Signs of Anxiety
Everyone experiences some worry from time to time. But individuals with anxiety disorders have trouble managing and controlling their feelings of anxiety, worry and fear.
People with anxiety disorders experience anxiety, worries or fears to a degree so intense that it interferes with their ability to perform daily activities (work/school) or form healthy relationships with others.
The more common anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (feeling excessive worry about many different things or situations for several months or more)
- Social anxiety disorder (fear of social activities or fear of performance-related situations)
- Panic disorder (experiencing recurrent panic attacks)
- Agoraphobia (fear of being in public, in the open or of being in situations one might not be able to escape)
- Separation anxiety (anxiety caused by being separated from caregiver)
- Specific phobia (fear of a specific situation or thing, like having a fear of airplanes or fear of spiders)
Symptoms of anxiety
There are a number of different anxiety disorders and there are a number of different anxiety disorder symptoms, including the following:
- Feeling nervous, wound up, on edge or restless
- Having trouble controlling thoughts of fear and worry
- Feeling irritable
- Having trouble sleeping
- Having feelings of panic (sudden attacks of intense fear)
- Being afraid of, or avoiding, certain places or types of places
- Feeling very self-conscious or worried in front of others
- Worrying about being rejected by, or offending, others
- Worrying about an event days or weeks before it happens
- Having trouble making or keeping friends
- Worrying about leaving loved ones, or feeling unable to do so
- Other physical symptoms: heart pounding, heart palpitations, blushing, sweating, trembling, shaking, shortness of breath, choking, headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, muscle tension, or feelings of impending doom
Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses in the U.S.. Approximately 1 in 5 American adults are affected by anxiety disorders each year.
Health risks of anxiety
When a person becomes anxious, a flood of chemicals is released into the body. At its most extreme, this is known as the fight, flight or freeze response. This response is preparing the individual to act quickly in case they are in a life-threatening situation. But, people with anxiety disorders have this response often, even when they are not in life-threatening situations. This can result in uncomfortable emotional and physical symptoms and even lead to health problems.
Get help for anxiety
Anxiety disorders are associated with a great deal of suffering and real physical symptoms. The good news is that effective treatment for anxiety exists. Typically, treatment for anxiety disorders includes a combination of talk therapy, stress management, education, and/or medication.
Living with an anxiety disorder can make life seem unmanageable. If you, or someone you care for, seems to be struggling with anxiety, please reach out for help. Call us at (877) 711-1878 to speak with a Master’s-level clinician about treatment options for anxiety disorders. Help is available.