You Cant Sleep And Its Not Because You Were Staring At Your Phone Right Before Bed
There are lots of reasons its hard for us to get a good nights sleep: blue light from our phones, tablets and laptops, restless pets hogging the bed, irritating upstairs neighbors . But according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America , anxiety can cause sleeping problems AND new research suggests sleep deprivation can cause an anxiety disorder. Pretty lose-lose.
So in order to get a better nights rest, the ADAA suggests meditating before bed, finding a kind of exercise you enjoy and doing it regularly, and turning your clock away from you looking at it in the middle of the night will only exacerbate your anxious feelings.
How Do I Know When My Anxiety Needs Treatment
Any time a mental health issue such as anxiety gets so far out of hand that it disrupts your daily life, its time to get help. Especially if one or more symptoms cause you a lot of distress and worry, you should seek treatment before your symptoms get worse.
Most mental health disorders exist on a spectrum. For some people, symptoms are less severe and respond well to outpatient treatment. But for many others, its going to take intensive treatment to make headways into recovery. Particularly if youve tried outpatient therapy and it hasnt worked, residential treatment could be your best option.
But how do you know when your anxiety is severe and lasting enough to qualify as an actual disorder? Its impossible to pinpoint without a clinician, but you can learn to spot the same signs a clinician would look for.
Everyone Around You Is Getting On Your Nerves
We all get into moods where our friends and coworkers drive us up the wall, but feeling like you could go off at any second is another matter. New York City-based psychologist Dr. Lauren Appio tells BuzzFeed that the fight/flight/freeze response is heightened in anxiety sufferers, and, she says, since fight is another side to our flight response…you may also find that you are more impatient and easily annoyed by others . Dr. Bais says that feelings of rage, hatred, and revenge are common, too.
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The Positives Of Being A Worrier
Yes, there are positives. Fortunately, youre likely to be the one that spots real danger, where others merely wander without thought.
Youll be the one to offer practical refinements to an impromptu and vague idea or plan. Theres nothing wrong with dreamers and action junkies its just that they need someone like you to balance the team!
And to be honest, Id rather have a worrier as a dentist or an accountant theyd think twice before pulling out a tooth or giving some dodgy advice!.
Lets get to the bottom of why youre feeling anxious for no reason.
Make The Necessary Life
Your anxiety is much less likely to rear its ugly head in the future if you commit to making lifestyle changes that protect your body, mind and environment from damage.
Now Im going to refer you to my page on how to get over a nervous breakdown.
I wrote that article for people who are on the far end of the scale with their anxiety theyve had a complete burn-out.
They may or may not have previously suffered from excessive stress or anxiety, but the advice for you is the same as it is for them.
Be sure to also visit my article on how to treat anxiety symptoms.
Next enlist your partners support
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What Is An Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder is a type of mental health condition. If you have an anxiety disorder, you may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. You may also experience physical signs of anxiety, such as a pounding heart and sweating.
Its normal to have some anxiety. You may feel anxious or nervous if you have to tackle a problem at work, go to an interview, take a test or make an important decision. And anxiety can even be beneficial. For example, anxiety helps us notice dangerous situations and focuses our attention, so we stay safe.
But an anxiety disorder goes beyond the regular nervousness and slight fear you may feel from time to time. An anxiety disorder happens when:
- Anxiety interferes with your ability to function.
- You often overreact when something triggers your emotions.
- You cant control your responses to situations.
Anxiety disorders can make it difficult to get through the day. Fortunately, there are several effective treatments for anxiety disorders.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Theres some overlap between symptoms of ADHD and anxiety. Both conditions can involve:
- alternative treatments, including acupuncture, meditation, yoga, supplements, or breathing exercises
- lifestyle changes, including getting more exercise and sleep, limiting caffeine, and making more time for relaxation
The most effective treatment can look a little different for everyone, so it always helps to share your treatment goals and preferred approach with your care provider.
Plenty of therapists specialize in anxiety treatment, and many can also offer guidance with meditation and other helpful techniques. Online therapists and psychiatrists can often help with anxiety symptoms.
If you need help now
Anxiety is fairly common, but that doesnt make it any easier to deal with. If you or someone you love has thoughts of suicide, a crisis helpline can provide immediate support:
Also Check: How Can I Fix My Anxiety
How Do You Treat A Silent Heart Attack
Some people whose heart attacks go unrecognized learn about them weeks or months later when they visit their doctor, often for a yearly physical.
We can tell the size of the heart attack by how much heart muscle has been damaged, often on an electrocardiogram , or even more precisely on a cardiac ultrasound, or echocardiogram, says Dr. Rimmerman.
Other people visit their doctors soon after a silent heart attack because they experience persistent symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath.
Sometimes these symptoms are caused by a leaky mitral valve, caused by scarring of your heart muscle and associated valve dysfunction after a heart attack. Serious complications can follow, including decompensated heart failure, heart rhythm disorders and loss of consciousness.
While atypical heart attack symptoms are most common among women and people with diabetes, they can happen to anyone, says Dr. Rimmerman.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: When Worry Gets Out Of Control
Do you often find yourself worrying about everyday issues for no obvious reason? Are you always waiting for disaster to strike or excessively worried about things such as health, money, family, work, or school?
If so, you may have a type of anxiety disorder called generalized anxiety disorder . GAD can make daily life feel like a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. The good news is GAD is treatable. Learn more about the symptoms of GAD and how to find help.
Read Also: How To Combat Depression And Anxiety
Additional Causes Of Anxiety And Their Cures
The above causes of anxiety may overlap and/or be exacerbated by:
For all of these issues, youll benefit from and feel tons better for following the advice on how to deal with the immediate symptoms that youll find further down the page.
People with the lowest combined aerobic and muscular fitness had 98% higher odds of depression, 60% higher odds of anxiety, and 81% higher odds of having either one of the common mental health disorders, compared to those with high levels of overall fitness.
PsyPost: Longitudinal study finds lack of physical fitness is linked to heightened risk of mental disorders
The Effective Habit: When You Feel Anxious You Keep Doing What You Were Doing Anywaythe Anxiety Habit: When You Feel Anxious You Spend Your Time Differently Than You Normally Do You Stop Doing Certain Activities
This is one of the most important habits to know. When someone with an anxiety problem feels anxious, they treat this as something that MUST change before they can do anything else. They therefore might stop working, seeing friends, or exercising until they can calm themselves down. Only then will they continue on with their day. This leads to shutting down, inactivity, more anxiety, and depression because avoidance keeps anxiety going in the long run.
When people who dont have an anxiety problem feel anxious, they dont let it stop them from doing anything. They keep right on going, in spite of the anxiety. They accept that some anxiety is a normal part of life and by not letting it change how they spend their time, they prevent it from becoming a persistent problem.
If you find yourself doing more of the Anxiety Habits, try making a lifestyle change towards the Effective Habits. If you consistently use these strategies, you will no longer be doing the things that fuel the anxiety, and it will eventually get better because of your changed behavior.
Interested in learning some of the most common and most effective strategies I teach my clients for dealing with anxiety and worry? Check out my self-help video series, How to Stop Overanalyzing, with over 3 hours of content covering the skills I teach to almost all of my clients in the first 5 therapy sessions.
About Dr. Stein
How to Stop Overanalyzing
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Your Stress Is Elevated Even Though It Feels Normal
Since anxiety stresses the body, anxious people typically live stressful lives.
Consequently, the level of stress they feel can seem normal even though it is elevated above the normal range.
Constantly living with elevated stress that feels normal is another common cause of symptoms even though you might not be feeling anxious at that moment.
What Is The ‘fight Flight Or Freeze’ Response
Like all animals, human beings have evolved ways to help us protect ourselves from danger. When we feel under threat our bodies react by releasing certain hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which can be helpful. These hormones:
- make us feel more alert, so we can act faster
- make our hearts beat faster, quickly sending blood to where it’s needed most.
After we feel the threat has passed, our bodies release other hormones to help our muscles relax. This can sometimes cause us to shake.
This is commonly called the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response it’s something that happens automatically in our bodies, and we have no control over it.
“Going out of the house is a challenge because I have a fear of panicking and feel that I’m being watched or judged. It’s just horrible. I want to get help but I’m afraid of being judged.”
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Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
This online resource, provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration , helps you locate mental health treatment facilities and programs. Find a facility in your state by searching SAMHSAs online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. For additional resources, visit NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses webpage.
Uncertainty And Anticipation Model Of Anxiety
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What Are Anxiety Symptoms
Anxious behavior, such as worry, activates the stress response.
The stress response secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream, where they travel to targeted locations to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that give the body an emergency boost of energy and resources to help us when we believe we could be in danger to either fight or flee.
This survival reaction is often referred to as the stress response, fight or flight response, fight, flight, or freeze response , or the fight, flight, freeze, or faint response .
Since these survival changes push the body beyond its balance point, stress responses stress the body. A body that becomes stressed can exhibit symptoms of stress.
As such, anxiety stresses the body.
Therefore, anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress. They are called anxiety symptoms because anxious behavior is the main source of the stress that stresses the body, and a body thats under stress can produce symptoms.
With that in mind, here are the main reasons why we can have anxiety symptoms when we dont feel anxious:
Phobias And Irrational Fears
A phobia is an unrealistic or exaggerated fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that in reality presents little to no danger. Common phobias include fear of animals , fear of flying, and fear of needles. In the case of a severe phobia, you might go to extreme lengths to avoid the object of your fear. Unfortunately, avoidance only strengthens the phobia.
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Not Making Eye Contact
Knowing how much eye contact to make in any given situation can be tough, but add in a layer of anxiety, and it can be darn near impossible.
“Someone who is nervous might dart their eyes around the room, scanning for threats, and trying to gather information about the experience,”Amanda Ruiz, a licensed professional counselor, tells Bustle. “Someone not making, and maintaining, eye contact is possibly feeling anxious.”
If this has always been a habit of yours, you may want to be checked for anxiety, so that you can feel more at ease in social situations.
Cause Of Anxiety Attacks
Anxiety attacks are usually although not always caused by severe stress. The symptoms depend on the type of attack. The term anxiety attack is sometimes used interchangeably with the term panic attack, but may also refer to any periods of extreme anxiety beyond what a person normally experiences.
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What To Do About Your Anxiety Attacks
In some cases, a person has one anxiety attack and then they’re done. Often this occurs when a person is under extreme stress and the body loses its ability to cope. But many people develop panic disorder, which is characterized by recurrent anxiety attacks or a fear of anxiety attacks.
Remember, this disorder isn’t something someone can control. Many people think that rational thinking is all a person needs to get out of it, but anxiety attacks are much more like a disease. You need to find something effective to treat it, like cognitive behavioral therapy, rather than try to ride it out and hope that they go away.
That’s why if you do feel like you’ve had an anxiety attack or have anxiety attack problems, it’s important that you take action right away. The longer you wait, the harder they may be to cure and the more they affect your life.
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What Can You Expect From Anxiety Treatment
Weve covered a lot of heavy stuff, so now for the bright side: Its totally possible to treat anxiety and panic attacks. When you address whats going on psychologically, youll usually find that you end up feeling better physically too.
There are many lifestyle changes you can take on at home that can make a big difference in the way that you feel. But a diagnosed anxiety disorder calls for some professional help too. Ultimately, the best course of anxiety treatment is different for everyone and will depend on your specific symptoms. If you have access to them, a blend of therapy and medication helps the most. Some of the most common anxiety treatments include:
Seeing a mental health professional is a big move, but working with a therapist can be a crucial tool in your anxiety-fighting arsenal. Talk therapy is generally recommended for treating most types of anxiety disorders, per the NIMH. But the type of therapy youll benefit from will depend on the type of anxiety youre dealing with, your symptoms, your personal health history, and your overall lifestyle.
Theres no clear-cut answer on when its time to seek therapy, but a good rule of thumb is if anxiety symptoms are getting in the way of your life, you might want to consider seeing a licensed mental health professional.
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