by Dr. Tom Joseph Ph.D

Out of all the emotional problems that negatively affect a person’s behavior, the most prevalent that I see in my practice is anxiety. More people then not suffer from some sort of anxiety. Most all the other issues I have spoken or written about, in one way or another are connected with anxiety. If this is true, we must first define anxiety before we can begin to conquer it. Seeing numerous cases of anxiety with consistent frequency, I felt that I had to create a simple but accurate definition that would describe anxiety, so I came up with this definition: Anxiety is the anticipation of bad things to come. Yep, that is it. When ever a person senses danger lurking in the near or far future, they will began to worry about the uncertainty of all its possible unpredictable outcomes. Once these anticipatory feelings start, the imagination rehearses the worse possible scenarios that cause the mind to obsess, replay, and focus on a futuristic apocalypse. Sometimes the obsessing can get to the point that it causes many immediate responses to take place within the body.  Because of the natural chemical adrenaline rush that takes place in the body when fear of being harmed is present, the body will create all types of physiological symptoms that are not pleasant unless the body utilizes the adrenaline through fight or flight. But when the threat of danger is no where near, but afar off, or imagined, the trapped adrenaline has no escape. Therefore the body begins to experience heart palpitations, jittery stomachs, gastrointestinal problems, acid reflux, insomnia, and many other symptoms that will exacerbate the problem then what had been first anticipated. The domino affect started. The physical symptoms one felt because of the initial fear begins a reverberating affect that causes one to think that they are dying from a heart attack, A.I.D.S, a stroke, or most common, Epstein-bar syndrome. Anticipating bad things to come just increased considerably from its origin. A mountain has been made out of mole hill, a tsunami out of a ripple wave, and an avalanche out of a snowball. And because of this spontaneous reaction, those who are close to the person suffering from run away anxiety will by association, inherit the repercussions. If anxiety is not slowed or halted, loved ones will loose steam and began to separate themselves from the anxious person. Anxiety can cause more and more anticipations of bad things in the future because of the initial onset, and becomes a vicious cycle that continues to repeat itself for a lifetime unless identified and fixed.