Anxiety disorders are common—nearly one in three adults in the U.S. will have an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives according to the National Institute of Mental Health. If you think you or a loved one may be struggling with anxiety, you should speak with a mental health professional who can provide a diagnosis and create a plan of treatment. With help, living with anxiety will get better!
Signs Of Anxiety
Each anxiety disorder has a particular set of symptoms, and individuals will manifest anxiety disorders based on their own personality, biology, environment, and psychology. However, there are signs of anxiety that are commonly associated with many anxiety disorders. Knowing what signs and symptoms to check for can help you determine if you or a person you know could be struggling with anxiety.
Common signs of anxiety include:
- Feeling on edge or tense
- Excessive worry or fear
- Difficulty falling asleep or inability to get a full night’s sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Trouble concentrating
- Feeling restless, jittery, or jumpy
- Sudden spikes in adrenaline
- Digestive issues
People with an anxiety disorder tend to feel excessively worried about health, relationships, work, money, the future, and daily life overall to a degree that they experience symptoms—physical, emotional, and mental—that interfere with their ability to function at home, school, or work. Anxiety may cause them to be reluctant or unable to leave the house or socialize with others, and symptoms like sleep issues can make it harder to be as productive and present in daily life as they desire.
It is key to remember that each person may experience anxiety in a unique way, and the possibility of such diverse symptoms can make it harder to recognize anxiety in some people. If you feel “off” or are concerned about a loved one, you can always seek the help of a mental health professional to determine if there may be an anxiety issue behind uncharacteristic behavior.
Beyond the anxiety disorders mentioned here, people can suffer from many other forms of anxiety and phobias that manifest themselves in many different ways. We can’t stress this enough: each person will experience anxiety in a unique way and should seek professional counseling to figure out how to best address and treat anxiety symptoms and understand risk factors.
Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis
A primary care provider may recognize signs of anxiety during an annual checkup or a loved one might notice symptoms of anxiety first. Your doctor may have to order tests to rule out other possible conditions, especially if your symptoms are physical (like heart palpitations, sleep issues, fatigue, muscle tension, or digestive problems).
Once other conditions are ruled out, you may need to speak with a therapist to be diagnosed with anxiety. A psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose anxiety by using a diagnostic survey or speaking with the person about their symptoms to determine the severity and type of anxiety disorder.
Treatment for Anxiety
Some anxiety symptoms can be improved with lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, and relaxation techniques, but working with a professional therapist is an important first step to first diagnosing and then treating anxiety. For some anxiety disorders, regularly attending therapy sessions and taking anti-anxiety medications may be part of a treatment plan. (Remember: only a psychiatrist can accurately diagnose and prescribe medications to treat anxiety symptoms.)
We know that, for most people, a combination of talk therapy and medications is the best way to address anxiety disorders. That’s why we remove barriers to both of these treatments by offering you remote access to top-rated, board-certified psychiatrists–so you can get the care you need from the comfort of your home.
With My Psychiatrist, you can complete your intake and therapy sessions with your psychiatrist online through telepsychiatry services. We are just one phone call (or a few clicks) away–contact us to see how we can help you start to feel better as soon as possible.