4 Signs You May Have an Anxiety Disorder

Having anxious feelings from time to time (or even often) is a far cry from an anxiety disorder.

Generally speaking, when a person is experiencing normal anxious feelings they have a good idea what’s causing the problem. With an anxiety disorder, you hardly ever know what happened to turn it on.

I hear of people obsessing over thoughts or feelings that leads to anxiety attacks. However, in my own experience I never knew what in the world was bringing on either an anxiety attack or full blown panic attack.

Even though there are several different anxiety disorders, there’s a commonality among each that constitutes a disorder — Any one interferes with your daily life.

Here’s the most common four signs you may have an anxiety disorder:

You Can’t Make Your Anxiety Go Away

man with anxiety disorder slumped over computer desk

Becoming extremely – like over the top anxious – in situations that others may find a little scary can be your first clue. Things like family gatherings, office meetings, heights, or a multitude of other situations are common situations that carry your anxiety over the top.

If you can take a look around you, you’ll notice others seem to be dealing with the same situation in a much more rational manner than yourself.

You’ll also be aware that other people get right over their own anxious feelings and go on about their business. On the other hand, your own anxiety can last for hours and even days.

This is when anxiety begins to impact your life and being able to enjoy living. When anxiety is an issue that’s controlling your life it’s a disorder.

Your Anxiety is Physical

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety infographic
Anxiety Disorders Get Physical

I would recognize my own anxiety attacks by the manifestation of physical symptoms suddenly appearing. My stomach and chest areas would feel like I had a severe case of internal itching .

The more intense this became, the more heightened the anxiousness became until I was drowning in it.

With no way to make it stop or go away.

You can even find yourself with heartburn, muscle and/or stomach cramps, or diarrhea. All of these physical symptoms, and more, come from your body reacting to a heightened state of anxiety.

Inability to Focus

Man trying to focus through anxiety symptoms
Who can focus with anxiety looming?

Diagnosing people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who are really dealing with general anxiety disorder isn’t uncommon.

The reason that’s easy to do is because the inability to focus is a general symptom of any anxiety disorder. And when you’re in the middle of an attack, I can assure you focus is out of the question.

Something about anxiousness being constant companion tends to keep you in your head all the time.

You find yourself constantly getting overwhelmed with all sorts of negative thoughts to the point of obsessions.

When this stuff is rattling around in your head, focus just isn’t there. That’s why it’s easy for outsiders to falsely diagnose you with ADHD.

Problems With Sleep

alarm clock in the AM
Anxiety and insomnia go hand in hand

Don’t let this throw you, but Anxiety Disorders are indeed mental disorders.

And the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) says that in almost all mental disorders, including anxiety, there is likely to be some level and form of sleep disorders.

To start with anxiety is just as likely to manifest in your sleep as it is in your waking hours.

And even if that weren’t true, the constant companion of anxiousness in your life, just sets you up for sleep problems.

So, if getting quality and restful sleep has become an ever present problem it’s possible that it’s a symptom that your anxiety is more acute than normal.

The truth is that anxiety is a built in and perfectly normal function of all human beings.

However, it’s meant to be a bodily function that’s there to serve and protect us from danger.

Not take control of your life.

If you find yourself dealing with one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis and it’s affecting your life and well being, you could be contending with a disorder.

But, before jumping to conclusions, the best thing is to speak to your own doctor.

That’s my official disclaimer.

In real time, most people suffering with most of the common anxiety disorders know they have an unusual problem going on with them.

The problem most of us have is coming to grips with what in the world is going on with us? Fact is: anxiety is a very personal problem that few people talk about.

That leaves us with little information about how it feels or what to do about it. The vast majority of people are first diagnosed by a family physician as they describe the symptoms.

But even then, there are other medical conditions that can mimic anxiety, and in fact there’s a lot of medications that can cause anxiety.

The good news is that anxiety disorders can be treated, and often become a thing of the past.

There are both prescription medications and natural anxiety remedies to put you back in control of your life. Both methods have their pros and cons, but the most important thing to do about any anxiety disorder is to take action to get back in control.

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