We all worry, it’s part of life. But when worry takes over your life and leaves you unable to relax or constantly fearing the worst, you may have an anxiety disorder.
About Anxiety Disorders
The cause and degree of anxiety can be confusing, as we all struggle with being anxious at times. Unlike anxiety caused from everyday situations, anxiety disorders can be all-consuming and can last up to six months or longer if left untreated.
A clinical diagnosis means the anxiety can be severe and debilitating, unlike a common case of nerves. For example, individuals with anxiety disorders may worry constantly about their health for no real reason and may seek excessive medical reassurance or have “unreasonable” fears they cannot explain. Sometimes these individuals are called “a worry wart” or “overreacting” to a situation; however, the anxiety they are unable to turn off the anxiety they are experiencing.
Many people who have an anxiety disorder will also have a co-occurring diagnosis like depressive disorder or substance use disorder, as anxiety disorders are rarely the only diagnosis in a person’s mental health history.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
Below is a list of some of the common symptoms of anxiety disorders.
- Heightened startle response
- Chest pains
- Abdominal Pains
- Dry mouth
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Muscle tension
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling smothered
- Increased sexual feelings
- Depression and suicidal feelings
- Inability to relax
- Racing heart
- Slow heartbeat
- Severe Shyness
- Worrying about unlikely events
- Concentration problems
- Feelings of impending doom
- Inability to stop worrying
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty swallowing/lump in throat
- Creeping or “pins and needles” sensation
- Flu-like symptoms
- Sensitivity to light, sound and touch
- Grinding teeth
- Fear of losing control or going “crazy”
- Neck and facial numbness
- Facial paleness
- Compulsive Habits
- Intrusive unpleasant thoughts or images