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Nine Warning Signs of an Anxiety Disorder

Anger is an all-consuming emotion at times, even more so now as we deal with new situations. If you don't get a grip on it, it can affect your quality of life. Anger will damage your relationships and raise your stress levels. If anger is beginning to impact your life, start taking steps to control your emotional state.

An anxiety disorder can be a huge problem. Low-grade anxiety and stress can be beneficial in certain situations. However, an anxiety disorder is not healthy or beneficial. Major anxiety disorders disrupt life and lead to serious misery. Still, determining where exactly an anxiety disorder begins isn't obvious. That's why we listed the following 9 symptoms that may show if you have an anxiety disorder.

1. Excessive worry. Worry is an essential element of anxiety. Of course, worrying is also oftentimes appropriate. Worry that indicates an anxiety disorder is hard to control. It is also disproportionate to the situation. Worry that gets in the way of living happily is a big warning sign. Worry should not make normal functioning difficult.

2. Gastrointestinal distress. Anxiety is by no means only a mental phenomenon. Experiencing serious anxiety activates the flight-or-flight response. This response stimulates the nervous system but can disrupt normal digestive system function. Specific symptoms can include cramping, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.

3. Unrelenting anxiety. Feeling anxiety is normal. What isn't normal is always feeling anxiety. Anxiety and agitation that begins from a specific stressful situation isn't especially worrying. Continuous anxiety throughout the day is worrisome and may be due to an anxiety disorder.

4. Avoidance. Avoidance is the habit of avoiding any particular place, person, or activity that makes you anxious, even when doing so disrupts your life. Avoidance is a key sign that your anxiety is out of control -- it is ruling you, rather than the other way around. Avoiding things that you once enjoyed is a particularly bad sign.

5. Sleep problems. One of the physiological manifestations of anxiety is sleep disruption. An anxiety disorder can make it difficult to achieve good sleep. Sleep troubles such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep can have many potential causes. Anxiety disorders are one such cause.

6. Muscle tension and fatigue. Anxiety often manifests in the presence of knotted, tight muscles. The nervous system's fight or flight response causes muscles to contract. If this response happens too often, muscles will become chronically tense. Pain and fatigue will develop.

7. Difficulty concentrating. Anxiety has a way of dominating the mind. Severe anxiety leaves no room for true, deep focus. An anxiety disorder may thus result in difficulty finishing tasks. Additionally, one may have lower productivity at work, and a general feeling of brain fog. Difficult making decisions and struggles with short-term memory can also result.

8. Negative thinking. Severe anxiety is often connected with a negative, catastrophic view of reality. Negative thinking in anxiety disorder sufferers will often be irrational. This negative thinking will generally be inward directed. A self-critical attitude will result, often alongside perfectionism.

9. Self-consciousness. People with anxiety disorders often feel that attention is always on them. This hyper self-consciousness can display itself in constant mental comparisons to others. Someone with an anxiety disorder may consumed with their appearance. They may be fearful of disapproval, or preoccupied with social status.

These warning signs can be indicators of an anxiety disorder. If you suspect that you have an anxiety disorder, it would be beneficial to seek help from a professional. We encourage you to reach out to schedule an appointment. You may do so online, contact us here through the website or call our office at 480-235-1682. We are here to help.

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