Could I have an anxiety disorder?
It’s normal to feel anxious from time to time. For instance, you might feel anxious before sitting for an important test, when faced by challenges at work, or having financial problems.
However, when signs of anxiety surpass the incidents that triggered them and start to get in the way of your day to day life, they could be a sign of anxiety disorder.
While anxiety disorders can be overwhelming, they are manageable, and identifying the warning signs is the first step.
Here are the eight warning signs of anxiety you might miss:
1. Feeling agitated
Whenever you are anxious about something, your sensitive nervous system will go into overdrive. You’ll start to experience things like dry mouth and sweaty palms. Sometimes your hands may begin to shake.
These signs come about because the brain has sensed a threat, and it is getting the body ready to react. Your body responds by increasing your heart rate, senses, and alertness.
Although these reactions would come handy if there is an actual threat, they can prove to be distressing if it’s a false alarm.
If you experience frequent false alarm episodes, it could be a sign of anxiety, and you should seek medical assistance.
2. Excessive Worrying
Excessive worrying is one of the most easy-to-miss symptoms of anxiety. The worrying linked to anxiety is, in most cases, inconsistent with the occasions that elicit it, and usually happens as a reaction to ordinary, day to day situations.
Worrying is considered a sign of anxiety when it occurs almost every day for not less than six months. Persons below the age of 65, particularly those with a lot of life stressors, divorced or are less friendly, are highly likely to suffer from anxiety.
Restlessness is another easy-to-miss sign of anxiety. This warning sign is more prevalent in teenagers and children.
Although restlessness isn’t common in all patients of anxiety, it is among the top warning signs often looked for by health practitioners when making a diagnosis.
You’re advised to talk to a health provider if you experience prolonged episodes of restlessness. It could be a warning sign of anxiety.
4. Trouble Concentrating
A lot of people suffering from anxiety admit to having concentration issues. Doctors say that anxiety can disrupt the memory that holds temporary information, also known as working memory. This is a perfect explanation of why most people experience dramatic performance decrease during high anxiety periods.
Nevertheless, concentration issues can also signify an underlying health condition, such as depression.
Do you feel fatigued all the time, or are you easily tired? It could be a sign of anxiety. This sign of anxiety can come as a surprise to many people because anxiety is mostly linked to hyperactivity.
Some people may experience fatigue, followed by a series of anxiety attacks. For some, the weariness can be persistent.
Although fatigue/tiredness can be a symptom of anxiety, it may also be a sign of an underlying medical disorder.
Most people suffering from anxiety are also highly irritable. A recent study found that over 90 per cent of adults suffering from anxiety are extremely short-tempered, especially during episodes when their anxiety is at its nastiest. This warning sign of anxiety is common in middle-aged adults.
Since anxiety is linked to over worrying and high arousal, it doesn’t come as a surprise that bad temper is a common sign.
7. Irrational Fears
Excessive fears about things like heights, spiders, or darkness could be a symptom of anxiety. Unreasonable fears that come in the way of your everyday functioning could be a warning sign of anxiety.
Irrational fears are likely to develop during teenage or childhood years and tend to affect women more than men.
8. Avoiding Social Situations
Do you sometimes feel fearful about approaching social situations or anxious that people may scrutinise or judge you? Well, you may be showing symptoms of anxiety. This type of anxiety is prevalent in young people and is said to build up early in life.