Anxiety disorder is often experienced as a sense of panic, fear, and uneasiness that seems to be triggered by ordinary situations. The symptoms, which can come and go throughout a lifetime, are distressing enough to interfere with everyday life.
Anxiety Disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the U.S. aged 18 years and older. Many people suffer from anxiety disorders. However, most do not know how to deal with the disorder or its associated symptoms.
Treatment can be effective. However, one of the best ways to manage your condition is to understand what you’re facing and seek help for your anxiety disorder. This article will go over some of the most common signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders so you know how to recognize them in yourself or others.
Why Do People Experience Anxiety Disorder?
People with anxiety disorders have persistent, excessive fear and anxiety. These feelings can be so severe that they get in the way of daily life. Anxious people often worry about things like money, health, or relationships. They may even stress about events that will probably never happen.
Anxiety attacks are a symptom of an anxiety disorder. People feel suddenly afraid or nervous for no apparent reason. During an attack, people feel anxious and restless. Their heart races, and they may sweat or feel short of breath. These attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 3.1% of the U.S. population. In comparison, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) affects 7.1% of adults in the U.S. Panic Disorder affects 2.7% of adults, with women twice as likely to be affected as men. Other types of Anxiety Disorders include Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Specific Phobia, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia, and Health Anxiety.
The Following Variables May Contribute to an Increased Chance of Having an Anxiety Disorder:
Children who have experienced abuse or trauma or have observed horrific events are more likely to develop an anxiety condition later in life. Adults who have been through a stressful event may acquire anxiety disorders as well.
Stress as a result of a sickness.
Having a health problem or a major illness can create tremendous anxiety about your treatment and future.
Excessive anxiety can be triggered by a single stressful incident or a collection of more minor stressful life situations — for example, a family member’s death, work stress, or continual worry about finances.
Certain personality types are predisposed to anxiety problems, while others are not.
Additional mental health problems.
Individuals who suffer from other mental health conditions, such as depression, may also suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Having biological relatives that suffer from anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders can be hereditary. One-third of the risk of experiencing Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is genetic. Additionally, a family history of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is linked to a larger risk of developing an Anxiety Disorder.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder That You Need to Know
Anxiety is a normal human emotion. But it can be highly uncomfortable. The worst part is people who suffer from anxiety disorder can feel like they are going crazy because there are a lot of physical symptoms that accompany them.
Trying to figure out what’s causing your anxiety disorder can be a challenging task, but there are some common signs and symptoms that you should look for to determine if you may have this disorder.
The first thing that you should do is make sure that your anxiety disorder is not caused by something else. For example, if you feel incredibly anxious all of the time, it could be induced by a health problem such as heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat, panic attacks, hyperventilation, or even hypoglycemia.
Chest pains, shortness of breath, and dizziness usually accompany these symptoms. If this sounds like something that you’re suffering from, then you should make an appointment with a doctor right away to run a few tests and see if there is another physical reason for your anxiety symptoms.
If you feel like your anxiety disorder is psychological rather than physical, then here are some signs and symptoms to look for:
- You experience frequent panic attacks.
- You have an excessive and unreasonable fear of situations that you associate with panic attacks.
- You worry about having another panic attack or fear about the consequences of having another one.
- You think about having a panic attack or experiencing physical symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and nausea—even when you are not in any anxiety-provoking situations.
- You have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because you are thinking about your anxiety symptoms or worrying about the next day.
- Your anxiety or phobic avoidance interferes with your ability to work or go to school or interfere with your social life and relationships.
Anxiety may also express itself in other ways, including panic attacks, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Other common anxieties include social phobia (the fear of being judged by others) and generalized anxiety disorder (emotional responses to seemingly random events).
How Do We Prevent Anxiety Disorder?
While there is no way to anticipate who will develop an anxiety disorder, there are activities you can do to mitigate the impact of symptoms if you are anxious:
Seek Assistance Immediately.
As with many other mental health issues, anxiety can be more challenging to manage if left untreated.
Maintain an Active Lifestyle.
Engage in things that you enjoy and that boost your self-esteem. Enjoy social engagement and loving relationships, which can help alleviate your concerns.
Abstain From Alcohol and Other Drugs.
Alcohol and drug abuse can contribute to or exacerbate anxiety. If you are dependent on any of these substances, quitting can be frightening. If you cannot quit alone, consult a physician or join a support group.
Final Notes on Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder
If you think that you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, try to get in touch with your doctor and find what treatment works for you. It’s good to remember that having an anxiety disorder is nothing to be ashamed of; however, it can be embarrassing due to the stigma attached to mental health disorders. However, please do not let this bring you down or make you feel worse than you already do because that is what will keep you in the cycle of anxiety.