Everyone feels stressed or anxious from time-to-time...
It’s normal to get excited or anxious when under pressure. But these feelings usually pass once the stressful situation has passed or the ‘stressor’ has been removed.
Problem anxiety is more persistent, not always connected to any situation, and impacts on your quality of life and day to day functioning. There are several categories of anxiety with their own triggers and symptoms, but there are some common symptoms too that include:
Physical symptoms may include panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening in the chest, short or shallow breathing or restlessness.
Emotional symptoms may include panic, fear, worry and these feels can be overwhelming.
Psychological symptoms may include repeating negative thoughts (not being able to stop worrying), turning most thoughts in a crisis situation in your mind (catastrophizing), or obsessive thoughts (feeling you can’t stop thoughts from coming again-and-again).
Behavioural symptoms may include moving at a very fast pace through all your daily activities, not being able to slow down, eating too little or too much.
Here are some behaviours to look out for in yourself or others:
Hot And Cold Flushes
Short Or Shallow Breathing
Repeating Negative Thoughts
This is not an exhaustive list and these symptoms are just some of the symptoms that come with anxiety.
For expats in a foreign country anxiety poses difficulties because it’s easy to feel isolated and alone when you’re overseas. Expat networks are small and often work-related, making it difficult to be vulnerable with friends and colleagues. Gossip is always a factor that expats tend to worry about. In fact, given that most expats go overseas for employment, this sort of anxiety poses a real problem.
If you think you are experiencing anxiety then complete this quick, easy and confidential checklist below. The checklist doesn’t diagnose you (you need a doctor or psychologist for that). But it will help you determine whether you need to take further action and how urgently to act.
Do I have anxiety?
This quick checklist will ask you to reflect on your feelings over the past two week. It is 7 questions that measure how recently and frequently you’ve had symptoms for anxiety in the last two week.
Please read each statement and choose a response from ‘not at all’ to ‘ nearly every day’ to indicate how much the statement has applied to you over the past two weeks.
Not at all - Did not apply to me at all over the past two week.
Several days - Applied to me to some degree, or some of the time in the past week.
More than half the days - Applied to me a considerable degree, or a good part of the time.
Nearly every day - Applied to me very much, or most of the time.
The Generalized Anxiety Disorder checklist provided here is called the ‘GAD-7’. It is used by doctors, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals to determine what level of support is needed for someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
This checklist and your results do not replace the advice of a medical doctor. This checklist does not diagnose you with anxiety. Instead, it helps you decide whether you need to seek help. To receive a clinical diagnosis of anxiety, please see a clinical mental health professional and follow their advice.
Please avoid completing this test for someone else. You won’t be able to accurately decide on that person’s anxiety if you complete the test yourself on their behalf.
Taking this test is completely confidential. We don’t record results and we can’t trace results back to individuals. We do retain information on the number of visitors who complete the test and what range of distress they had. This helps us to develop new programs and online tools in the future.
Reference: Spitzer, R. L., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. B., & Löwe, B. (2006). A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder: the GAD-7. Archives of internal medicine, 166(10), 1092-1097.