Updated: Feb 19
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. Everyone gets nervous from time to time - you make a test or meet new people. But if anxiety becomes so frequent that it begins to take over your life you may have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders can have several different causes and aren't fully understood yet. Life experiences such as traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety. Many people are predisposed to due to their genetics. In other cases, you may have an anxiety disorder without experiencing any of these causes. Here are a few signs that might indicate that you are suffering from anxiety disorder.
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
Feeling nervous, restless or tense
Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
Having an increased heart rate
Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
Feeling weak or tired
Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
Having trouble sleeping
Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
Having difficulty controlling worry
Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
1. You over analyze just about everything
The hallmark of a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) - the broadest type of anxiety - is worrying too much about everyday things, large and small. You’re still thinking about the stupid something you said four years ago -when the person you said it too hasn’t thought about it for even a second. You hold on to things, and therefore, it’s harder to let go (even if you know it’s bad for you).
2. You prefer to be alone Chances are, you’re an introvert. As a child, you had no problem with being alone, maybe you even preferred it. In this space, perhaps you created imaginary friends - thanks to that vast imagination of yours. And today, those same childhood quirks affect your adult life in ways you perhaps never realized. It’s not like you don’t want to hang out and be the life of the party, but those irrational worries get in your way. In truth, you usually end up canceling a day or two before. This is not because you’re rude, it’s because you simply let your fears get the best of you.
3. You don’t think you’re good enough
Real talk. You feel like a fraud most of the time. You replay those negative thoughts in your head as if they are fact. Because of this, you struggle socially. These thinking and behavioral patterns disrupt your life and relationships. You imagine the worst if something is going wrong (or also if it’s not) because maybe, it happened one time ten years ago. And when meeting new people, inside, you have no confidence.
4. You’re sensitive
Everything touches you, and as a child, you cried easily. It’s not because you were a coward. No, your heart is big and soft, symbolically of course, and you find beauty in everything. This may cause you to remain overly sensitive to people and your environment. Because everything touches you, both positively and negatively, you feel your feelings just a little harder than the “normal” guy or gal next to you.
5. You can’t sit still
Call it energy or call it boredom, but when you bite your nails and tap your feet, you drive everyone around you crazy. You’re only trying to distract the voices in your head from telling you to worry again. From the beginning, you fidgeted, and now you move about because it’s hard to wait for answers.
7. You don’t see yourself how others do
Self-esteem is the opinion you have of yourself. When you have a healthy self-confidence, you tend to feel positive about yourself and life in general. It makes you able to deal with life’s ups and downs better. However, when your self-esteem is low, you tend to see yourself in a more negative and critical light —making it feel almost impossible to overcome the challenges life throws at you.
Perhaps you find it difficult to live up to other people’s expectations of you, or even to your own? The thing is, you don’t have to feel this way forever.
So, how can you tell if your everyday anxiety has crossed the line into an actual disorder? It’s not easy. Anxiety comes in many different forms, such as panic attacks, phobias, and social stress. The distinction between an official diagnosis and “normal” anxiety isn’t always clear either. Here’s a start. If you experience any of these symptoms regularly, you may want to talk with your doctor.
You feel like you're worrying too much and it's interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life
Your fear, worry or anxiety is upsetting to you and difficult to control
You feel depressed, have trouble with alcohol or drug use
You think your anxiety could be linked to a physical health problem
You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — if this is the case, seek emergency treatment immediately
Because there is help available. You really can live a healthy, happy life. At the end of the day, you can either focus on what’s tearing you apart or what’s keeping you together.
Maren is a full-time diabetes advocate who founded her first Diabetes Startup mysugarcase shortly after her diagnosis in 2008. By offering unique & innovative medical bags she wanted to eliminate the uncertainty about the storage, public image & transport of medications. With the foundation of LIV, Maren would like to do even more to make the living with chronic illnesses more liveable.