Anxious and stressful situations can arise frequently during the course of a day. Challenging scenarios including exams, job interviews, public speaking, or a first date can cause even the most collected of us to get sweaty palms.
But when worries and fears take over and start to dominate our thoughts and feelings, an anxiety disorder may be involved. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting forty million adults age 18 and older, representing 18% of the population.
There are six general categories of anxiety disorders, each with its own unique set of symptoms and characteristics. They include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Understanding and identifying one’s anxiety disorder is the first step in steadying the ship and breaking free from it. Below we’ve outlined the most common signs that you may be suffering from anxiety.
If you are persistently experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, you may want to consult with your family medical specialist to determine if you are in fact suffering from anxiety. Potential symptoms include:
- Feeling apprehensive or dread, on the lookout for danger, expecting the worst
- Experiencing restlessness and having trouble concentrating
- Being persistently tense, edgy and jittery
- Anxious feelings that interfere with work, school, or family responsibilities
- Having irrational fears that are difficult to get rid of
- Avoiding certain normal situations due to high levels of anxiety
- Feeling like the mind has gone blank
- Experiencing frequent panic attacks
There is also a physical side to the symptoms of anxiety that vary according to the type of anxiety disorder that is present. Some common physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Pounding and faster heart rate
- Sudden sweating
- Shallow breathing and an inability to take a deep breath
- Tremors and shaking
- Headache, stomach cramps or feeling dizzy
- Feeling cold or hot flashes for no reason
- Frequent urination or loose stools
- Muscle tension
- Insomnia and high levels of fatigue
For more information on anxiety disorders and their associated symptoms, please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment.