Q&A When is it necessary to seek help with severe anxiety?
Updated: Nov 17
"Lately, I can feel it in my knuckles, fingers and chest. I’ve had heart palpitations on and off for the past four days and I don’t have an appetite. I’ve also had no energy and just sleep or lay in bed. I’ve also got to where I just don’t care about my job, bills, health, etc."
Anxiety is our bodies warning system that a feeling is approaching and it is usually a feeling we don't want to feel, so your body is telling you this by using the symptoms you have described. It is also important to note as you have said you have felt this in your knuckles, fingers and chest. Feelings of anxiety are common to start in the chest area and anxiety is discharged through the finger tips.
If you can visualise the anxiety rising up from your chest area, down through your arms and discharging through your finger tips. This is similar to how anger and / or rage operates in the body which is why when we feel angry we want to grab whoever or whatever has caused our anger with our hands so we can discharge the anger onto whoever or whatever has angered us. So, if anxiety is our bodies warning system that a feeling is approaching and the feeling is something we dont want to feel. Therefore, with the example of anger - If you repress or deny feelings of anger, then anxiety is the feeling. Because it is never just about the anxiety, there will always be something underneath the anxiety.
This also helps to explain why you feel like you have had no energy because your body has been in a state of discharging anxiety and you have no appetite because your chest is 'full' of anxiety so there is no room for food to give you energy. When we are in a sustained state of fight, flight, freeze or fawn our bodies need to rest so we are mentally able to cope with day to day life such as caring about your job, bills, health and etc.
Anxiety is regulated by being aware of it and paying attention to what your body is feeling and what your body is telling you. There may be potential triggers in your life that are provoking you to feel anxious. A therapist will assist and encourage you to look at the feelings underneath the anxiety to help you understand why the anxiety is present and what purpose it is serving. In turn, helping you to regulate and cope with the anxiety. It is necessary to seek help with severe anxiety when you feel ready to look at the feelings underneath the severe anxiety.