Anxiety is a human emotion that every person experiences. The emotion of anxiety actually has beneficial qualities when experienced at a normal level. The purpose of anxiety is to protect us; showing itself when we are in moments of fear or overwhelming stress. Essentially, the job of anxiety is to warn us if we’re in a dangerous scenario in order for us to protect ourselves. But, is the anxiety you’re experiencing normal, or is it due to an anxiety disorder? If you’re not sure, you may be wondering, “do I have an anxiety disorder?”.
Answering the Question “Do I Have an Anxiety Disorder?”
Do I have an anxiety disorder or is it just normal feelings of anxiety? While experiencing anxiety in a dangerous situation is normal, when a person experiences anxiety without any danger or at overwhelming levels, it could be due to an anxiety disorder. Typically, a person who has an anxiety disorder experiences symptoms of the disorder that are debilitating to everyday life. This means that anxiety brings about physical or emotional side effects which disturb daily tasks or make living life harder.
When you can identify the symptoms of severe anxiety in your own life, you’re more likely to tell if you’re living with an anxiety disorder. Some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders can include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Extreme feelings of doom, panic, and fear
- Restlessness and unease
- Racing heartbeat
- Stiffening of muscles and soreness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Being unable to stop having unwanted thoughts
- Trouble focusing and concentrating on tasks
- Cold sweats and sweaty palms
- Tingling sensations
- Avoiding situations, people, or places that cause further anxiety
Types of Anxiety Disorders
There are many different types of disorders relating to anxiety. Each disorder differs based on symptoms and past experiences of individuals. Some anxiety diagnoses include:
Generalized Anxiety: This is the disorder most people think of when they think about anxiety disorders. It’s characterized by feelings of overwhelming anxiety, fear, panic, worry, and doom.
Phobias: This disorder is characterized by specific fears that debilitate an individual from performing daily tasks, socializing, or situations.
Panic Disorder: This type of anxiety disorder is characterized by panic attacks, which are intense moments of fear that can bring about symptoms many people compare to having a heart attack. The fear of having another panic attack is the main symptom of this disorder, which can debilitate an individual from doing normal things like going to work or tending to other responsibilities.
Social Anxiety Disorder: This disorder is when a person feels extreme anxiety about social activities and avoids social outings or situations to divert anxiety-inducing symptoms.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
In most cases, anxiety disorders don’t just show up on their own. They’re typically co-occurring with other mental health issues as they can be developed as a result of previous experiences. Some of the things that contribute to the development of anxiety disorders may include:
- Low self-esteem issues and eating disorders
- Drug abuse and addiction
- Family history of anxiety disorders
- Chronic illness or injury
- Other mental health disorders
Treating Anxiety and Other Issues Together
As anxiety is typically paired with other issues, it’s important that treatment allows for the addressing of all issues as they all contribute to symptoms of anxiety. Willow Place for Women is a women’s-only treatment facility that helps women living with anxiety disorders and other issues like trauma, addiction, and eating disorders. Here, we teach women how to overcome the symptoms of their mental health issues in order to live a life of wellbeing.
Are you wondering, ‘Do I have an anxiety disorder’? Talk to us about how we can help you or a loved one living with anxiety disorders or other mental health issues today.