Trauma of any kind can cause an unhealthy rise in anxiety. But just what is “anxiety?” The word itself is defined as in wiki:
Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, somatic complaints and rumination. It is the subjectively unpleasant feelings of dread over something unlikely to happen, such as the feeling of imminent death. anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing. It is often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, and muscular tension. Anxiety is not considered to be a normal reaction to a perceived stressor although many feel it occasionally. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety
The Mayo Clinic defines it as:
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive worry and irrational fear about everyday situations. These feelings interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control and can last a long time. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/basics/definition/con-20026282
Another interesting article gives ways to recognize the consequences of anxiety disorder in our lives. http://www.weather.com/health/12-signs-you-have-anxiety-and-dont-know-it-20140214
The bottom line on anxiety, though, is that it can literally disturb our thinking, our lives and our health. Trauma or stress of about any kind, physical or emotional, can cause anxiety. Anxiety can cause more stress and a feeling of being vulnerable to another trauma. People who have lived through some kind of devastating event, cause by war, storms, abuse, or anything that threatens the lives of people, can suffer from debilitating anxiety and feelings that they are unsafe. They may continually worry about their own safety. They may have difficulty making decisions and any number of other symptoms, but again, the bottom line is that anxiety, untreated, can “ruin” your life…
Stress causes anxiety, among other things, and severe trauma, which has caused injury or fear, can actually make changes in the chemical make up as well as physical make up of the brain. While this is an “invisible” but very real injury, unlike a broken leg, this can not be observed. People who would never think about trying to set their own broken leg or not getting it set may try to “treat” their own anxiety without professional help.
Though I am trained in psychology, I am no more able to treat my own anxiety “attacks” myself than I would be to set my own broken leg. Though I know many ways to decrease stress and anxiety, sometimes it overwhelms me, just as it did this past year when I was working on the parole protest packet for my son. I went back to my therapist for a few months and together we managed to get me back on an even keel and the anxiety subsided finally.
One of the things offenders and abusers do to us is to make us feel powerless and anxious for ourselves. They may keep our lives in a “spin cycle” of continual crisis either physically or emotionally so that our anxiety level rises to the point that we can’t function. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, it is a true condition and can be treated, both with things such as meditation, medication, and talk therapy. It isn’t something someone can give you a pill to “fix” because it does require work on your part as well, but sometimes just trying to “tough it out” isn’t going to fix the problem. So look at your life, and look at the articles above for more information about anxiety, see if you are suffering the effects of it. Look for ways to decrease your stress from every angle, and take care of yourself. Do what you need to do, both yourself in changing your life, and in seeking professional help if your anxiety level is very high.