is to answer fairly quickly. That is, don’t try to count up the number of times you felt a particular way; rather indicate the alternative that seems like a reasonable estimate.

This questionnaire originates from Spitzer RL, Kroenke K, Williams JB, et al; A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder and was created by Pfizer Inc.

Welcome to your Anxiety questionnaire. This questionnaire originates from Spitzer RL, Kroenke K, Williams JB, et al; A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder and was created by Pfizer Inc.

The tool, while originally developed in 1983, remains a popular choice for helping us understand how different situations affect our feelings and our perceived stress. The questions in this scale ask about your feelings and thoughts during the last month. In each case, you will be asked to indicate how often you felt or thought a certain way. Although some of the questions are similar, there are differences between them and you should treat each one as a separate question. The best approach is to answer fairly quickly. That is, don’t try to count up the number of times you felt a particular way; rather indicate the alternative that seems like a reasonable estimate.

Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?

1. 
Feeling nervous, anxious or on edge?

2. 
Not being able to stop or control worrying?

3. 
Worrying too much about different things?

4. 
Trouble relaxing?

5. 
Being so restless that it is hard to sit still?

6. 
Becoming easily annoyed or irritable?

7. 
Feeling afraid as if something awful might happen?

This questionnaire is based on the GAD-7 questionnaire from Pfizer.  On our site it is purely for information purposes, to give you an indication of your current situation. The steps you take afterwards are purely your choice - we only provide indications. Below you will find some terms of use set out by Pfizer.

You agree that access to and use of the PHQ and GAD-7 screeners is at your own risk. Pfizer disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Neither Pfizer nor any party involved in creating, producing, or delivering the PHQ/GAD-7 shall be liable for any damages, including without limitation, direct, incidental, consequential, indirect, or punitive damages, arising out of access to, use of or inability to use the PHQ/GAD-7, or any errors or omissions in the content thereof. This limitation includes damages to, or for any viruses that infect, your computer equipment.

Since the questionnaires rely on self-report, in the event of referral to a clinician all responses should be verified by the clinician and a definitive diagnosis made on clinical grounds, taking into account how well the patient understood the questionnaire, as well as other relevant information from the patient.

Subject to the terms above, you agree to Pfizer's Terms of Use found at http://www.pfizer.com/general/terms.jsp.

Download questionnaire and take it yourself

You can download at least one questionnaire from our site.  You will have to score the questionnaire yourself.

Anxiety is an interesting word and often is misused. People say “I am suffering from anxiety” but often they don’t really understand whether they really are. Many people become anxious about life and life issues, but it does not necessarily mean it’s a problem. To judge if it is a problem please take this short test.

If the test says you have a moderate level of anxiety, please remember that anxiety is an effect not  a cause. In other words: if you go to a doctor with a rash they will give you something to make the rash go away. They won’t attempt to find out the cause of the rash. The same applies to anxiety: go to the doctor and they will give you medication to numb your senses and make you feel a little less anxious,  but they won’t necessarily work out the cause of the anxiety – i.e. they will treat the effect and not identify the cause.

Working out why you’re anxious is the key – analysing your moods and how they are triggered, how long it lasts and when do you return to normal.

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All areas of health are interlinked

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Find your initial focus

You might think that physical, financial and mental health are quite separate, and for some people they are. However, often a problem in one area has a knock-on effect on others. Losing your job can lead to anxiety and depression, which can turn you to drink and impact your health.

You might have a severe issue in one area but that can lead to problems in other areas, and the people treating you for the first problem won’t be equipped to deal with these linked issues.

For example, doctors and nurses can treat you for a physical problem but can’t advise you about your job or finances.  Nor for the anxiety that comes with it, apart from prescribing some drugs, which might or might not be the best solution.

We encourage you to take a holistic view – we look at all areas and offer support across the whole spectrum.

health areas interlinked

Even this view of health is simplistic, as you’ll discover later if you go down that route.  You might want to consider overall health, or wellness or wellbeing, which include additional types of health, such as occupational health (how you are in your job).   Then there’s happiness and quality of life – how do these fit?

If you’re interested in that, click the link here to see more information.

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Health Areas in Domains

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Domains

We break down the overall concept of health or wellness into ‘bite-sized chunks’ that we can actually do something about.  The first level we call health domains. 

We like the Life of Wellness site and we have chosen the following domains.

1. Emotional Wellness: Awareness and acceptance of feelings
2. Spiritual Wellness: A search for meaning and purpose
3. Intellectual Wellness: Recognition of your creativity, knowledge and skills
4. Physical Wellness: Need for physical activity and balanced nutrition
5. Environmental Wellness: Positive awareness and impact on your environment
6. Financial Wellness: Debt reduction, cash flow balance or financial future planning
7. Occupational Wellness: Personal achievement and enrichment from your career
8. Social Wellness: Contribution to your community

Health Areas

Within each domain, we have included a number of health areas. These are specific issues that you can tackle.  Within each health area, e.g. Depression, we have built additional information and exercises which you can do to help in the area. You can create your own Action Plan to address this area, and see

Emotional: Anxiety, Compassion Fatigue, Depression, Gambling, Laughter, Narcissistic, Personality Disorder, Sleep, Stress

Environmental: Environmental Issues, Greenness

Financial: Debt, Family Finance, Financial Planning, Financial Wellness

Intellectual: IQ, Personality, Procrastination

Occupational: Jobs for Different Personality Types, Retirement Income, Work Life Balance

Physical: Alcohol, Disabilities, Dizziness, Drugs, Fitness, Food Preferences, General Health, Healthy Ageing, Illness, Nutrition, Sleep Apnea, Smoking

Social: Communication Skills, Communication Styles, Domestic Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Love Partnerships, Mental Abuse, Parenting Styles, Sexual Addiction

Spiritual: Are You Sensitive, Mystical Guidance, Spirituality

Each health area has supporting information and its own questionnaire.

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Understand Health

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Physical, financial and mental health

One definition of health is:

Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. 

The NHS define health as: ‘We use a broad definition of health that encompasses both physical and mental health, as well as wellbeing. This means we are not only interested in whether or not people are ill or have a health condition, but also in how healthy and well they are.’

We believe we also have to consider financial health, as this can easily impact physical and mental health. Click the button to see an example of how these are connected.

 It gets more complicated…

What is Health? How about Wellness, Wellbeing or Happiness?

The Active Wellbeing Society (TAWS) define Health as a state of the overall mental and physical state of a person; the absence of disease. They define Wellbeing or wellness as a way of life that aims to enhance well-being and refers to a more holistic whole-of-life experience which also includes emotional and spiritual aspects of life.  We expand on this definition of health to include financial health and mental health, to make it synonymous with wellbeing or wellness.  

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Health domains

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We break down the overall concept of health or wellness into ‘bite-sized chunks’ that we can actually do something about.  The first level we call health domains.

We like the Life of Wellness site and we have chosen the following domains.

1. Emotional Wellness: Awareness and acceptance of feelings
2. Spiritual Wellness: A search for meaning and purpose
3. Intellectual Wellness: Recognition of your creativity, knowledge and skills
4. Physical Wellness: Need for physical activity and balanced nutrition
5. Environmental Wellness: Positive awareness and impact on your environment
6. Financial Wellness: Debt reduction, cash flow balance or financial future planning
7. Occupational Wellness: Personal achievement and enrichment from your career
8. Social Wellness: Contribution to your community

wellness wheel

Health Areas

Within each domain, we have included a number of health areas. These are specific issues that you can tackle.  Within each health area, e.g. Depression, once you have subscribed we have built additional information and exercises which you can do to help in the area.

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See which domains you should address

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Having established that we use 8 domains, you need to understand which you should concentrate on.

The 8 are:

  • Emotional
  • Environmental
  • Financial
  • Intellectual
  • Occupational
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Spiritual

 

You can take a questionnaire, which scores you in each domain.  You can decide which domains you are strong in, and which you need to improve.

Another analysis shows which domains you should look at, but also which domains you want to look at.

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Locus of Control

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  • We want to help people in all aspects of their health  – physical, financial and mental. We also provide detailed explanations of how overall health (or well-being) is measured.
  • We believe these things are often linked, so we try and address health holistically. We are building templates, questionnaires and exercises to help you identify what’s important to you.
  • We think people should try and take responsibility for  of their own health as much as they can.  See below for what that means.

People look at things differently.  Some people believe things happen to them, while others believe they can influence what happens to them. Technically this is called the ‘locus of control’.  People can have an Internal or external Locus of Control

So how do you see things?

Psychology Today have a 15 minute test which gives you a summary of your position you can buy the detailed results if you want to.

My Personality Test have a 10 minute test which gives you a summary.

People tend to take more responsibility (locus gets more internal) as they get older.  However, external isn’t always bad – for example if you are physically unable to do some things you can accept it and focus on the things you can do.  This American video explains the concept and gives examples of how this can affect relationships.

locus of control

Internal

  • More likely to take responsibility for actions
  • Tend to be less influenced by others

External

  • Blame outside forces for what happens
  • Don’t believe they can change their situation themselves

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Add your attitude to change - see how you view changes in your life

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Do you need to change?

No matter how healthy you are at the moment, the chances are that there are some areas you could improve. It may be that you have a real problem in one or more areas, and you would like to make some improvements.

At YouDrive we accept that there are many different degrees of ‘not wellness’ in a large number of different health areas, ranging from physical illness such as covid-19 through mental illness such as anxiety through to financial problems like debt.  We try and help where the problem ranges from ‘slight’ to quite bad’ – after this expert help and intervention may be needed.

However, especially in these times, we have to try and make these changes ourselves, possibly with some help from others, whether remotely or face to face.

The thing is, to make an improvement we have to change some things.

This involves changing our behaviour in some respects, and that’s not always easy.

Henry Ford, the creator of the assembly line, is quoted as saying “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”.  

henry ford

Another way of looking at this: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” – attributed to Albert Einstein.

Consequently we need to make some changes.  The problem is that we have already developed a lot of habits, some of which we need to break and replace by better ones.  Some of our bad habits have become entrenched, and the bad results they create in turn engender further bad habits to develop – in effect the bad habits can feed on themselves.

We need to understand how we can make changes and stick to them, and that’s what this part of your health profile is about.

It will involve some learning, through reading, some videos and some additional information and also seeing how you react to change currently.

It will also ask you to consider whether you feel you are in charge of your future, or whether you feel it’s all fate.

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Assess your overall health using a health questionnaire

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At YouDrive we try and help people improve their health. We use ‘health’ but we understand there are other terms such as wellbeing or even happiness that reflect how we are doing in our lives – if you’re interested in the different definitions and ideas see our page on the subject.

We want to help whether you have a particular problem – physical, financial or mental – or if you just want to improve some specific part of your life or just make some improvements overall.

You’d be surprised, but there has been a serious amount of scientific work done in this area over the last twenty years.

So first we allow you to assess your current health (or wellbeing, or happiness).  We do this by questionnaire.  Which one is determined by the type of person you are:

  1. You understand yourself well and want a quick overview of your health and wellness, and will drill down in any areas needing work
  2. You want to do a more detailed assessment and then focus on areas you’re already aware of
  3. You want to look at the whole situation in more detail across all the health domains.

By the way, we take your privacy seriously – we collect information that you choose to provide but we de-identify it as much as possible and will never share it with anyone without your explicit consent.

You can then drill down into some specific areas and there are more questionnaires to see your situation in these particular areas.  We provide you with specific information and refer you to other potential aspects of help. Our next step is to build a personalised action plan – for now we will make a suggestion for you to develop your own plan and then after a time you can see whether this has had a positive impact by retaking the test.

In future we will be engaging with medical and behavioural specialists to devise action plans for individual people with specific situations.

We have an overall questionnaire which you can complete which will assess your current state.

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Values, Attitudes and Beliefs

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We all have our beliefs, attitudes and values – these have developed throughout our life based on who we are and what we have done. Let’s look at what these are.

The University of Reading explain: “People’s values, beliefs and attitudes are formed and bonded over time through the influences of family, friends, society and life experiences. So, by the time you’re an adult, you can hold very definite views on just about everything with a sense of “no one is going to change my mind”.

The combination of your personal values, beliefs and attitudes are your moral principles that guide you in life and affect your behaviour. However, your views can wildly differ to others and in an institution such as a school, these beliefs may be counter to the values of the school, child development or indeed the law.” 

Let’s look more closely at the differences between beliefs, attitudes and values.

Beliefs

These come from real experiences – we think our beliefs are based on reality, but in fact our beliefs colour our experiences; also, an original experience e.g. when we were a child is not the same as what’s happening now. Beliefs can be moral, religious or cultural and reflect who we are. They can be rational (‘it gets colder in winter’) or irrational (‘I am never going to make something of myself’).

Attitudes

This is an immediate belief or disposition about something specific. It is a recurring group of beliefs and behaviours aimed at specific groups, people, ideas or objects. They will normally be positive or negative and we will always behave that way to the target group. Examples of attitudes include confidence (I can or can’t do something), grateful (I an entitled to / grateful for XXX) and cheerful (I am generally happy / miserable).

Values

These are things (principles or qualities) that we hold in high regard or consider to be worthwhile or right / wrong. They are formed by a belief related to the worth of something – an idea or behaviour. Some values are common (e.g. family comes first, the value of friendship) or cultural (which the whole community have – see video at Study.com here)

The theory

Links to Wikipedia

Expectancy Value Theory suggests you balance your beliefs about something with the value you attach to it. The Theory of Reasoned Action suggests that beliefs and evaluation about behavioural outcomes determine attitudes, and intentions lead directly to behaviour.

Beliefs

Expressions of confidence – can change over time

Attitudes

Learned predispositions to something – are subject to change

Values

Ideals that guide our behaviour – Generally long lasting and often need life changing experience to change

Iceberg demonstrating implicit and explicit bias – from Owlcation

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A Butterfly Life: 4 Keys to More Happiness, Better Health and Letting Your True Self Shine

Times of change can be a challenge, no doubt! Whether it’s a relationship breakup, job loss, or being diagnosed with a serious health issue. Or you may WANT things to be different, but it feels a little scary or overwhelming. The butterfly reminds us change can be beautiful, even necessary, in order to realize our full potential and live our best life.