Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. Sometimes it gets to the point when it’s the loudest voice in the room. The only one you can hear.

The American Psychological Association describes anxiety as an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People struggling with anxiety disorders often experience repetitive and intrusive thoughts, constant fear and worrying, avoidance of certain situations, and more.

According to the National Institute of Health, 31% of U.S. adults will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites 3 out of 10 people have experienced an increase in anxiety symptoms as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have experienced any of these things and would like to learn more about whether or not you may be experiencing severe symptoms, check out this Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD7) self-assessment, created by Columbia University Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Robert Spitzer.

If your GAD7 assessment results show you are experiencing moderate to severe anxiety, you may benefit from working with a mental health provider. A list of mental health providers can be found through the County’s medical insurance, as well as resources available to you as a County employee. This information can be found under the Connect with a Professional tab.

There are many self-care strategies you can implement on your own to help reduce the causes and effects of anxiety. Check out some ways to cope with stress as recommended by the CDC.