Anxiety is a normal response to stress, but if your anxiety becomes frequent or doesn’t go away quickly enough, you may have an anxiety condition.
Anxiety symptoms vary from person to person and may include restlessness, irritability, changes in sleeping patterns and physical sensations such as racing heartbeat. Anxiety may also be caused by certain medications.
You’re feeling anxious about something.
Feelings of anxiety, worry and fear are normal responses to situations that are difficult or stressful – such as an interview or paying bills. Our brain reacts by releasing hormones which cause physical symptoms like an increased heartbeat rate or sweating – usually these go away once the situation that caused them is finished.
At times, these feelings of anxiety may become so intense as to interfere with daily activities and put you at risk of having an anxiety disorder. If this anxiety becomes intense or persistent over time and leads to phobias or leads to other forms of emotional discomfort, professional assistance should be sought immediately.
Anxiety disorders remain poorly understood; however, it’s believed that prolonged stress can alter the chemical balance that controls moods. Furthermore, trauma-inducing events may prompt someone already predisposed to anxiety to become disenfranchised with themselves and develop symptoms of their disorder.
If your concerns persist and interfere with work, school, or relationships, or are negatively impacting them, speaking with a GP or mental health professional might help. They’ll likely ask about symptoms and the effect they’re having before possibly referring you for further assessment by psychiatrists or psychologists.
Anxiety can significantly impair your mental wellbeing and can even lead to depression, making it harder for you to think clearly and concentrate. Seeking diagnosis and treatment before your anxious feelings worsen is crucial; otherwise they could make daily living difficult. If the symptoms are mild, your GP or mental health professional can work with you to create strategies to manage them; distractions might include reading a book or doing crossword puzzles as effective tools to combat the strain.
You’re worried about something.
While temporary fear or worry are normal feelings, when these become persistent and interfere with daily activities it’s essential to seek professional assistance. You might notice an increase in clinginess from children or irritability among teenagers – often parents and teachers will notice first.
Are you feeling anxious about multiple issues at once? Anxiety disorders cause people to become preoccupied with numerous situations or issues instead of just one particular source, prompting a wide array of anxiety-inducing feelings instead.
Children, teenagers and adults all experience anxiety at some point in their lives. Kids in particular often react negatively when starting school or having doctor’s appointments; teens typically struggle with friendships, dating and social problems that arise. It’s important to recognize these feelings are part of growing up and can be addressed with time and treatment.
Mental health professionals specializing in anxiety can provide invaluable assistance by teaching healthy coping mechanisms to alleviate symptoms. Try relaxing activities such as music therapy, meditation or visualization techniques to bring relief. Be sure to get enough rest each night, and avoid substances like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine which could increase anxiety levels further.
A San Diego based anxiety disorder therapist can assist in diagnosing what’s causing your anxiety as well as developing a plan to alleviate its effects, including medications and therapy sessions. Sticking to this treatment plan regularly can help bring relief faster.
You’re afraid of something.
Fear is an instinctual response to danger that helps us remain alert, focus, and solve problems more efficiently. But when fear becomes persistent or out-of-proportion to its circumstances, it can interfere with life and add unnecessary stress.
When your brain perceives threats, it sends signals to the amygdala to activate its “fight or flight” response, leading to physical reactions such as faster heartbeat and elevated blood pressure; blood is pumped directly to major muscle groups in preparation for action; skin sweats help keep body cool; when faced with fear it is likely other parts of your brain responsible for thinking and reasoning will also shut down, making it harder for good decisions or clear thinking to occur.
Some individuals experience specific phobias related to heights, flying and public speaking; whereas, others suffer from generalized anxiety disorder – making it hard for them to relax in everyday situations or feel secure enough. If your stress levels remain elevated and anxiety persists in everyday situations, or you fear something bad will happen soon – now may be the time to speak with a healthcare provider about possible solutions.
Your healthcare provider will want to know when, how intense, and for how long the symptoms have been occurring. He or she may run tests or scans to rule out physical causes for your symptoms. If nothing physical is to blame, their diagnosis will rely on what you tell them about yourself as well as observations made of your behavior and attitude; cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be recommended in order to alter any unhelpful thoughts and behaviors contributing to anxiety.
You’re avoiding something.
Anxiety can lead to poor coping mechanisms, with avoidance being among the most prevalent behaviors. While temporarily skipping school or social events might seem harmless, over time this behavior could become problematic and lead to even deeper issues. It’s important to notice any sign of unhealthy avoidance from yourself or family members and consult a mental health provider immediately if this behavior continues.
One form of avoidance is known as compulsions, which involve repetitive behaviors that feel helpful at the time but ultimately make anxiety worse. For example, someone suffering from anxiety might frantically wash their hands after going shopping or before leaving home to protect against germs and contamination. Another type of avoidance known as situational avoidance refers to when individuals avoid specific places or people that cause discomfort such as going to the dentist or meeting potential romantic partners.
Avoidance as a strategy for dealing with anxiety can be very problematic and is usually based on unhelpful predictions. For instance, children who fear going to a birthday party might worry they won’t know anyone or that something embarrassing might happen at it; by staying home they avoid these thoughts but also lose out on experiencing how inaccurate their predictions actually were. Exposure therapy offers another more positive approach that gradually enters feared situations until anxiety subsides – much healthier and effective solution than avoidance!
You’re avoiding people.
People living with anxiety often develop avoidance behaviors that can have devastating consequences on their relationships. They may avoid activities that trigger their anxiety, such as going to the mall, going out with friends or taking public transit; alternatively they may stay home instead of attending work or school and avoid engaging with family and coworkers altogether. Furthermore, individuals suffering from anxiety are often emotionally distant due to fear of judgment or rejection and can no longer maintain meaningful connections.
If anxiety is keeping someone from engaging in activities or situations they once enjoyed, seeking professional assistance should be their next step. Anxiety can be a normal part of life; when severe and long-lasting symptoms develop, however, this could signal the presence of an anxiety disorder according to the American Psychiatric Association’s definition. An anxiety disorder is defined as excessive and uncontrollable worrying or fear that outweighs its impact in order to interfere with daily functioning and create daily distress for daily functioning activities and affect daily life in unexpected ways.
Anxiety disorders include panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and specific phobias. Individuals experiencing panic attacks may feel overwhelmed with intense fear – such as chest pain or the sensation they’re about to have a heart attack – along with racing heartbeat, sweating or feelings of being Choked. People suffering from OCD have thoughts they cannot control and perform rituals in an effort to alleviate their anxieties while those living with specific phobias, like heights or flying can make them anxious and uncomfortable.
People living with high-functioning anxiety may appear to be managing well and succeeding at work and family life, yet anxiety still has negative impacts on both physical and emotional health – potentially even leading to compromised immune systems, making them susceptible to infections.