We all feel anxious sometimes, and to a certain degree, it’s healthy.
For example, it’s not uncommon to get a little jittery and nervous before a big work presentation, trying something you’ve never done before, and meeting new people. But for most of us, these feelings disappear after a little while, and we get through it.
However, some people experience these same feelings but never overcome them.
Instead, they grow and build off anxious feelings that always seem to follow them. In many cases, these anxieties hold them back from doing things that most of us don’t think twice about, like going out in public or meeting new people.
Maybe this is something you’ve experienced.
First, know that you’re not alone. Anxiety illnesses are the most common mental illness in the U.S., and they affect 18.1% of the adult population each year. But how do you know if you have an actual anxiety disorder? And when should you seek help?
Keep reading to find out.
7 Signs That it’s Time to Seek Help for Your Anxiety
1. Your Anxiety Comes with Physical Symptoms
As we mentioned earlier, we’ve all felt nervous at some point. When this happens, it’s not uncommon for your heart rate to increase or feel like you have “butterflies” in your stomach.
However, if you find that you’re always feeling sick to your stomach whenever you’re invited to a social event, that’s a sign of unhealthy anxiety. Other examples include excessive sweating whenever you go out in public or feeling your heart race whenever you talk to someone.
Experiencing extreme physical symptoms like this regularly is a clear sign that your anxiety poses a bigger problem in your life.
2. Your Anxiety Affects Your Cognitive Abilities
If you have an anxiety illness, it quickly takes over not only your body but also your brain. As a result, individuals with disorders like these often find themselves struggling to remember things, fall asleep, and concentrate.
If you’re constantly waking up in the middle of the night because you’re stressed out or you can never seem to focus at work, there’s likely a more significant problem at hand. Even if you know your behavior is irrational, severe anxiety can make it impossible to take logical actions and make rational decisions.
3. You Find Yourself Avoiding Situations or People
A lot of people procrastinate, and sometimes we just don’t feel like doing things. But if you find yourself constantly avoiding situations, tasks, or people, it could signify that you have an anxiety disorder. Even the most minor tasks like running to the grocery store or checking work emails can feel overwhelming to you.
If you feel like you’re stuck in a state of perpetual avoidance, getting help from a professional counselor can help you gain more control over your life.
4. Finding Yourself in a Constant State of Worry
Some situations would cause anyone to worry. For instance, if you’re waiting to hear back from a potential employer or you’re dealing with a medical problem. But individuals with anxiety disorders often find themselves in a constant state of worry, even about the smallest things.
If you’re always overthinking, analyzing, and worrying about worst-case scenarios, no matter what the situation is, you may have an anxiety illness. When this happens, your constant worrying can lead to insomnia and make it difficult to focus on anything else.
5. You’re Easily Angered
Do you find that you’re easily agitated, even during times that don’t warrant a strong emotional reaction? Things as small as a package arriving late or a store out of a specific product can send you over the edge.
If this is your usual reaction, the root cause may be anxiety. While it’s easy to think it’s an anger issue, it’s essential to understand that anxiety often presents itself as anger. So, instead of living in a constant state of aggression, seek help to get to the bottom of your fear and irritation so you can live a more peaceful life.
6. You Frequently Feel Restless
Maybe you don’t always feel agitated, but you have difficulty relaxing or keeping a calm mindset. If this sounds like you, that is a definite sign of an anxiety disorder. Feeling restless all the time can be connected to both constant worry and anger, but either way, it’s not healthy.
While it’s normal to experience a wide range of emotions and feel stressed now and then, it’s crucial to have downtime. Being able to relax allows us to stay balanced and think clearly.
7. You Experience Panic Attacks
We mentioned the physical symptoms of anxiety earlier, but panic attacks are different. This extreme physical reaction can feel like a heart attack, and it’s a definite sign of an anxiety disorder.
Experiencing tightness in your chest, rapid heartbeat, body shakes, shortness of breath, and excessive sweating are all signs of a panic attack. Of course, these are similar symptoms to a heart attack, so if this happens, call 911.
But if you find that there was no medical reason for this, or it happens a lot, it’s time to get help to treat your anxiety.
Help is Waiting for You
Anxiety doesn’t have to control your life. But, even if you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, know that it is possible to take back your power. By working with a professional therapist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders, you’ll learn more about your anxiety, the cause of it, and the best treatment options for you.
Take the first step today and reach out to us. We’re here to help you regain control and lead the life you want.