Anxiety is a mental health condition that millions of people globally have to deal with every year. It affects people from all backgrounds, ages, genders, areas, etc., and can range from mild to severe and debilitating.
If you don’t know much about the topic but want to learn more, it’s helpful to understand anxiety-based symptoms you or someone you love may have and some treatment options to consider. Read on for the lowdown today.
If you suffer from anxiety, you could notice a raft of different symptoms of the mental health condition or just one or two. These signs can come in the form of physical challenges or mental or behavioral ones. Also, it’s helpful to note that symptoms often vary according to not just the person but also the type of anxiety disorder they have (e.g., generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia, panic attacks, separation anxiety, specific phobias, etc.).
Some of the most common physical symptoms include muscle tension, heart palpitations, dry mouth, and cold or sweaty hands. Some people get short of breath or feel nauseous, and some get numbness or tingling in their hands or feet, too. Sufferers can sweat for no temperature-based reason, tremble, and feel weak, tired, and lethargic, too.
Behaviorally, those with anxiety may engage in ritualistic patterns, such as repeatedly washing hands, or just generally struggle to be still and calm much of the time. Many people will stop engaging in activities or avoiding situations that trigger their anxiety, too.
As for mental and emotional symptoms, this list can include nightmares and other sleep problems, feelings of panic and doom, and fear or uneasiness. People can be restless or irritable, struggle to concentrate and focus, and have uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts. Plus, there can be repeated thoughts or flashbacks of past traumatic experiences and situations.
If you tick any of these boxes and have even one or two anxiety symptoms, it’s worth considering if you may be dealing with the condition.
When to Get Help
If you notice some of the above signs of anxiety and find you’re upset by them and struggle to control them, or that they’re interfering too much with your relationships, work, or other parts of your life, it’s time to see a doctor. Similarly, if you think you have anxiety and feel depressed, have other mental health challenges, find it hard to limit drug or alcohol use, or notice the situation getting rapidly worse, book an appointment with your physician right away.
If you’re having any suicidal thoughts or engaging in suicidal or self-harming behaviors, let someone know and speak with a medical practitioner ASAP or seek emergency treatment in a hospital or other clinic. Doctors can evaluate your current mental health state by asking you questions, examining your medical history, and checking if your anxiety is linked to a physical health problem, which happens more than you might think. You may get referred to a therapist or other specialist for further testing, diagnosis, and treatment.
Treatment Ideas for Anxiety
There are, happily, some steps you can take to treat your anxiety and live a happier, healthier life. Apart from having appointments with a psychologist, counselor, or other person or group to talk through your anxiety and what triggers it, where it might stem from, etc., you might also try out medication. Some people find they have to trial various products before they find the right medicine to help them, so hang in there and keep trialing options until you find something that works well for you.
If you’re dealing with insomnia or frequent, intense nightmares or night terrors, or have other sleep issues, you may like to try some products to help in this specific area. For instance, you can take sleeping tablets, put some drops of lavender on your pillow, or start utilizing some quality CBD products such as those that have melatonin in them and promote relaxation. Other treatments options include exercising frequently and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Many people with anxiety get some relief from using relaxation techniques such as yoga, stretching, deep breathing, and meditation, plus hypnosis can help in some cases, too. You can treat your anxiety by taking steps to prevent attacks, too. For instance, get help early rather than waiting until you’re in a particularly bad state, and avoid substances that can cause or worsen anxiety, such as alcohol and drugs.
Focus on enjoying social times with friends, family members, and other relationships to lessen your worries and get out of your own head, too.
Anxiety can be debilitating if you ignore its signs for too long and don’t take ownership of your mental health and seek out diagnosis and treatment. The sooner you understand anxiety and work to minimize it, the better your quality of life can be.