Everyone gets nervous sometimes. It is a completely natural emotion to experience, as is worrying about something or someone. It isn’t unheard of to not get a great night’s sleep because you are nervous or worried about something. Many people even skip a few meals because they are fixated on something concerning. But, there are big differences between experiencing anxiety from time to time and having a diagnosable anxiety disorder.
Today, anxiety disorders are the most common disorders in the United States, with 40 million people experiencing one. Anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Social anxiety
- Panic disorder
Attempting to live with an untreated anxiety disorder can cause life to get extremely difficult physically, mentally, and emotionally. These types of disorders are much more than just being worried about something and being unable to stop worrying about it. That is why it is important to know what the symptoms of anxiety disorders are.
Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
There are a number of different types of anxiety disorders and not all of them share the same symptoms. This can make it difficult for a person to figure out why they are feeling the way they are, especially if they have a preconceived notion of what an anxiety disorder is. Some of the most common symptoms associated with specific anxiety disorders include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) – Being easily fatigued, problems concentrating, irritability, problems sleeping, regularly feeling on edge
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Hypervigilance, emotional detachment, insomnia, flashbacks, avoidance tactics, self-destructive behavior
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – Intrusive and unwanted thoughts, ritualistic behavior, impulsivity, social isolation, compulsive behavior, fear
- Social anxiety disorder – Sweating, heart palpitations, social isolation, excessively worrying about how others may act
- Panic disorder – Fast heartbeat, feeling out of control, sense of impending doom, shortness of breath, hot flashes
Depending on which anxiety disorder you have, you may experience some or all of these symptoms, making everyday life more challenging than it needs to be. It is easy to slowly take on the burden of an anxiety disorder and not realize just how heavy it can be to carry. If you are dealing with an anxiety disorder, the most important thing you can do for yourself and your overall wellbeing is ask for help.
Signs You Need Help with an Anxiety Disorder
Simply having symptoms of an anxiety disorder does not necessarily mean that you need help with an anxiety disorder. Many people who are regularly treated for anxiety disorders still continue to experience symptoms, however they are better equipped to manage them because of the care they are receiving. If you have an anxiety disorder, though, and are not being treated or not receiving the most effective care, you may start exhibiting warning signs that you need help (or more help than you are getting).
Worrying That Prevents Proper Functioning
As mentioned before, it is normal to worry from time to time. It is even normal to become so preoccupied with that worry that you forget to eat, can’t sleep, and have trouble concentrating. But, these feelings usually go away in a short period of time. If you have an anxiety disorder, your anxiety doesn’t just go away. Instead, it often piles up until it feels impossible to do anything but worry. Getting help with an anxiety disorder is necessary when you are not able to function normally in your everyday life because you are paralyzed by your symptoms.
Experiencing Panic Attacks
Panic attacks (not to be confused with panic disorder) are a staple in most all types of anxiety disorders. A panic attack occurs when you suddenly get a rush of fear or worry that causes you to feel like the end of the world is near. You feel like you are losing control, you may struggle to catch your breath, and trying to convince yourself that whatever you are worried about isn’t that big of a deal is useless. Panic attacks can pop up at any time and sometimes for no reason. If you are experiencing panic attacks, especially frequently, asking for help with an anxiety disorder is key to minimizing (and potentially eliminating) them.
Avoiding Rather Than Doing
Your anxiety may make you feel so overwhelmed that you begin to avoid doing certain things. You may start to procrastinate, forget to do things that are required of you, or actively seek out ways to get out of doing something. When your avoidance tactics stand in the way of your ability to be productive and do, reaching out for help with an anxiety disorder is absolutely necessary. Avoiding people, places, and things typically only makes anxiety disorders worse, creating a bigger problem in the long run.
It isn’t always easy to turn your mind off at bedtime, anxiety disorder or not. But if you are struggling to get to sleep, stay asleep, etc., then you might be in need of help with an anxiety disorder. That is because without the appropriate rest, you can expect other symptoms of your anxiety disorder to become worse, such as irritability and problems concentrating. With professional help, you can learn how to calm your mind down for bedtime so that you can get the sleep you need to actively manage your anxiety disorder.
Anxiety Disorder Treatment in St. Augustine
If you are experiencing an anxiety disorder or are unsure if you are, reach out to us at Pearl of the Sea Retreat right now. We can help support you as you make your way into recovery all while showing you the way.
Do not wait any longer. Call us right now.