March 18, 2020

Symptoms & Signs of Anxiety & Panic Related Disorders

If you feel that you may be suffering from anxiety then check out our latest post and learn the common signs of anxiety disorders, and the physical symptoms you may experience if you’re suffering from an anxiety or panic related disorder.

If you have a phobia of the dentist then you’ll experience anxiety to some degree prior to the appointment, it may even cause you to become slightly panicky. You see, we all have fears and phobias and it’s perfectly normal for the body to react in ways that trigger anxiety or panic.

It’s when your fears and feelings of anxiousness start to affect your ability to cope in day-to-day life that you could have an anxiety or panic related disorder. The problem is heightened as the sufferers anxiety can be triggered in seemingly non-threatening scenarios, the body hits the fight or flight response causing unnecessary anxiety.

Dependent on how severe the attack of anxiety is it can be a frightening ordeal. That’s why it’s important to identify the signs of anxiety early so that you can take the necessary corrective measures to help you cope. The following are a few of the common signs and symptoms associated with anxiety and panic related disorders:

Signs of Anxiety and Panic Disorders

Symptoms and Signs of Anxiety Disorders

“The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction.” - Sally Winston, PsyD

Excessive Worrying: Worry and fear are the two main catalysts for anxiety and panic, it’s like oxygen fueling a fire! If you find yourself worrying excessively even over trivial things then this could be the sign of an anxiety disorder.

But how do we measure excessive worrying? Experts suggest that if you excessively worry most days over a 6 month time-frame then you likely have an anxiety disorder. Also the excessive worrying must have an impact on your ability to cope in daily life.

Worrying with Anticipation: Worrying with anticipation basically means being overly worried and fretful concerning things that have yet to happen. For example, a pending dentists appointment may leave a person worrying with anticipation. Nothing bad has happened yet but they imagine the things that could go wrong.

Much like excessive worrying, if you find yourself constantly worrying and fretful over things that have yet to occur then this could be the sign of an anxiety or panic related disorder.

Fear of Social Environments: A common anxiety disorder is social anxiety which affects a persons ability to cope in social environments. Likened to being shy but much more severe, social anxiety can leave you fearful of meeting new people, eating in public, being singled out and far to concerned about how others view you.

Fear of Leaving Home: We all have days where we don’t want to face the world but if this is a daily occurrence and you genuinely feel scared to leave your home or surroundings you feel safe and secure in then this could be the sign of an anxiety disorder known as agoraphobia.

Insomnia: Insomnia’s a strong word but sleeping problems as a whole could be the sign of an anxiety disorder. That’s not to say that the odd night of tossing and turning is a sign of anxiety but if you find your constantly worrying throughout the night and having difficulty getting to sleep most nights then it may be a sign of anxiety.

Compulsive Behaviors: OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) isn’t directly related to an anxiety disorder but bares all the hallmarks of anxiety. OCD can leave a person overly worried about minor imperfections and details. Likened to perfectionism but heightened to the extent that simple chores such as getting ready can take hours.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety and Panic Disorders

The following are a few signs of physical symptoms associated with anxiety:

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  • Pins and needles/ numbness in hands, fingers, toes or legs
  • Agitated, restless, repetitive movements such as pacing around
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Inability to breathe properly
  • Dry mouth, trouble swallowing
  • Sweating, blushing, shakes
  • Digestive problems

What Next?

There are also highly effective treatments and therapy plans available to you, your GP will be able to recommend suitable treatment based on your needs.

Also, keep educating yourself, the more aware you become of your anxiety and the causes/ triggers the better you’ll be able to cope with them. Getting to the roots of an anxiety disorder is also key in a long term recovery, anxiety may stem from past experiences and can bare a significant psychological impact.

You might also like: How to Cope With Fear – Trusting Your Thoughts!

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is recommended for a long term treatment plan that can help you get to the roots of your anxiety or panic. Medications are far to easily prescribed in my opinion but can help you cope short term if your anxiety and worries are affecting your ability to cope in day-to-day life. There are also some highly effective anxiety recovery programs available for those looking for a more private means of treatment.

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