You might have lived your entire life not knowing the difference between having anxiety and just generally worrying about things. Today, that wondering hopefully ends.
Of course, you can always ask a psychologist about their differences. But for this post, we took care to answer them with a couple of questions that you might be able to relate to.
“Do I feel fear and dread almost every single day?”
Anxiety is how your body and mind reacts to situations that you might find threatening or unfamiliar. In psychotherapy circles, it’s referred to as the “fight or flight” response because your brain is telling you that you could be in danger.
But if the feeling of dread is persistent day in and day out (regardless of the gravity of the situation), then you might want to get yourself for anxiety disorders. A trustworthy psychiatrist is your best bet to getting diagnosed and knowing how to deal with this mental disorder.
Please note that there are different types of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. However, knowing what you could have is a good way to start addressing it.
“Are my jaws, neck, and shoulders always sore and tense?”
If outside factors like light affect your sleep quality or you have sleep apnea, it might explain why you have constantly sore shoulders, back, neck, and jaw. But if you have all these symptoms combined with a noticeable increase in irritability and anger, then you might have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
GAD can give you a hard time focusing on tasks at hand, and your tension can make certain bodily aches and soreness more pronounced and painful. Having this can compromise your quality of life and output at work or school.
To be safe on the safe side, your psychiatrist can also recommend a neurologist to make sure that your symptoms aren’t illnesses connected with your nervous system.
“Do I feel like everyone is judging me all the time?”
Worry is a big part of anxiety, as are negative thoughts. But anxiety is made up of a lot of components that could dictate if the disorder is mild or downright crippling.
If you find yourself reacting this way to most social situations, you might have a social anxiety disorder. Whether it’s speaking in front of the class or meeting someone for the first time, your thoughts might immediately turn to how you’re going to be perceived by others (often negatively).
Anxiety is not good for your heart health so it’s best to get diagnosed and have recommended therapies for your fear of social situations. If you want to try alternative methods, you can consider hypnotherapy.
“Does my chest feel tight and my stomach queasy during particular situations?”
If your anxiety and fear of things become irrational, you might already have a phobia. But the anxiety that anchors you to this fear takes over any logical thought so you’re likely rendered immobile when confronted by particular things, people, or situations.
Before it becomes a full-blown panic attack, you’ll need to know how to handle yourself should situations like these arise. Consider getting neurofeedback treatment to help you address your emotional anxiety and possible past traumas.
And practising self-care, like doing your favourite relaxing activities either with other people or alone, can do wonders for your self-esteem.