Anxiety is a common human emotion that everybody falls victim to at one point of another. Trying to make the grade in school, workplace stressors, financial insecurity or even just the fear of heights are all examples of examples of anxiety. Some of these healthy stressors drive people to be more productive, whether it be to earn more money or complete specific tasks by deadlines. However, for some, feelings of anxiety can be so intense and so frequent, that it instead interferes with their life.
While everyone deals with anxiety in some form, there are some that suffer from anxiety disorders, which are characterized by chronic anxiety that is so severe and frequent, that it interferes with one’s everyday life. Anxiety disorders typically occur in early childhood and present themselves in different ways, making it sometimes difficult to distinguish between regular anxiety and an anxiety disorder.
People who suffer from anxiety disorders will normally exhibit different combinations of physiological and psychological symptoms. The physical symptoms are often easier to recognize from the outside and can include sweating or being flushed. Many of these symptoms can occur as the result of other conditions and therefore, before an anxiety disorder is diagnosed, it’s important that all other conditions be considered before they are ruled out.
Some common signs of an anxiety disorder include:
- Constant worrying:This means that anxious thoughts are persistent on most days, for upwards of six months and these thoughts become so bad that they interfere with one’s everyday life.
- Nearly constant muscle tension:This could consist of balling one’s fist or clenching their jaw. Muscle tension often accompanies anxiety disorders and can be so persistent that people who have them often may not even notice they are tensed up
- Constant indigestion: Chronic anxiety can sometimes manifest itself through physical symptoms such as this. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that is characterized by cramping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea
- Panic attacks: These can be terrifying. Panic attacks involve a sudden crippling feeling of fear which can last for several minutes. A panic attack is usually accompanied by some physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, tingling or numbing sensation through one’s hands, breathing problems, dizziness, chest pain or stomach pain. For those with a severe anxiety disorder, they may experience these even when there appears to be no threat or trigger for anxiety to occur
- Difficulty with concentration: People with chronic or severe anxiety often will have a very hard time focusing on one thing at a time. Their minds are constantly racing and they will have a very difficult time slowing their thinking down enough to properly focus on a task
- Irrational fears: Some people with anxiety disorders suffer from fears that are attached to specific situation such as the fear of heights, flying, crowds or germs. These are known as specific phobias. These fears can often go far out of proportion so much that they interfere with someone’s everyday life
- Difficulty sleeping: This could be exhibited by a person having trouble falling asleep or having trouble staying asleep on a consistent basis
- Obsessive behavior: This could involve repetitive thinking, such as obsessing on the same thought over and over again until it interferes with daily activities. It also could involve physical behavior such as constantly washing one’s hand, cleaning or making sure everything around is in order in an excessive fashion
There are different forms of anxiety, such as acute anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and generalized anxiety disorder, which all exhibit different combinations of symptoms. For example, OCD is often characterized by obsessive behavior while phobias are characterized by irrational fears. Other symptoms exhibited by a person with an anxiety disorder can include nausea, dizziness, profuse sweating, numbness or shortness of breath. Anxiety disorders can be very disruptive and discouraging for those who are dealing with them and can hinder them from living full and happy life, if they are left untreated.
Anxiety disorders, like other mental health disorder can improve if they receive proper treatment. The Anxiety Disorder Helpline is committed to helping those who are struggling with anxiety disorders find effective mental health treatment options. We offer free consultation for anyone who calls and are happy to help anyone who is struggling with an anxiety disorder and is seeking treatment. If you know someone who is struggling with an anxiety disorder and is in need of mental health treatment, please do not hesitate to call. You may contact us at 866-971-7951 where one of our treatment specialists will assist you in finding the right treatment option for you in your area.