Can Anxiety Kill You?
Unfortunately, we humans are vulnerable to many dangers. Accidents, ill health and suicide, are some of the top causes of death in the UK and worldwide. Can anxiety kill you?
Many of us can become anxious about our loved ones or that we will fall victim to an unexpected or premature demise. It seemed especially so with the spread of coronavirus.
The fear of death can be helpful because it steers you to take sensible precautions. It can drive you to make the most of life as it is here and now. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? It’s natural to be worried about death and harm. Many people worry that anxiety will kill you. However, the truth is anxiety does not kill.
Although people are different, the experience of anxiety has certain standard features. These include:
- Excessive worry
- Pre-occupation with uncertainty
- Reliance on safety-seeking strategies such as escape, control and avoidance
Worry is an automatic response and something we all do. However, some of us worry more than others. Some would say that their worry is out of control and harmful.
At its most intense, anxiety can be unbearably physical. Your heart pounds, your chest tightens, your body temperature shoots through the roof, and your head is so dizzy you reach for the nearest object to prevent your fall.
Heightened anxiety or panic reveals an impending sense of doom – This is your last moment; brace yourself. And, yet, after what seems like hours, it passes. Alas, it was not the end, and it was deeply distressing.
While anxiety and panic can wear you down, steal your hope and optimism and separate you from the life you dream about, it doesn’t kill.
If you’ve suffered from anxiety for a long time and it’s taken over your life, then you’re likely to need the professional support of a qualified therapist. If you’re not ready for that, it doesn’t mean there is nothing you can do. There is plenty; as with anything, learning how to master something begins by taking an interest.
I’ve assembled some of Openforwards’ most popular articles and podcasts on anxiety.