With an alarming tendency of generalizing even the most trivial circumstances with the most important ones, there is an instance when people tend to misunderstand the common anxious rush of feelings with severe anxiety disorder symptoms. It is almost similar to people conforming to every kind of a headache as a migraine, even though the severity between them is completely different.
We experience anxiousness and stress in our day to day life, because of important events or life instances. For example, you are bound to get fidgety and stressed if you have an interview lined up for the day after or if your results are scheduled to be out soon. Do you feel yourself familiarizing to such situations?
Normal stress that doesn’t overpower your daily activities and life is completely normal but the moment the same gets out of proportion and starts to dominate your life, it is time to understand that it is not just a regularized anxiousness but a mental health disorder – anxiety disorder to be more specific.
The anxiety disorder definition is not just enough to help you understand the severity of the condition. People suffering from anxiety disorder have their entire life dictated by their anxiety, feeling overwhelmed throughout the process. Anxiety tends to manifest in one’s life in multiple forms, starting from the common phobias to obsessive compulsive disorder and so on.
What are Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorder accounts for a cumulative bunch of mental health diseases that restrict a person from carrying on with their life normally. It tends to infest its effects on a person’s mental well being, which, in turn, effectively reflects on their physical well being as well.
Majority of the time, it is the generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is used as an umbrella term to help inculcate and incorporate all the various kinds of mental health issue that most of the people tend to categorise it under.
So, are you wondering what causes anxiety disorder? Because, this probably is the most relevantly asked question in this regard. It is often easier to suppress and possibly cure the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder if one is aware of the root cause of the problem.
Some of the common causes of anxiety include:
- Past hereditary symptoms of anxiety disorder
- Situational anxiety
- Trauma or past events
- Prolonged exposure to stressful situations
- Excess caffeine in the system
What are the Types of Anxiety Disorders?
Now, before we further delve into the symptoms of anxiety disorders, it is best to first glance through the common types of anxiety disorders.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This is the type of anxiety disorder where the patient consistently suffers from stress and anxiousness at all times of the day, not knowing what exactly the trigger is or what is causing the same. They always have a lingering feeling of something possibly bad being happening in the near future even though everything around them is completely normal. Some of the common symptoms of GAD include insomnia, stomach cramps, restlessness etc.
2. Panic Disorders or Anxiety Attacks
This type of anxiety roots from certain triggers that leaves the person overwhelmed and completely fazed. They tend to feel a sudden rush of fear and anxiety crippling through their systems, primarily because of the situation that has triggered it. It is believed that panic attacks, if left untreated, can cause extreme panic disorders which are very ghastly for one’s mental health.
3. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
People suffering from OCD often times tend to have heightened urges or compulsions encircling several activities of their day to day life. Their mind tends to be preoccupied all the time with obsessive thoughts which can range from common acts of turning the gas of or not to heinous thoughts of hurting someone. It is completely dependent on the demon’s lingering in one’s mind. This also accounts for uncontrolled compulsions like wanting a certain object in a certain place of washing the hands multiple times a day.
It is one of the most common forms of anxiety disorder and stems either from past happenings or just because. It explains an uncontrolled and overly exaggerated fear of a certain event, act, place or even situations. Some of the common kinds of phobia include that of animals, heights, etc.
5. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This is the type of anxiety disorder that basically stems from any kind of traumatic event that a person has gone through. These often resurface when they get triggered with any sort of remembrance of the event which leaves them in a state of panic and hyperventilation. Some of the common traumatic events that could contribute to PTSD include physical or sexual abuse, unexpected death or accident of a close one, witnessing something traumatic right in front of their eyes etc. These kinds of situations or triggers often leave the person involved physically drained and emotionally numb.
6. Social Anxiety
This form of anxiety disorder is often spiked when a person finds themselves in a social gathering or they have to leave the comfort of their house to meet people. Crowds and strangers are possibly the worst triggers for situations like these. These kinds of thoughts are mostly brought on by the fear of being judged and ridiculed in public.
How Do You Know You are Suffering From Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety disorders are not characterized by you having a situational breakdown over not finding your phone. These are often an accumulation of chronic symptoms that leave behind an impact in one’s day to day activities.
Some of the common anxiety disorder symptoms include:
1. Worrying has Become a Habit For You
Have you often found yourselves worrying for no apparent reason and that too for prolonged periods of time? Do you even start worrying about a certain subject but then get diverted from it and simply worry about nothing in particular but still fretting around? If the same has been consistently happening and leaving you fatigued and taking a toll on you, there are chances that you are suffering from anxiety disorder.
This often tends to get the person involved with smoking or alcohol which tends to leave behind negative impacts on their lives.
2. Insomnia is a Common Happenstance
Insomnia is one of the most common anxiety disorder symptoms, if not the most. With the impending accumulated thoughts swirling around in the mind, there are chances that you wouldn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep even if you feel tiredness and fatigue draining you out completely.
It is not a severe case of a psychological issue if you are finding yourself being jittery the night before a special event, but if the same is not situational and has been chronically affecting your sleep, it is a sign that you might be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. You often have an innumerable number of thoughts wired in your brain which doesn’t seem to calm down and thus, keeps you up when you should be asleep.
3. Uncertain and Irrational Fears
Are you finding yourself getting afraid of the most random and trivial things that didn’t bother you much before? If that’s the case, it is best to take a step back and assess the situation first. There might be situations when you might just start feeling a sense of fear related to a certain object, animal or even an event. These kind of events generally point towards one of the most prevailing types of anxiety disorders, phobia.
Phobias are sometimes very subdued and only get a hold on you when you are exposed to the situation yourself. There may be situations when you were not even aware of your phobia, until you were actually faced with it. For example, a person afraid of heights doesn’t really know about it until they are forced to stand on the edge of a cliff.
4. Persistent Muscle Tension
And by muscle tension, I don’t intend to summarise your back pain or the cramp near your abdomen, quite the contrary. Muscle tension including consistent fidgeting, balling of fists or tightening of jaws on consistent events insinuate the building stress and anxiety in one’s body which finds its outlet via these mediums.
These kinds of situations are often so common that people who have been continuously doing so tend to not even realize it in the near future, which can be a bit daunting. These kinds of situations and symptoms can be treated with proper exercises but the same should always be done keeping the anxiety disorder symptoms into account.
5. Slowed Down Process of Digestion
Before your mind starts racing with questions on how does a mental health issue like anxiety disorder affect the digestion of the body, let me clear out the air saying that anxiety might root itself from the psychological health of an individual but the same can inflict negative effects on one’s physical health as well.
The most common sign of generalized anxiety disorder is that it affects the digestion process of an individual. It tends to promote the occurrence of irritable bowel syndrome along with bloating and sour stomach which, altogether leaves one’s body drained and tired.
6. Stage Fright is a Common Happenstance
Social anxiety disorder is impactful in one’s life. It is common to be afraid and jittery about a performance that you are about to present in front of thousands of people but when the situation becomes chronic with little to nothing helping the situation out, it is most likely because you are suffering from social anxiety.
People who suffer from social anxiety always have a nagging people of being watched (even if they are not). Situations like these are very taxing and often leave behind a gaping hole in people’s lives. Symptoms of this particular type of anxiety disorder are so harsh that it often becomes hard for such people to meet new people and get their social life sorted.
7. Self Consciousness is a Real Deal
How many times have you been amidst a crowd and felt like every other person in the room is sat their judging you for your looks or even your personality as a whole? Happened quite a few times? If so, there are chances that you are suffering from anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder to be precise. This form of disorder doesn’t just stop you from meeting new people but can also affect your personality and your trail of thoughts.
You may feel like all the eyes around you are on you, judging your without any explanation, even though none of it might actually be happening. This is where the fear traipsizes from.
8. Infestation of Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are nothing short of terrifying. Can you even imagine being crippled down with a coursing fear in your body that makes your physically unable to do something? Panic attacks are exactly like that. They are often accompanies with grippling fear of helplessness and hyperventilation that leaves the person gasping for air. It sometimes even leaves them numb and dizzy as well.
It is also necessary to understand that not every person suffering from panic attacks are going to have an anxiety disorder, some just suffer from panic disorders which often leaves the person in question in a very panicked and hasty state.
9. Recurrence of Events
Flashbacks are very common in one’s day to day life. Do you realize when they take shape into an anxiety disorder? The moment the same becomes regular and persistent and leaves you breathless and gasping for air. We all have at least one such moment in our life that leaves us numb and fearful.
Reconciling such events often acts as a trigger for a number of anxiety disorders which is why it is always best to categorise them as normal or not and if the answer falls in the second category, it is most likely that your experiencing signs and symptoms of PTSD.
10. Perfection is a Must
Perfection is good but overdoing it is never. If you are being persistently very picky about a situation, there are chances that it is the obsessive side of yours that’s gaining dominance. OCD is a very subtle yet impacting anxiety disorder that can even happen to change the general course of life.
People suffering from OCD are very finicky and are never pleased with anything that they do. They fail to see the good behind any of their work and find scopes from improvement, even when the same is not even close to being possible.
11. Compulsive Behavior Overtake Day to Day Activities
OCD is not typically judged from the common course of obssesiveness but relays down to the general path of compulsive activities as well. For someone to be categorized to be suffering from OCD, they need to be suffering from certain compulsive behavior too – be it mental or even physical.
For example, a small child can refuse to eat before washing their hand twice, even when they have already done it just five minutes back. It stems from their fear of having their hands full of germs in the mere span of five minutes.
12. Lack of Self Confidence
Lack of self confidence is a situation that’s built on the basis of consistent downers and degradations that a person has experienced in their lifetime. There are chances that you could be the best in what you do but still self doubt it to not be good enough for the world to witness. It is a very common occurrence and leaves behind a crippling thought of “not being good enough.”
Consistent negative thoughts of being unworthy and less important invading your mind are one of the common anxiety disorder symptoms.
Mental health issues are a matter of immense importance and should always be talked about and emphasized on. If you have been feeling under the radar and experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is possible that you are experiencing generalized anxiety disorder and it is time to pay heed to the same and treat the problem before it engulfs your entire life on a whole. Don’t think that it’s not a possibility, because it very well is.