Oftentimes, anxiety disorders are mistaken with “normal” anxiety, and although not correct, they are used interchangeably.
Worried? Nervous? It’s normal to be like that but in “healthy” amounts, when it starts to disrupt important work and daily functions, then it has to go.
1. Normal, what exactly is normal?
It’s common to get nervous or anxious when speaking in large gatherings, or when going through rough patches, however, to some people anxiety becomes so rampant, it’s destructive.
It’s rather difficult to self diagnose if the normal anxiety has developed into a full blown anxiety disorder as anxiety comes in many forms such as phobias, panic attacks, social anxiety, etc. Hence, an official diagnosis will be required for total clarification.
In this article, we will be showing you some of the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. If you’ve experienced anyone of these symptoms, you need to see your doctor.
2. You worry too much:
About the irrelevant things, so much so, that it starts to affect your day-to-day living. The pin pointers of Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is the constant and persistent worrying (everyday for about six months) on everything, either little or big.
The worry and anxious thoughts must be so bad that it threatens and interferes with daily life and is followed by some noticeable symptoms such as headaches and fatigue.
“The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction,” says Sally Winston, PsyD, co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland in Towson. ”
3. You have trouble sleeping:
Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep is in fact normal. But when this becomes persistent and for no justifiable cause, it might hint at many physical and psychological health conditions.
It’s okay to be anxious on anticipating a big speech, or a new job.
If you persistently find yourself unable to sleep or lying awake, agitated or worried about problems or nothing at all, that might be a sign of anxiety disorder.
Another pointer, you might wake up in the middle of the night feeling wired, strange and unable to calm yourself.
4. Irrational fears;
Some anxiety disorders are not generalized and are in fact, attached or aggravated by a particular situation or phobia (cars, animals, flying, etc). These fears can become overwhelming and and destructive.
Some fears come with confrontation with a specific situation. For example, a person who’s afraid of hills may go for decades without having problem, but may get a full blown anxiety attack when told to go on a hiking trip. Only then do they realize that the anxiety was suppressed and they do need to visit a doctors for treatment.
5. Muscle contractions:
Do you have near-constant muscle tensions? It consists of clenching your fists, flexing your muscles, etc. This can be evasive for people who have lived with it for a long time.
Regular workouts can help but tension may fly up if other unforeseen disrupt a workout session.
6. Poor digestion:
Although anxiety is a mind thing, it also manifests itself in physical and clinical symptoms such as poor digestion, chronic digestive problems, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
IBS is characterized by bloating, stomach aches, cramping, gas, constipation and/or diarrhoea. The gut is very sensitive to psychological stress, so if the patient experiences more physical and social discomfort, the chronic digestion problems can lead to more anxiety.
IBS is not always related to anxiety but the two most often occur together.
7. Fear of public speaking:
A normal individual will be uncomfortable speaking in public or being in the spotlight. It’s normal when in healthy dosages, but when the fear becomes so superfluous that the highest encouragements and talks do not alleviate the anxiousness and you keep thinks about it even 7 days before the D-day.
People with social anxiety problems most often spend weeks to months, thinking and worrying about the talk. If they do manage to go through with the talk and speak publicly, they tend to be emotional and worrisome over weeks to try to determine what other people’s perception and views are about him/her.
8. Confidence and self consciousness:
Society anxiety disorder does not always require you to speak to crowds or be the center of attraction.
These feelings are provoked by the slightest things, for example, sitting at a bar, walking down the park and even from passersby.
These individuals will experience nausea, profuse sweating, trembling, difficulty talking. These can be so brutal that they chase friends and partners.
Panic attacks have turnout to be very terrifying: try Picturing a sudden, gripping feeling of intense fear and helplessness that can last several minutes, accompanied by scary physical symptoms such as breathing problems, a pounding or racing heart, tingling or numb hands, sweating, weakness or dizziness, chest pain, stomach pain, and feeling hot or cold.
Anxiety disorder is not experienced by everyone who has a panic attack, but people who experience them countless times may be diagnosed with panic disorder. People with panic disorder live in fear about when, where, and why their next attack might happen, and they tend to avoid places where attacks have occurred .
10. Perfection is an illusion:
Being such critics of themselves, people suffering from anxiety disorders are “perfectionists” and aim to keep it that way.
Perfectionism is especially common in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which, like PTSD, has long been viewed as an anxiety disorder. “OCD can happen subtly, like in the case of someone who is not able to get out of the house for close to three hours just because their makeup has to be absolutely right and they have to keep starting over,” Winston says.
A sufferer will persistently see images from past occurrences that he was involved in or a loved one. Here, a common follow up is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Reliving a disturbing or traumatic event a violent encounter, the sudden death of a loved one is a hallmark of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which shares some features with anxiety disorders. (Until very recently, in fact, PTSD was observed as a type of anxiety disorder rather than a condition of its own.)
But flashbacks may occur with other types of anxiety as well. Some research, including a 2006 study in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, suggests that some people with social anxiety have PTSD-like flashbacks of experiences that might not seem obviously traumatic, such as being publicly ridiculed. These people may even avoid reminders of the experience another symptom reminiscent of PTSD.
12. Second guessing yourself?
Persistent self-doubt and second-guessing is a common feature of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. In some cases, the doubt may revolve around a question that’s central to a person’s identity, like “What if I’m a killer?” or “Do I love my wife as much as she loves me?
If you’ve shown more than 50% of these symptoms aforementioned please visit the nearest doctor and get the proper diagnosis before treatment.