Anxiety is something everyone experiences at least once in their life. It is the mind’s natural response to a situation that is stressful. Most people, however, find the anxiety disappearing once they get through the situation, or even when they understand the situation better. With other people, anxiety is a daily problem, and it doesn’t have to be related to anything.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. They affect about 18% of the population, which is about 40 million people. The good news is that anxiety disorders are treatable. The most common treatments are therapy and medication. With therapy, you learn how to deal with your anxiety and understand it better. With medication, you have a way to control your anxiety.
While anxiety disorders are common, there is still a lot of stigmas attached to them. People often think that people with anxiety disorders are weak or that they can just “snap out of it.” This isn’t true. Anxiety disorders are real and they should be taken seriously.
In fact, anxiety can be very debilitating, making it nearly impossible to accomplish necessary daily tasks. It is also physically harmful because it raises blood pressure, increases heartbeat, and ends up affecting many other body systems. The good news is that when you recognize you are dealing with an anxiety disorder, it is possible to get help.
5 Signs of an Anxiety Disorder
If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have an anxiety disorder, there are five certain signs and symptoms that may indicate its presence:
1. Trouble Falling or Staying Asleep
With thoughts always running through your mind, sleeping is difficult. People with an anxiety disorder will lay in bed with their eyes closed, thinking about what they need to do tomorrow or months down the road. They will replay conversations from the past and create ones that never have and may never take place. Worry becomes a significant problem, while sleep is elusive.
Others experience a different type of insomnia, waking up after a few hours of sleep and finding it impossible to get back to sleep. They feel wide awake but without the energy that comes from being well-rested.
2. Agitation or Muscle Tension
This situation is that state where even minor or imagined things cause you to be agitated. You may wake up “in a mood,” not knowing why but knowing that anything will bother you. This agitation sometimes comes with muscle tension. Your neck and shoulders feel tight, your jaw may hurt from clenching your teeth, and you feel ready to spring into action at any moment. Your body has entered peak fight-or-flight mode.
Many people with anxiety disorders feel restless. They can’t sit still and are constantly tapping their feet or fidgeting. This is often due to the racing thoughts that won’t stop, as well as the feeling of being antsy and on-edge. It can be difficult to concentrate on anything when you’re this way.
3. Excessive Worry
This worry goes beyond wondering if you turned off the oven or locked the door when you left. Your mind is always full of what-ifs. Many of these are scenarios involving things that could occur, but just as many are unlikely ever to happen. Often these worried thoughts cause you to become paralyzed in fear.
4. Difficulty Concentrating
Concentration on anything becomes nearly impossible with anxiety. Your mind becomes distracted with unwanted random thoughts, or it becomes full of worry. You may be concerned about failing or being poorly judged, and you become almost paralyzed, unable to complete the task at hand.
5. Panic Attacks
Panic attacks feel like you’re experiencing a heart attack. They are not always a part of an anxiety disorder but can appear when you are in a situation, such as being around people when you have social anxiety. These attacks strike unannounced and sometimes without apparent provocation. The fear is real, and the body reacts as though you are in extreme danger. Because they feel so much like a heart attack, you may become more fearful, increasing the attack’s severity. Once over, many people feel the need to sleep because they feel both emotionally and physically drained.
An Anxiety Treatment Center Near Lancaster is the Answer
An underlying anxiety disorder is one of the most common comorbid disorders with addictions or other mental health conditions. If you believe this may be a problem for you, contact Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge at 844.442.8673 and make an appointment for an evaluation. We offer a range of treatments, including:
- Detox services
- Inpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Faith-based treatments