Is It Stress? Mild Anxiety? Or A Real Disorder That You Have?

July 14, 2014

When Is Anxiety A Disorder?

Anxiety is classified as a disorder when it becomes chronic, obsessive and overwhelming. If you are suffering from anxiety, it will affect you in at least four different ways:

– The way you think
– The way you feel
– The way your body works
– They way you behave

Anxiety can affect you in very real, physical ways. Some of the physical symptoms of anxiety include:

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– Feeling nervous, anxious or frightened
– Sweating
– Shortness of breath
– Increased heart rate
– Trembling
– Muscle tension
– Feeling nauseous
– Feeling dizzy or light-headed
– Dry mouth
– Tingling or prickling in hands and feet
– Vision problems
– Butterflies or churning in the stomach
– Tight or knotted feeling in the chest

Some of the emotional symptoms of anxiety include:

– Dreaminess
– Tiredness
– Nightmares or bad dreams
– Depersonalization (feeling removed from yourself)
– Derealization (feeling as if you are in a nightmare or dream)
– Depressive thoughts
– Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, obsessive thoughts or compulsions
– Thoughts of a sexual or violent nature. Inappropriate thoughts about people you love, sometimes of a violent or sexual nature
– Increased violence/aggression
– Mood swings
– Inability to love/ inability to care for others
– Agoraphobia, social phobia, shyness
– Feeling like you can’t cope
– Disinterest in life

The mental symptoms of anxiety can cross over with the emotional symptoms of anxiety:

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– Thinking that you may be losing your mind
– Thinking that you can’t cope
– Thinking that you may be having a heart attack
– Feeling that you are losing control
– Worrying that you may be faint or sick
– Thinking that there may be something wrong with your brain (for example, a tumor)
– Worrying that people are looking at you and thinking that you might be acting strangely
– Worrying that you might be making a fool of yourself or doing or saying something silly
– Wanting to escape and get to a safe place

While the behavioral symptoms include:

– Making excuses to avoid going out or doing something
– Only going to quiet places or being in very small groups
– Only going to places where you can get lost in a crowd and avoid being alone with people
– Crossing the street to avoid people
– Rushing out of places or situations when feeling anxious
– Going to the toilet to escape from things
– Not saying anything when with other people
– Talking all the time to avoid feeling uncomfortable
– Using ‘props’ before you go out such as alcohol or drugs
– Sitting near the doors in buildings or at the end of rows or as far back as possible

Although these symptoms of anxiety are actually entirely normal they can be very distressing for anyone suffering from them. It is when we feel that we cannot control these or the other mental, emotional and behavioral symptoms of anxiety that we move from experiencing normal levels of anxiety, to suffering from an anxiety disorder.

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