Anxiety, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), is when you feel tense, have worried thoughts, and experience physical changes like higher blood pressure.
It’s important to know the difference between regular feelings of anxiety and an anxiety disorder that requires medical attention. This understanding helps in identifying and treating the condition.
Anxiety is a response to real or perceived threats, involving changes in thoughts, body, and behavior. When there’s a sense of danger, adrenaline rushes through your body, triggering anxiety reactions in a fight-or-flight response. This can happen in challenging social situations or around important events.
Sometimes, the duration or intensity of anxiety may be disproportionate to the original trigger, leading to physical symptoms like increased blood pressure and nausea. When these responses become more severe and disrupt daily life, it’s considered an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders come with various symptoms, such as restlessness, uncontrollable worry, increased irritability, difficulty concentrating, and sleep problems. If anxiety progresses to a disorder, it can interfere with your daily functioning. Learn more about anxiety and its disorders on our dedicated hub.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can manifest in various ways, and being aware of the common signs is crucial for early identification and effective management. Here are some typical symptoms of anxiety:
- Restlessness: Feeling on edge or unable to sit still, as if there’s an internal restlessness.
- Uncontrollable Worry: Persistent and overwhelming concerns about various aspects of life, often disproportionate to the actual situations.
- Increased Irritability: Finding oneself easily agitated or frustrated, even over minor issues.
- Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble focusing on tasks, making decisions, or staying engaged in conversations due to a preoccupation with anxious thoughts.
- Sleep Difficulties: Insomnia or disruptions in sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restless sleep.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may impact daily functioning. If you or someone you know is experiencing persistent and distressing symptoms, it’s essential to seek professional guidance for a comprehensive assessment and appropriate support. Understanding and addressing anxiety early on can lead to effective coping strategies and an improved quality of life. Contact our qualified therapist today!