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How Do I Know If I Have ANXIETY?

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Who hasn't felt uncomfortable and anxious in situations such as a first date, an interview or a personal confrontation?

In these occasional situations, feeling anxious  is quite is normal.

But if your worries and fears start appearing in every-day situations, or seemingly for no reason at all, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is a serious condition that makes it hard for a person to cope with daily life.

The term Anxiety has become more used lately in the general public, with more people than ever acknowledging they are feeling these feelings.

But what is anxiety?  How much anxiety is considered normal? And how do you know when it gets to a stage you need to seek help?

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety in its natural form is a natural human response to danger or fear. It helps us get out of the way of harm and prepare us for important events, and it also warns us when we need to take action in a particular situation.

However, some people can experience anxiety that is persistent, seemingly uncontrollable, and overwhelming for them.

If you’re experiencing an excessive, irrational fear of everyday situations, it can be debilitating.

When your anxiety interferes with your everyday activities and life, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Do you have any symptoms of Anxiety?

To better look at if you’re suffering from an anxiety disorder, here is a list of symptoms to be on the look-out for.

In your general life:

  • Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way?
  • Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are always there?
  • Are you constantly tense, worried, or on-edge?
  • Do you find yourself experiencing sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic?
  • Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities?
  • Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but you can’t seem to do anything about?
  • Do you avoid some situations or activities because you feel too anxious?

Emotional symptoms:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Trouble concentrating on something at hand
  • Feeling tense and jumpy
  • Anticipating the worst
  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling restless
  • Often watching for signs of danger
  • Feeling like your mind’s gone blankanxiety problem

 Physical symptoms:

  • Pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Stomach upset or dizziness
  • Frequent urinating or diarrhoea
  • Shortness of breath, without exercise
  • Tremors and twitches
  • Noticeable muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Please check our Anxiety Quiz for a better guide about whether and how you might be suffering Anxiety, and our Anxiety counselling page.

The link with Depression

 Unfortunately, two of the most common disorders in the world are anxiety and depression.

It's very common to suffer from both anxiety and depression at the same time, especially if you have severe anxiety or panic disorder. However, it is important to note that Anxiety and depression are different, although quite often linked.

Click here for more information on combinations of anxiety and depression.

Anxiety has a lot of energy and is characterised by fear. It creates a feeling of discomfort and concern about what could happen in future.

Depression, on the other hand, doesn't have that fear. Depression centres around the idea that life is already bad, with less hope about getting better. It's less worried about the future because it involves less hope.

Both involve a considerable amount of negative thinking. While those with anxiety tend to fear the future and those with depression see the future as more hopeless, both believe that the worst is likely to happen.

The Types of Anxiety:

  •  Generalised Anxiety Disorders:
    People with Generalised Anxiety Disorders feel constantly on edge, like something bad is always about to happen.
     
  • Panic Attacks:
    A panic attack is a sudden rush of stress and emotion around a certain situation, as well as fear that it will happen again. Panic attacks can be debilitating and are often accompanied by an increased heart rate, shortness of breath, trembling and muscle tension. 
  • Phobias:
    A phobia is an unrealistic or exaggerated fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that in reality presents little to no danger.  
  • Social Anxiety:
    Often referred to as extreme shyness, social anxiety is the debilitating fear of being seen negatively, judged or humiliated by others in public.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD):
    PTSD is an extreme anxiety disorder that often occurs after a traumatic situation or life-threatening circumstance. It is often experienced as a panic attack that never goes away.

 problem with anxiety

When to see a Psychologist

One of the great things about both anxiety and depression, however, is that they're both very treatable

If you’re experiencing a lot of physical anxiety symptoms, check with your Doctor. He is she will ascertain if your anxiety is caused by a medical condition. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs you’re taking.

If your doctor rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a psychologist who has experience treating anxiety attacks and anxiety disorders. The psychologist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your anxiety disorder and devise a course of treatment.

Anxiety disorders do respond very well to psychological treatment—and often in a relatively short amount of time.

The specific treatment approach depends on the type of anxiety disorder and its severity. But in general, most anxiety disorders are treated with behavioural therapy, medication, or some combination of the two.

At Hart Psychologists, we have Psychologists around Australia who can help you overcome your Anxiety. Call our friendly receptionists on 1300830552 or check our Search bar on the header to find the closest and right one for you. We have Psychologists to help you in all capital cities and more: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

We look forward to helping you become healthier and happier in yourself.

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