Signs You Have Anxiety
Friday 1st June 2018
What is Anxiety? 6 Warning Signs
Anxiety is such a broad term for feeling stressed, nervous, jittery and often the worry is to do with a specific reason - work, relationships, money. However, if these worries become persistent and overwhelmingly strong, rendering you unable to carry out normal day-to-day activities, then it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
While it's impossible to self-diagnose and there is no conclusive anxiety test, self-awareness is a powerful tool and if you find that you recognise yourself in these areas, it might be time to seek professional advice.
We all worry about things, but if your worries are persistent daily anxious thoughts, over a prolonged period which interfere with your daily life and are accompanied by some of the other symptoms listed below, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. The fine line between normal anxiety and a disorder is when the person is suffering and it is making their life dysfunctional.
People with social anxiety tend to worry for days or weeks leading up to a particular event or situation, often suffering from panic attacks, nausea, sweating, or difficulty talking, making some social situations impossible. Again, if these symptoms are disruptive and affect relationships, work, or school, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
If you consistently find that you cannot sleep and lay in bed feeling agitated, worried, stressed and unable to relax, whether worrying about specific and known problems or nothing in particular, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder. You may also find that on waking you still feel anxious and your mind is racing, unable to calm yourself down.
Our bodies can be a great barometer for anxiety disorders but often we ignore the signs.
Near-constant muscle tension, such as muscle pain, clenching teeth and jaw, or balling fists can be an indication of an anxiety disorder. Other physical symptoms include chronic digestive problems, headaches, and generally feeling unwell and fatigued.
For anyone who has ever experienced a panic attack, they can be terrifying and feel life threatening. Lasting from seconds, to minutes to perhaps longer, common physical symptoms include breathing problems, a pounding or racing heart, tingling or numb hands, sweating, weakness or dizziness, chest pain, stomach pain, and feeling hot or cold. Having panic attacks does not necessarily mean you have an anxiety disorder, however, as previously, if it is disruptive to your day-to-day life then it needs addressing.
People who suffer from obsessive behaviour which results in living a dysfunctional life, possibly do have an anxiety disorder. If you find that being a perfectionist is beyond normal boundaries, such as you cannot cope if something isn't just right or done the way you want it to be done, then it may be a sign of an obsessive-compulsive disorder. Accompanied by intrusive thoughts, a person's behaviour becomes controlled by either mental or physical cues or rituals.
What causes anxiety?
While we cannot conclusively say why certain people suffer from anxiety more than others, it can be linked to past traumatic stresses, how you were brought up, known and current fears, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
However, anxiety can be managed and, with the right treatment, it need not take over your life.