Johnny is a 53-year-old driver who arrived in Australia 10 years ago and has worked for the same bus company for the last 8 years.
Johnny would describe himself as “a worry wart” to his family but at work he mostly keeps to himself. Most of his colleagues assume it is because he isn’t confident in speaking English. Last week when Johnny learnt of a change to his run, he has been awake most of the night thinking of the things that could go wrong. He has a high heart rate and significant trouble sleeping.
Johnny is thinking:
- “What if I take the wrong turn?”
- “What if a make a mistake?”
- “What if the traffic is bad and I am running late?”
Johnny doesn’t share these thoughts with his co-workers, instead he presents as preoccupied and aloof.
Johnny has anxiety.
Anxiety is our body’s response to danger. It is normal. Anxiety is not just feeling stressed or worried, it is when these feelings don’t subside and are ongoing without any particular reason or cause. Anxiety can look different for everyone. For Johnny it is playing over and over in his head all of the things that could go wrong.
Anxiety Physical Symptoms
- Pounding/racing heart
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Muscle tension, tightness or clenching of the jaw
- Trouble sleeping
- Shortness of breath or feelings of suffocation or tightness across the chest
Anxiety Emotional Symptoms
- Feelings of dread/apprehensive/powerless
- Constant worry that you are going to make a mistake.
- Feeling of hopelessness and failure
- Feeling in danger nervous for no real reason
- A racing mind, playing the scene over and over in your head
- Difficulty concentrating, finding it hard to think.
- Irritability and edginess
- Absentmindedness/memory problems
- Fear of losing control
- Avoidance of activities and or people
There are different types of anxiety, and everyone’s experience is a little different – to learn more about the types and treatments for anxiety, please click on our anxiety fact sheet.
DOES ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
Click on the links below to learn more on how you can seek help and support.