Everyone experiences some level of anxiety in their lifetime. Stress from work, bills, and life as a whole can easily lead to feelings of trepidation. With that in mind, there are approximately 40 million adults in the United States who suffer from an anxiety disorder – a heightened level of anxiousness and nervousness that can be downright debilitating without proper treatment.
In this guide, we will go over the most common signs of anxiety disorder to help you determine if you have the condition.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that anxiety disorder and depression can manifest themselves in many different forms. Each patient is unique, and your anxiety may not showcase itself like someone else’s anxiety. To ensure a proper diagnosis, seek the help of a professional counselor or therapist who can conduct psychological testing to evaluate your condition.
Perhaps the most common sign of anxiety disorder is excessive worrying. What may seem like a simple trip to the store for some people may be a big ordeal for someone with anxiety. This worrying can stem from a number of triggers: health problems, financial difficulties, crowded places, unplanned activities, etc. Stress as a whole is normal to experience, but those with anxiety may go through extreme stress levels for hours, days, or weeks at a time, with or without a trigger. If your worrying has led to dysfunction in your life, you may suffer from an anxiety disorder.
As a result of stress, nervousness, and worrying, many people with anxiety find themselves becoming more and more reclusive with time. Someone who once thrived in social settings may start spending more time at home than usual. This is especially true for people who have anxiety triggers related to public settings. The less they go out, the less likely they are to experience an anxiety attack.
Anxiety is a mental condition that doesn’t always rest when your body wants to. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep on a regular basis, it may be the result of an anxiety disorder. Of course, there are a number of other factors that could cause sleeping difficulties, so you will need to see what other symptoms you experience before determining if you do have anxiety. Certain medications and health conditions can cause you to toss and turn, much like day-to-day stress.
Even though anxiety disorder is a mental condition, it can affect more parts of your body than just your mind. Many patients who have anxiety experience gastrointestinal distress as a result of their nervousness. Once again, you cannot assume that just because you have chronic stomach aches that you also have anxiety. You will need to speak with a professional to receive a full evaluation. Nevertheless, having consistent trouble with your bowels and the digestive system could be a sign of anxiety disorder.
Compulsive Thoughts And Behaviors
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a form of anxiety, but you do not have to have OCD to experience compulsive thoughts and behaviors. The compulsions are often designed to reduce anxious feelings, even for someone who does not have OCD. If you find yourself frantically cleaning your apartment or adjusting the TV volume to a certain level every night, you could be acting out from your anxiety.
Many people who suffer from anxiety disorder have low self-esteem, or they have a tendency to doubt themselves when making decisions. This self-doubt can show itself in nearly any daily activity, from choosing a food item of a menu to turning in a term paper. There are plenty of other circumstances that may cause you to have low self-esteem, including abuse and body dysmorphia. This is just another potential sign you have an anxiety disorder.
Repeated panic attacks are yet another sign of anxiety disorder. Having one panic attack in your life may not necessarily indicate that you suffer from anxiety, but going through a few of them in a relatively short period of time is a definite sign that you need professional evaluation. Panic attacks can be triggered by a wide range of situations, from sudden onset health problems to financial stress or personal phobias. Many patients report symptoms similar to that of a heart attack, while others say they experience temporary paralysis during the attacks. Whatever the case may be, you should be reviewed for anxiety if you go through repeated panic attacks.
Find yourself going through unpredictable mood swings? That could be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder. These mood swings could come from chemical imbalances in your body, or they may simply be your body’s way of coping with changes in your life. If you have ever felt sad, angry, or confused without warning and without the ability to control your emotions, you could be going through an anxiety attack.
Talk to a counselor or therapist about your current condition and see what you can do for anxiety treatment.