Symptoms of anxiety can be clearly visible or even hidden. It's common to feel anxious every now and then. Many people worry about their health, their finances, or their family issues. However, anxiety disorders go beyond momentary apprehension or fear, and the symptoms of anxiety can vary from one person to another.
For those who suffer from an anxiety disorder, their anxiety persists and may even worsen over time. These symptoms might affect daily tasks like work performance, academic progress, and interpersonal connections.
Anxiety disorders are a set of mental conditions that produce unrelenting, intense worry and fear. You may avoid activities such as work, school, family gatherings, and other social events as they can exacerbate your symptoms of anxiety.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are characterized by an excess of fear or worry. It might be challenging to breathe, sleep, keep still, and focus when you have anxiety. Depending on the type of illness you have, you may experience specific symptoms of anxiety:
1) Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by a continuous feeling of fear or anxiety that might interfere with day-to-day activities. It is not the same as worrying or feeling anxious from time to time as a result of demanding life situations. People suffering from GAD may experience anxiety on a regular basis for months or even years. Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling tense, anxious, or restless
- Being prone to fatigue
- Having trouble staying focused
- Having a negative mood
2) Panic Disorders
Panic attacks occur frequently and without warning in people suffering from panic disorders. Even when there is no obvious risk or trigger, panic attacks are sudden episodes of great fear, discomfort, or a sense of losing control. Not everybody who has a panic episode goes on to have a panic disorder. When having a panic attack, a person might experience:
- Rapid or pounding heart
- Chest pain
- A sense of impending disaster
- a feeling of helplessness
People who suffer from panic disorder frequently worry about when their next attack will occur and actively work to prevent attacks in the future by avoiding the locations, circumstances, or actions they link to panic attacks. As frequently as several times per day or as infrequently as a few times per year, panic episodes can happen.
An extreme aversion to or fear of particular things or circumstances is referred to as a phobia. The fear that people with phobias experience is excessive compared to the actual risk that the situation or object poses, even if it can be reasonable to feel worried in some situations. The symptoms of anxiety during phobia are:
- Possibility of having excessive anxiety of encountering the feared object or circumstance
- Actively avoid the thing or circumstance you are afraid of
- Fear of losing control
4) Separation Anxiety Disorder
Although it is frequently assumed that only children experience separation anxiety, adults can also be diagnosed with this condition.The primary symptoms of SAD is worry about losing touch with the people they care about. They frequently worry that their connection figures may suffer injury or experience anything undesirable while they are apart.
They resist being alone and being apart from their attachment figures as a result of this dread. People with separation anxiety may experience physical symptoms when separation happens or are expected to have nightmares about being separated from attachment figures or both.
5) Selective Mutism
Selective mutism is a rather uncommon anxiety-related condition. People who are selectively mute despite having normal language skills will not talk in certain social contexts. Selective mutism typically develops before the age of five and is frequently accompanied by excessive shyness, social anxiety, obsessive tendencies, withdrawal, clinging, and tantrums. Selective mutism is frequently co-diagnosed with other anxiety disorders in patients.
Methods to Reduce Anxiety
There are several ways to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. By visiting a mental health professional, you can determine if your symptoms warrant a diagnosis. Depending on this, you can use the following methods to reduce anxiety:
1) Reality Check
Think about the following when you experience anxiety symptoms.
- How likely is it that the event I'm worried about will occur, on a scale of 1 to 100?
- Do I have solid justification for anticipating a negative outcome?
- Is it possible that I'm worrying too much?
2) Talk to Someone
Don't ignore your anxious thoughts, because doing so can make them worse. Instead, talk to someone you trust about your anxiety. Discuss them with a friend or member of your family so they can help you put things into perspective.
3) Take a Break
You might daydream on your own or use a guided imagery tool. The loop of worrying thoughts can be broken by taking a small mental vacation. Set a timer for a few minutes, close your eyes, and visualize a tranquil or joyful place as you try this on your own.
Constantly experiencing symptoms of anxiety is difficult and distressing. You can feel worn out and afraid due to your ongoing anxiety and panic. If you have discussed your symptoms of anxiety with a doctor, you have already taken the first step toward letting go. Finding the best treatment for you can sometimes take some time.
If you have multiple anxiety disorders, you may require a variety of treatments. The best treatment for the majority of anxiety disorders is a mix of medication and counseling. You can learn how to control your symptoms of anxiety and thrive if you receive the right care and therapy.
Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.
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