Who doesn’t have fear and worry? These feelings are not always bad. They can actually help propel someone to move forward in life rather than sit by waiting for better opportunities to come along. At other times, fear and worry can become so consuming that a person ceases to function at full-capacity and may even shut down entirely. These panic attack cases require help and intervention if the sufferer has any hope of recovery.

The first step in overcoming anxiety attacks is to recognize what a person’s particular problem areas are. The health industry has come up with a lot of fancy names for the disorders people suffer, but here is a simple list without the medical terminology. Can you find yourself in any of them?

The first three areas all deal with being in front of people in varying degrees.

Fear of being in public – Some people are so shy that they can’t stand the thought of anyone paying attention to them in any way. They continually berate themselves as not being good enough, charming enough, or smart enough to participate in a group setting.

Fear of speaking in public – The next level of fear in public is having to speak in front of a crowd. This might mean in front of a school class or as the best man toasting the bride and groom at a wedding. Even if the perfect speech is written, practiced and fully-prepared, the speaker still fears that he will look foolish. He may stammer, blush, and sweat profusely.

Fear of performing in public – An even higher fear level in public is performing in front of a crowd. This is more than just speaking. The person must carry out some action, whether it be singing in a choir, starring in the lead role of the school’s annual play, playing a small character in that same play, or even just walking across the stage for graduation.

Fear of specific objects or situations – There are many things people are afraid of: spiders, heights, needles, thunderstorms. Fear of the object may or may not stem from a unique experience that triggers that fear or it may just appear suddenly for no reason. Why is someone afraid of spiders? Does she think that they just ugly, scary-looking creatures, or did she get bitten by a black widow spider and almost die when she was a child? In either case, the fear is real, but the treatment will probably involve different approaches.

Fear of leaving home – Sometimes the fear of something terrible happening to an individual is so great that he or she refuses to even leave their house. The thought of going to a shopping center or mall may be unbearable. The problem is compounded when the person won’t even leave their home to go to an appointment with a doctor or therapist who could give them the help they so badly need.

Worrying about these problems requires a lot of energy each day, energy that would be better spent in improving one’s life. Sometimes just being able to put a finger on a problem is enough to begin a healing process. If you recognize that any of these areas affect you, pay attention to your feelings in those situations and try to identify what your thoughts are when you first notice the feeling. This can be crucial in helping you to get better.

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