Everyone experiences times in life where they feel anxious. Feeling anxiety is perfectly normal in some situations. You may feel a little apprehensive before a job interview or taking your driving test, for example. But, for some people, the feeling of anxiousness is a constant presence in daily life. Being in a constantly anxious state can feel incredibly uncomfortable and is exhausting. You may be so used to feeling anxious that you don’t even recognize you are suffering from a condition and may characterize yourself as a worrier or a nervous person. Labeling the anxiety and knowing that it is a condition can help you begin identifying your anxiety and separating it from yourself. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates around 300 million people worldwide suffer from an anxiety disorder, so it is definitely not a rare disorder, and you are not alone.
Identifying the Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety may feel like it is happening in your head, but the effects of anxiety manifest in a range of physical symptoms. You may feel a wave of panic creeping over you, and this could cause you to start sweating, your stomach may begin to churn, and your heart rate will speed up. Anxiety can impact many aspects of your wellbeing, which is part of the reason why it is so draining and all-consuming.
Even if you have suffered from anxiety for as long as you remember, there is no need to accept you will feel this way forever. Suffering from anxiety can cause more than unpleasant physical symptoms. You may find anxiety influences every part of your life and is the driving force behind many decisions you make. As anxiety feels so uncomfortable, you may do everything you can to avoid situations that trigger anxiety or trying new things outside your comfort zone. Making crucial decisions based on avoiding your anxious feelings can significantly impact your life and prevent you from living it to the full.
Getting a Diagnosis
If you are feeling frustrated with anxiety controlling your life and physically and mentally exhausted by anxiety symptoms, you may be desperate to deal with your anxiety once and for all. Reaching this stage is a crucial milestone and is the first step to dealing with your anxiety disorder. Stopping anxiety from controlling your life is incredibly empowering. The thought of getting rid of your anxiety may feel scary right now, but it will get easier; getting started is the most critical step.
While it may seem obvious to you now that you have anxiety, did you know that there are several kinds of anxiety disorders? If you have chronic anxiety with no specific trigger, you could have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Social Anxiety Disorder is an anxiety disorder which manifests in situations where you are around other people. People with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) may feel compelled to repeat certain rituals and experience constant intrusive thoughts. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) occurs as a result of a past traumatic experience. Finally, Panic Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can lead to acute episodes of anxiousness.
Understanding which type of anxiety disorder you are experiencing can be helpful for your treatment. Some people find it useful to label their condition to understand it better, as this can help them control their anxiety. Once you have been given a diagnosis, you will be ready to get started on your treatment for anxiety which is a crucial step toward getting better.
After diagnosis, your doctor will be able to advise on your treatment options and devise a plan to help you get your anxiety under control. The doctor may suggest a combination of treatments. Treatments could include a dual approach using medication and talking therapy. This combined treatment can be highly effective in helping your anxiety get under control. Taking part in talking therapy is a valuable part of the process to tackle your anxiety in the long term. Understanding the reasons behind your anxious feelings and identifying triggers will provide helpful insight into your condition and equip you to manage it effectively in the future. Attending therapy sessions can provide you with a fresh perspective on your life, and is often highly beneficial for your wellbeing.
Taking the first step and seeking help for your anxiety is one of the hardest parts of getting better. Once you have handled this first step, you will be on your way to reclaiming your life and living it your way without anxiety holding you back.