Every once in a while, people go through bouts of anxiety. I’m no different, and I’m sure you aren’t either. But what’s “normal” when it comes to anxiety? When is it a problem, and how can you tell if you have an anxiety disorder?
It’s completely normal to experience anxiety in certain situations. Perhaps you’re in a tough spot financially, worrying about a deadline at work, or are having trouble sleeping because of some periodic personal turmoil. But when anxiety and worrying become so frequent and powerful that they take over your life, they become a serious medical condition that needs to be addressed.
Here are some of the top indicators that you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder:
Abnormal and constant worrying: Constant worrying to the point where it impacts your ability to function normally is an indicator of a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Excessive worrying about daily life, things both big and small, for up to six months can indicate you have an anxiety disorder. This could include anxiety and fear over everyday things like doing the groceries, managing relationships, or going to work, or bigger things like your financial situation or an illness. This level of worrying can create emotional problems that limit your ability to function normally most days of the week. This can, in turn, cause pain and fatigue.
Trouble sleeping: Having trouble falling asleep can be another major indicator of an anxiety disorder. Although the nation as a whole doesn’t get enough sleep, it’s long bouts of sleepless nights that are cause for concern. If you’re unable to fall or stay asleep because you’re constantly agitated about either specific problems or nothing in particular, it may be time to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Yes, there are times when sleeplessness due to anxiety is normal—like on the night before an important event or a big job interview—but when it happens regularly, it can be a serious problem.
Another way to tell if you’ve got an anxiety disorder is if you wake up with a racing mind, still feeling wired after a mostly sleepless night.
Muscle pain and tension: Another indicator of serious anxiety is constant muscle tension. If your fists are always balled, your jaw is usually clenched, or other muscles in your body are in a regular state of flex, it indicates a problem that may signify an anxiety disorder. This constant tension in your muscles can lead to chronic pain, which will only add to your worries.
These are just some of the indicators of an anxiety disorder. Although I recommend that serious anxiety disorders be treated on an individual basis by a doctor, tomorrow I will offer some natural healing techniques you can try to calm your anxiety on a daily basis as a complementary treatment.