7 Common Signs and Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder

It is very common for someone to experience anxiety at some point in their lives. However, if the feeling occurs quite often, usually for a period of more than six months, then it is time that you seek medical attention. For a symptom to be considered as part of an anxiety disorder, it must be occurring frequently to a point of interfering with normal daily life. Some of the signs can be traumatizing; fortunately, anxiety disorders are manageable with the help of a professional.

  • 1. Restlessness

Anxiety disorders can pull blood away from the digestive system and send it to the muscles in more than usual amounts. Normally, this is what happens when the body recognizes a threat and is required to make you flee, to evade the threat. This means that the body experiences an urge to move. However, with anxiety, this urge to move is activated even when there is no probable cause of flight or when the flight state exceeds the normal time after the threat has been neutralized.

  • 2. Chronic Insomnia

This is the state of not being able to sleep enough or not being able to sleep at all. Insomnia can be a sign of anxiety but it should be noted that insomnia as a sign of anxiety is dependent on other signs, such as restlessness and racing thoughts. Anxiety can interfere with your ability to fall asleep, or it can cause difficulties falling back to sleep in the middle of the night after awakening. Regardless, trying to sleep can become a very stressful process that becomes a cycle of stress and anxiety.

  • 3. Unnecessary Worrying

Worrying is just a normal thing for many of us, but when it occurs for longer periods, usually for over six months, when there is no reason to be worried, then it is time to consider that you may be suffering from anxiety. Additionally, for worrying to be considered as a symptom of anxiety, it must be so intense that it is affecting your daily life and normal functioning. Excessive worrying can be a real problem that may interfere with your personal and occupational relationships.

  • 4. Fatigue

While fatigue sounds like a normal thing to many of us, particularly after long days at work, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder if it occurs frequently and for more than six months. Experts claim that anxiety disorders divert blood from the digestive system to the muscles, preparing you for flight in the face of a threat. It also makes the muscles so tense in the process that you may feel fatigued for some extended period.

  • 5. Agitation

Lack of sleep due to insomnia, fatigue, restlessness, muscle tension, shortness of breath, unnecessary worrying and lack of concentration can lead to feelings of agitation. As a result, you may have difficulty relating to others and communicating effectively. Studies show a close relationship between adrenaline surge and high irritability, which often extends to feelings of agitation.

  • 6. Irritability

When anxiety disorders make the body produce more than the required amounts of flight hormone, adrenaline, your muscles become tense, you experience shortness of breath, increased heart rate and a possible state of confusion due to restlessness. The result is that you become easily irritable and less able to cope with day to day stress.

  • 7. Difficulty Concentrating

Anxiety disorders have been known to cause uneasiness in people, usually due to a sudden surge of the hormone adrenaline, putting your body in flight mode, even when there is no real threat to your life. Difficulty concentrating alone should not be considered as a symptom of an anxiety disorder; but it can be when it accompanies other symptoms. This may explain the cause for poor performance in school or in the workplace. Studies show that anxiety disorders can also affect your memory, making it hard for you to focus.

The first step in the recovery journey of an anxiety disorder is to understand the signs and symptoms. One sign alone is not enough to be termed as a symptom of an anxiety disorder. Most of them are dependent and closely related to each other. Upon seeing some of the signs for quite some time, it is advisable that you seek medical attention since the effects of an anxiety disorder can be traumatizing and could be very costly in both your personal and professional life.