Symptoms of Anxiety disorder can take over a person’s life completely. This can happen if it is not recognized early and managed well.
Anxiety is a natural feeling. It depicts worry about a particular situation or thing. Normally, This worry makes us work on assignments thoroughly, avoid procrastination, and take care of our loved ones.
Symptoms of Anxiety disorder emerge when this worry becomes exaggerated, interfering with a person’s normal daily activities.
Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term for various types of mental disorders that relates to anxiety.
Types of Anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety disorder GAD
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD
- Social anxiety disorder SAD
- Panic disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD
Let us go proceed to learn more about the symptoms of Anxiety disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This is a state of persistent worry and nervousness about things while being unable to relax.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety disorder
Having debilitating worry over situations that do not warrant being disturbed about.
An example of this is a woman who is constantly mentally disturbed at work. This is because she is frightened excessively for her kids in school. What if they fall off the swing? And what if the school burns down? How would she cope if her kids were kidnapped?
She continually worries and cannot cope with the uncertainty of not knowing. This becomes so distressing. It would also affect her work significantly and her interaction with people around her.
Physical symptoms for Generalized Anxiety disorder that accompany the above are:
- Excessive sweating
Children also have symptoms of Generalized Anxiety disorder. When a child is incessantly disturbed with:
- Their family’s and friends’ safety
- Things that could go wrong around them
- Being perfect in all activities
- Expecting the worst in all situations;
Then, symptoms of Anxiety disorder are apparent.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder OCD
This is a type of anxiety disorder that involves distressing, debilitating thoughts. These thoughts result in compulsive, repetitive actions, whether physically or mentally. The repetitive actions temporarily relieve and reassure the sufferer, until the cycle repeats itself again.
Symptoms of OCD include:
Obsessive thoughts about situations
- An example is when you constantly obsess about your hands being covered with germs
- Another example is when you have intrusive thoughts about harming your loved ones, and you are terribly frightened that it would happen
Engaging in compulsive acts to quell obsessive thoughts
- When you spend hours washing your hands continue to get rid of germs
- When you clear “harmful” objects from your vicinity, for fear of using it on a loved one.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This is a type of anxiety disorder that comprises of persistent and compelling fear when a person finds himself in the midst of other people. The crushing fear of being ridiculed and judged by other people is ever lingering.
Symptoms of social anxiety disorder are:
- You feel excessively shy in the presence of another person
You feel dizzy or even faint when asked to speak in public
- Having palpitations when you have to walk through a group of people
- You find it difficult to speak first in a conversation
- You are jittery and sweaty when people’s attention is on you
- Feeling most comfortable when you isolate yourself.
This is a feeling of being extremely agonized about circumstances. This leads to strong physical symptoms (panic attacks), that imitate a life-threatening condition. Many people having panic attacks think they are having a heart attack at that time, due to the intensity of the sensations involved.
Symptoms of a panic attack are:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- The feeling of impending doom
- Excessive sweating
Significant health problems like cardiac diseases, and respiratory conditions, have symptoms like those in panic attacks. Your physician will make you undergo some tests, to be certain of your diagnosis.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD
As humans, There may be traumatic situations in life that pose a huge challenge to an individual mentally. For someone without an anxiety disorder, this feeling of challenge or burden resolves with time, as they say, time heals all wounds.
But for someone with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the trauma lingers and never dissipates. Every time it comes to mind, the person feels like the event is repeating itself again.
The agony felt when it initially happened is felt strongly again and crushes them just like the very first time. The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder can begin weeks, months, or even years after the traumatic event. These symptoms are severe enough to interfere with the person’s normal day to day activities.
Examples of such traumatic events are:
- Sexual assault
- Road traffic accident
- Fire accident
- Death of a loved one
- Miscarriage of pregnancy
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are:
- Flash from the past
- Unstable mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Avoidance of triggers, like place where trauma occurred, people associated with the trauma.
- Lethargy and shivering
- Loss of focus
Phobia refers to an abnormal or irrational fear of something that is not likely to harm the person. It is a type of anxiety disorder that is wide-ranging. This is because people have a crippling fear of a variety of harmless objects due to this condition.
A person may have an excessive fear of water (Hydrophobia). Another may have an excessive fear of darkness (Nyctophobia).
The brain has an abnormal perception of a particular object, and conditions the person to have an intense fear for it.
Symptoms of phobia
If you have a phobia for an object or a situation, you will most likely experience the following:
- You feel the need to avoid that thing at all costs
- Being unable to do your normal duties when in the presence of your source of the phobia
- Paralyzed with fear and you have physical symptoms like
- Chest pain
- Choking feeling
You know that what you are feeling is irrational but you cannot help it.
Anxiety disorders can make life unbearable for the sufferer if not managed in time. Many people with this disorder are embarrassed to speak of and get help. This should not be so.
Complications of any of these disorders if it goes untreated are Depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts.
When you realize you have symptoms of Anxiety disorder, do not lose hope. Psychotherapy and medications go a long way in making you live a better, normal life. Contact your healthcare provider, and take your life back from an Anxiety disorder.
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