I started exhibiting signs of anxiety when I was pretty young, but I was never diagnosed until after my junior year of college. I was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at school when a massive tornado came through our town and wiped everything out. I got back home to Atlanta and started experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and started seeing a specialist.
Anxiety can take over your entire life. I’ve been doing a pretty good job at managing my anxiety without medication, but sometimes it can be a handful. I was really freaked out when the therapist told me that I had been dealing with anxiety for pretty much my entire adult life. Looking back I know the signs were there , but no one linked them to anxiety so I just thought I was really Type A.
There are a lot of variations of anxiety disorders, but there are some pretty straightforward symptoms if you’re struggling. Here are some ways you can tell if you’re dealing with anxiety. I’m not a doctor. However, these are some of the symptoms that I was exhibiting and ones that my doctor picked up on. If you’re experiencing any of these signs, go see a doctor or a therapist.
Feeling Overwhelmed With Everyday Tasks
You might feel extremely stressed over everyday things like your usual homework assignments or even something as simple as taking out the trash. You might have a lot on your plate, but anxiety can make you stress out over the simplest things.
You constantly feel like you're not doing something right and find yourself questioning everything that you do. Even choosing a restaurant to eat at with your friends can cause a flurry of self doubt.
Did I leave my flat iron on? Are those people laughing at me? What if I left the door open and someone robbed my house? You may be feeling worried about simple and irrational things. You're always worrying about something, no matter how small it is.
For a while, I had a seriously irrational fear that I was going to fall down the stairs and die. Walking down the stairs would make me so anxious I would nearly cry every time. If you're feeling afraid of really irrational things, you might be struggling with anxiety.
Problems sleeping are a very common symptom of anxiety-sufferers. You might be lying awake because you're worrying about something or because you literally cannot turn your brain off. You might fall asleep easily and frequently wake up or not be able to fall asleep at all.
Panic attacks are terrifying and if you ever have one, you will know. You might experience shortness of breath, racing heart, numbness in your hands, chest pains, a feeling of terror or chills. They don't usually last long, but they are scary. If you're experiencing frequent panic attacks, you may have a panic disorder.
Extreme Discomfort In Social Situations
There's a different between not wanting to be somewhere and being uncomfortable. A lot of people with anxiety feel very uncomfortable in certain social situations. Personally, I don't mind crowds unless it's in a tight space. I like to be around people, but when I am in close quarters with a lot of people, I freak out. Some anxiety sufferers may find it uncomfortable to be in an open space. Everyone is different, but social anxiety is a common symptom.
Do you think you’re suffering from anxiety? Do you have anxiety? Are there any other signs that you personally deal with? If you have anxiety, how are you dealing with it? Tell us in the comments!