If you’ve never had anxiety yourself, or been close to someone who struggles with anxiety, it may be difficult to recognize the signs. Anxiety disorder is one of the more common mental illnesses in America effecting about 18.1% of the population.
There is a difference between general worry and stress- and an anxiety disorder. To those outside of the mental health field it may be difficult to tell the difference between just having a nervous mindset and diagnosable anxiety, so how can you tell? In this article we will review three common signs of anxiety to give you more information about this common and highly treatable condition.
It’s normal to worry from time to time, about an upcoming exam, or a family member, pat of the human experience is that we worry. However, chronic worry or fear that something is wrong, that other’s are upset with you or that something bad will happen is not normal. I often describe anxiety to clients as if your brain is on a hamster wheel. Thoughts replay again and again, over and over. It’s mentally and physically draining and despite efforts you cannot seem to get these anxious thoughts to leave your brain. It is at this point, where your fears and worries are disrupting your daily life, which indicates the possibility of a diagnosable anxiety disorder.
Anxiety can be a very physical experience. These physiological signs are also a signal that you may have a diagnosable anxiety issue. Some of these signs include: chest tightness, upset stomach, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, increased heart-rate or heart palpitations, fatigue, rapid breathing, sweating, trembling, difficulty concentrating and many more.
A panic attack is a sudden onset of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions- when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. Physical symptoms of a panic attack include:racing heart, feeling weak faint or dizzy, sweats or chills, chest pain and difficulty breathing. When experiencing a panic attack you may feel like you are losing control, having a heart attack or even dying. Panic attacks can be very scary for those experiencing them and are a definite sign of anxiety.
To be clear, there are many different forms of anxiety and many different symptoms, so this is certainly not a comprehensive list. However, the three signs described above are some of the more obvious signs you may be struggling with anxiety.. If you feel like anxiety is disrupting your daily life, it’s time to make the call to a local therapist or your doctor. Relief only can happen once treatment begins.