Anxiety is an inevitable part of human experience, which alerts us to keep away from possible dangers. Every person feels nervous, fearful, or worried when they are dealing with a stressful or threatening situation. However, some people battle with a constant churn of unfounded anxiety that can affect their relationships and disrupt life functions. These individuals are among the 40 million people in America who suffer from an anxiety disorder.
While several anxiety treatment programs are available, many people in Florida go without treatment and choose to suffer in silence. Some of them mask their anxiety because they fear the stigma surrounding mental disorders. But most of them do not seek treatment because they’re not aware that something’s wrong. Here are some signs that you might be living with anxiety disorder without realizing it:
Exaggerating possibilities into catastrophes.
People with anxiety disorder overreact to stressful events and expects a disaster out of a simple situation. They automatically imagine that the worst possible thing could happen and continuously play “what if’s” game. For instance, you made a small mistake at work, so you can hardly sleep at night worrying that your boss will find out. You dwell on the horrors of getting fired and sink into a cycle of despair.
When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you turn a molehill into a mountain and creates a crisis out of little challenges. This catastrophic thinking amplifies anxiety, making it harder to deal with everyday stress.
Experiencing frequent negative physical symptoms.
Anxiety does not only affect your mind, but it can wreak havoc on your body. You might suffer from constant muscle tension, frequent headaches, gastrointestinal issues, nausea, and sleep disturbances. Most of these physical symptoms can mimic common health complaints, but they do not have medical causes.
When anxiety persists even without the need to fight or flee, it can impair your immune function. That is why people with anxiety disorder tend to get the flu, common cold, and other infections more often.
Feeling incredibly guilty for committing the slightest infraction.
Apologizing for every little mistake is not always a virtue but could be a symptom of hidden anxiety. People with anxiety disorder constantly struggle with feelings of guilt that are exaggerated, unrealistic, or inappropriate. They hold their own rules of ethical behavior and tend to blame themselves for others’ misfortune.
You might feel guilty hanging up an unsolicited phone call from a telemarketer and worry that you’ll be perceived as rude. Or you might judge yourself when you beat your colleague to a promotion. People living with anxiety respond differently to guilt and feel responsible for trivial things. They nurture this self-tormenting emotion even when it’s completely unnecessary.
These seemingly harmless symptoms can progress to severe conditions that require long and intensive treatment. Untreated anxiety can lead to depression, alcohol or substance abuse, suicide, and physical illness. If you are experiencing these symptoms, immediately discuss it with your doctor. The sooner you get diagnosed and start the treatment process, the sooner you can live a better life.