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10 Signs You May Have Anxiety Disorder

Everyone gets anxious from time to time, especially during big events that require us to perform well under pressure. Sometimes the stress that comes from anxiety can even be a positive thing, because it serves as a motivator.

Because anxiety is something that’s common to all of us on occasion, it can be hard for doctors to diagnose whether people have anxiety disorders or are dealing with situational anxiety that will soon pass.

The symptoms below indicate you may be suffering from  anxiety disorders and may need to seek medical attention to get relief.

1. You’re A Constant Worrier

Some people worry for days or even months on end. They may be preoccupied with specific things that are causing them stress, or feel anxious enough to worry, but not know why. When you worry all the time, the likelihood increases that you’ll be under undue stress, which has a whole host of adverse effects on the body.

Furthermore, there are concerns that if you currently smoke cigarettes or have been tempted to take up the habit, excessive and constant worrying may make you more prone to smoke.

When you feel yourself starting to worry, it’s important to take prompt action by consciously doing things to slow your breathing and, in turn, your heart rate. Otherwise, anxiety could get out of control even faster.

2. You’re Scared Of Things For No Reason

A caring friend might ask, “What are you afraid of?” and if you can’t answer that in a way that makes sense, an anxiety disorder may be to blame. Some people do not even know that they’re suffering from these unexplained fears until they face whatever they’re afraid of and realize in those moments that there are no real reasons for the fear.

Whenever fear becomes present in your life, try to target what’s causing it. If you’re not able to do that, consider that an anxiety problem may be plaguing your life.

3. Insomnia Is A Common Problem

Having trouble getting rest can be a given if you’re feeling stressed over a huge presentation you have to give in the morning or a doctor’s appointment where you hope to finally find out the cause of a symptom that has been giving you concern.

However, if you have trouble drifting off to sleep more often than not, and frequently can’t pinpoint why it’s so hard to relax, you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder. It’s important to seek help, because the less able you are to give your body the restoration sleep brings, the harder it will be to cope with the stresses of life.

4. The Fluttery Feeling In Your Stomach Never Goes Away

Feeling nervous in some instances is natural, such as before meeting someone for a blind date or just before starting your first day at a new job. However, people with anxiety disorders sometimes find they feel jittery almost all the time without a reason that can be explained.

In addition to the physical discomfort that comes from this symptom, you may also experience mental and emotional turmoil, both of which are unhealthy.

5. Your Stomach Is Always Upset

Being highly anxious can cause things like irritable bowel and nausea. Although these ailments, and other stomach issues, can occur outside of anxiety, life can feel almost unbearable if you’re dealing with extreme anxiety and stomach problems simultaneously.

Be sure to get a doctor’s help to figure out the root cause of the stomach problems you’re facing. Initially, what seems due to your anxiety could instead be triggered by another issue you’re not aware that you have. After deciding it’s time to get medical attention, you may decide it’s helpful to keep a diary of the things you eat and the kinds of symptoms you go through.

6. You Deal With Chronic Stiffness

Many people don’t even realize it’s happening, but they store excess tension in their muscles. If you experience a problem like constant stiffness in your lower back or neck that can’t be explained through other issues, there is a good chance anxiety is to blame and you’re dealing with an anxiety disorder.

Carrying all that tension around can be very wearying and cause the symptom to escalate to severe pain. Massages can sometimes temporarily tame tension, but it’s definitely a good idea to see a doctor if tension is something you carry with you all the time and sometimes for no good reason.

7. You Experience Traumatic Flashbacks

If you’ve gone through something horrible in life, such as the unexpected death of a loved one, or the trials of dealing with being a soldier in an active war zone, you may notice you periodically flashback to those points in your life and vividly relive them until you’re extremely upset.

However, after seeking treatment for this common symptom associated with anxiety disorder, you may find that the flashbacks go away and that you’re able to experience a life of relative calmness.

8. You Feel That Perfection Is The Key To Life

Although many people want to do the best they can with the tasks they pursue, others take the desire to succeed to a much higher level, so they’re constantly striving for perfection. If that sounds familiar, you may have an anxiety disorder. Living under so much pressure because you’re constantly trying to meet expectations you place upon yourself is very stressful.

No one’s perfect, and you shouldn’t feel you’re failing at life if you can’t achieve perfection. The mere effort of trying to reach perfection can breed hopelessness, since even people who feel as if they’re living perfect lives will find everything comes crashing down eventually and often unexpectedly.

9. You Always Think About The Negative Aspects Of Things

If you find it difficult or impossible to see the positive parts of situations you’re facing, that mindset may be part of an anxiety disorder. When people are extremely anxious, they may feel there’s no hope of anything turning out positively and find they think negatively almost all the time.

Sometimes this symptom even persists when they’re presented with logical, positive possible outcomes that almost anyone else would feel hopeful about, yet still find themselves stuck in negative slumps.

10. You Always Feel Like People Are Watching You

Pin ItBeing the center of attention is arguably a good thing if you’re a performer, but people with anxiety disorders sometimes have the incorrect perception that people are watching them all the time. As a result, they often feel extremely self-conscious to the point where they avoid going out in public and may even become reclusive for long periods of time.

Now that you know more about some of the most common symptoms suffered by people who have anxiety disorders, perhaps you’ve noticed some similarities in yourself and want to change your life for the better.

The first step involves being brave by seeking help, so you can understand more about the options available to you. Good luck!

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Katherine Hurst
By Catherine Gordon
Catherine Gordon (PhD) has a background teaching and researching analytic philosophy. She is also a practising therapist who works with individuals and couples on issues relating to relationship difficulties, emotional well-being and self-improvement.

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