Signs of Anxiety
Signs of an anxiety disorder can differ from person to person. Possible symptoms of anxiousness include:
- Nervousness or restlessness
- Feeling tense or on-edge
- Rapid heart rate
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Weakness or fatigue
- Gastrointestinal issues
Panic attacks are another common symptom of these disorders. Panic attacks occur when you have a sudden feeling of overwhelming panic and fear. This can cause a racing heart, trouble breathing, chest pain, and dizziness. Panic attacks typically have a specific trigger and the symptoms eventually pass.
Different types of disorders can cause different symptoms. Common types of anxiousness in these disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which causes a lasting and out-of-proportion feeling of anxiousness about regular events and activities. Nervousness with this disorder is hard to control and often has physical ramifications. This quiz will identify symptoms of GAD. One place where this may present itself is with test anxiety, where people will experience symptoms while taking tests. Test anxiety can make educational opportunities difficult, or in the professional world test anxiety may pose difficulties for interviews. However, GAD can express itself in any part of life, test anxiety is just one example.
- Agoraphobia, which is the fear of places, situations, and events that would be difficult to escape or would make you feel trapped. People with agoraphobia often avoid crowded areas, public transportation, and leaving home in general because it tests their boundaries.
- Panic disorder, or PD, which is characterized by frequent panic attacks that inhibit individuals from engaging in daily activities for fear of triggering an attack.
How is Anxiety Treated?
There are multiple treatment methods available for those who experience symptoms. Patients may opt for a single treatment or a combination of treatments depending on the severity of the anxiousness and their unique needs.
Some cases may be manageable with self-treatment. While this is generally not sufficient for severe disorders or those that have long-lasting feelings of anxiousness, it may be effective for mild cases.
At-home treatment methods for anxious thoughts and feelings may include:
- Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing
- A regular exercise routine
- Stress management, including scheduled time off from work or school
- Talking to a friend or loved one
- The practice of trading negative thoughts for positive ones
Therapy is the most common method of treatment for most mental health conditions. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that can be effective in helping people manage and overcome their symptoms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy works to identify and alter triggering thoughts and feelings. In cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, therapists aim to help patients pinpoint distorted thinking and triggers. Over time, patients can identify when their anxious thoughts are out of proportion to the situation at hand.
Medications can also help individuals effectively manage their symptoms. While medications can be successfully used for some management, it’s important to avoid dependency. Discuss the potential risks of any new medication with your doctor before taking it.
If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety symptoms that interfere with daily life, you may be experiencing an anxiety disorder. It's important to note that these disorders are common and treatable.
One great tool to take home with you is the idea of grounding. This will help make you aware of the space that surrounds you in a stressful situation and bring you back to a peaceful reality by engaging your senses. This technique asks you to identify 5 items or objects that you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Ideally this will help slow down your mind in a stressful social situation and remind you that you are okay.
With the help of a licensed therapist or counselor, you can empower yourself with techniques to calm your mind and body in triggering situations.
If you are in crisis or want to learn more about mental health, do not hesitate to call the hotlines below: