8 Signs You May Have an Anxiety Disorder
You probably know the feeling of lying awake at night, worrying about some problem that weighs heavily on your mind. But what if that’s happening every night? What if you’re so preoccupied with your stress and worry that you can no longer function effectively?
If this sounds familiar to you, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, anxiety disorders are characterized by “persistent, excessive fear or worry in situations that are not threatening,” and approximately 18% of adults in the United States are living with one.
Here are some of the major signs that may indicate you have an anxiety disorder:
1. You can’t stop worrying.
You spend hours, sometimes days, fixated on situations that fill you with fear and distress. And worst of all, these situations are often unrealistic or completely out of your control. If you find yourself trapped in a pattern of irrational, fretful thinking, you might be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
2. You can’t concentrate.
Because of your constant worry, you have a hard time focusing your attention on a given task. The quality of your work may be slipping, or you can’t seem to hold down a conversation with your friends. All your mental energy and attention centers around these unproductive and illogical fears, robbing you of a well-rounded, fulfilling life.
3. You can’t sleep.
You spend your nights tossing and turning, unable to turn off your brain. Even when you’re exhausted, sleep eludes you. Although we all experience sleepless nights from time to time, a regular pattern of sleep problems can be a sign that you’re dealing with anxiety. Conversely, existing anxiety disorders can be exacerbated, or sometimes even triggered, by chronic insomnia.
4. You’ve got stomach trouble.
If you’ve been suffering from diarrhea, constipation, or acid reflux, and your doctors can’t find a physical cause for your symptoms, it’s possible the culprit is an anxiety disorder. People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often also struggle with anxiety, and while there is no known cure for IBS, psychotherapy is recommended as the primary method of treatment for patients who also exhibit other signs of an anxiety disorder.
5. You have panic attacks.
Your heart races, your palms sweat, you find yourself struggling to breathe. Panic attacks are terrifying, and though they often pass in minutes, those are some of the longest minutes of your life. Recurrent panic attacks can leave you feeling hopeless and scared, but they may also be a sign that you have an anxiety disorder – and the good news is, it’s highly treatable.
6. You’re terrified of being judged.
No one likes to be rejected, but if your fear of being judged by others is consistently preventing you from participating in social events, you might have a type of anxiety disorder called social phobia. People who suffer from this condition are anxious about being with other people, which ultimately impairs their ability to form relationships, and can even hinder simple, necessary interactions in public spaces.
7. You’re always in a bad mood.
You find yourself regularly overreacting to minor inconveniences, or flying off the handle for no reason. Dealing with constant anxiety causes a lot of stress on both your mind and body, which can cause chronic irritability and hostility. You may also have physical manifestations of anger, such as muscle tension and twitching.
8. You feel like you’re missing out on life.
You’re constantly avoiding situations that might trigger your anxiety. Vacations, parties, professional opportunities: you forgo them because of your fears. You see other people living lives free of worry, and you wish you could do the same.
The good news? There’s hope.
Affinity Treatment Centers offers a variety of treatment options for anxiety disorders, including group and individual therapy, medication management, socialization, and peer support. Our staff members work closely with each patient to ensure custom, individualized care.
If you think you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder, help is available at Affinity Treatment Centers. Contact us for a consultation at (760) 917-1112, and get back on the road to health and happiness today.