Read through the Quick Assessment Below. As you do, how many are you experiencing now, or have in the recent past? If you answered “Yes” to several of these challenges, it is very likely you are experiencing an anxiety disorder.
- Pounding heart
- Sleep problems
- Feeling on edge
- Easily fatigued
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mind going blank
- Racing thoughts
- Muscle tension
There are several types of anxiety disorders. With generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), worrying without a reason to worry is a common experience. Feeling anxious about just getting through the day is also common, as is a fear that everything will always go badly. With obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), there is often a need to check and re-check things, over and over. A very strong need to perform certain rituals repeatedly, and the feeling you have no control over what you are doing are also symptoms of OCD. With panic disorder, a sudden attack of fear that lasts for several minutes often occurs. These attacks often occur at unpredictable times and cause worry about the possibility of having another attack at any time. Post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias are also anxiety disorders
These disorders are one of the most common mental health issue and 18.1% of the US adults experience an anxiety disorder in a 12 month period (NIH). Of these, 22.8% were classified as severe. People with anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor, and six times more likely than non-sufferers to be hospitalized for psychiatric ailments (ADAA).
You and your counselor can determine if the symptoms you have are due to anxiety. If this is the case, other conditions you may have should also be investigated. Depression, alcohol or drug abuse, and other conditions may need to be managed before attempting to treat the anxiety. Anxiety disorders are treatable and most with these disorders can lead normal lives. Some people benefit from medication to help manage their symptoms while others make great progress with counseling alone. Having anxiety is exhausting and feeling the stress, physical discomfort, worrying at the same time significantly increase the level of distress.
Anxiety can result when significant changes occur or at times when no changes are detected. New situations require adjustment, and this process can result in anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety can arise when someone tries to maintain control over a situation, or cope with an event. It is also common when having difficulty expressing certain emotions such as fear, anger, or disappointment. For these reasons, learning more adaptive ways to express and manage emotions can be quite effective. In addition, developing a stronger sense of self can help the individual remain relatively secure even when powerful emotions and stressors are significant.