How to Know if You Have Anxiety?
Every once in awhile, you might experience anxiety when a deadline is headed your way and you still have not started your work. Just like you, many others, such as I, begin experiencing anxiety in the face of a difficult and unrelenting situation. Anxiety is very common and can be managed, according to Endeavour Wellness, an experienced Sutherland Shire Psychologist.
What is Anxiety?
It is perfectly normal to experience anxiety in difficult situations and usually, it goes away once you have managed your way through your predicament.
However, when anxiety does not go away even after getting through the issue and instead is prolonged indefinitely, affecting your life, then it has become a serious mental health problem that you should seek help for.
American Psychiatric Association states that women on average are more susceptible to experiencing anxiety and anxiety disorders than men. In recent years, anxiety has started to become more and more common amongst people, ranging from little children to the elderly.
According to Blatchford, general anxiety levels amongst people have been on a steady rise since World War II and now those levels have reached a point where it is appropriate to say societies have reached an “anxiety epidemic”.
Symptoms of Anxiety
- Excessive palpitations
- Feeling extremely restless
- Unable to concentrate
- Very rapid breathing
- Having trouble falling asleep
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
If you or someone you might know is possibly experiencing anxiety for prolonged periods of time with no end in sight, then in such cases, you or they might be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
When an anxiety disorder occurs, it can and does seriously disrupt your life and at times might even prevent you from performing the most basic daily tasks. ReachOut.com mentions how the feeling of anxiousness happens when you encounter a situation that you and your mind deem as dangerous even if it may not be dangerous in the slightest.
A Few Major Types of Anxiety Disorders?
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): With this disorder, you may experience constant tension and worrying, and great nervousness. When you feel such symptoms at much higher levels than normal and you feel them on a very regular basis, then you might have already developed or are developing Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
- Panic disorder: Panic disorder takes place when your anxiety levels have instantly and intensely hit a very high level in a matter of seconds or minutes.
During a panic attack you might feel intense fear hit you, severe shortness of breath, a lot of sweating, shaking quite a bit and experiencing the feeling that some sort of impending doom is coming your way.
When a panic disorder occurs, it more often than not completely stops you from functioning as you normally do and, in a sense, you enter a paralyzed state that you cannot get out of easily.
- Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia: Social Anxiety Disorder occurs when you are experiencing high levels of anxiety due to being present in any sort of social gathering or public space.
You feel extremely self-conscious and might feel as if everyone around you is looking you up and down and judging you very harshly, when in fact, this might not be the case at all.
You might feel that every move and action that you take is being watched and commented upon quite negatively. For some individuals, it might be so severe that just being around other people can trigger their social anxiety disorder.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is a very well-known disorder amongst many people.
In OCD, you constantly have obsessive thoughts of carrying out certain actions that become repetitive in nature. You start performing repetitive actions in a certain order, for example, washing your hands three or five times before doing anything else.
However, performing these repetitive actions once or twice a day is not enough for those suffering from OCD but rather you feel the need to continuously keep carrying out those repetitive tasks.
Carrying out the tasks gives you temporary relief but if you try to stop yourself from doing those actions, then your anxiety starts soaring high which ultimately compels you to give in to those obsessive thoughts.
- Separation Anxiety Disorder: This disorder is one that you might have experienced since childhood. You tend to experience severe anxiety from being separated from your parents or parental figures or any other loved ones to the point that you become unable to function normally.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This is another rather well-known disorder. You might know this to occur for returning soldiers from the battlefield or in people who have gone through an extremely, life-altering traumatic experience.
In such traumatic events, a person might have gone through serious physical harm or assault or a terrible accident the person may have been involved in.
What can you do?
Depending on your anxiety disorder your medical treatment plan might differ but it is always best to go get checked out by a medical professional.
In some cases, you might get certain medication to help ease your disorder along with therapy, but in other cases, you might only require therapy. The length of your therapy might vary depending on your disorder and its severity.
- Anxiety is normal to experience but when it becomes prolonged and starts taking over your daily life and prevents you from functioning normally, then it has become a disorder.
- Anxiety has certain general symptoms that possibly occur amongst all disorders such as, shaking, excessive sweating, feeling very restless, and rapid breathing.
- There are many different types of anxiety disorders but some of the major ones include, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and separation anxiety disorder.
- Usual treatment plans tend to include certain prescription medication and therapy.
It is of the utmost importance that if you are experiencing an anxiety disorder, that you seek medical attention and consult with your doctors about it and they will guide you in the right direction.