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How To Know If My Anxiety Is Bad

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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.

How Anxiety Can Impact Your Relationship

If you are dating someone with anxiety, it is likely your loved one spends a lot of time worrying and ruminating on everything that could go wrong or already be wrong with the relationship. Here are some examples of negative thoughts and questions that might be running through their brain:

  • What if they dont love me as much as I love them?
  • What if theyre lying to me?
  • What if theyre hiding something from me?
  • What if theyre cheating on me?
  • What if they want to cheat on me?
  • What if they like someone else more?
  • What if my anxiety ruins our relationship?
  • What if we break up?
  • What if they dont text me back?
  • What if Im always the first one to reach out?
  • What if they ghost on me?

Most people have at least a few of these negative thoughts. They are a normal part of being in a relationship, especially a new one.

People with an anxiety disorder, however, tend to have these anxious thoughts more frequently and more intensely.

We tend to experience more anxiety when we focus on negative thoughts rather than positive ones.

The anxious thoughts cause physiological symptoms, including shortness of breath, insomnia and an anxiety or panic attack. Someone with anxiety can react to relationship stress with a fight-or-flight response as if the stress were a physical attack.

Sometimes anxious thoughts motivate your partner to act in ways that stress you out and strain the relationship.

What Kind Of Anxiety Disorder Do You Have

As with every health issue, an accurate diagnosis is essential. A few common anxiety disorders include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: A pattern of excessive worry about a variety of issues on most days for at least six months, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, a hammering heart, or dizziness.
  • Social anxiety disorder: Feeling significant anxiety in social situations or when called on to perform in front of others, such as in public speaking.
  • Phobias: A particular animal, insect, object, or situation causes substantial anxiety.
  • Panic disorder: Panic attacks are sudden, intense episodes of heart-banging fear, breathlessness, and dread. Its the feeling youd have if you just missed being hit by a Mack truck but for people with panic disorder there is no Mack truck, says Dr. Beresin.

Also Check: How Do You Calm Down Anxiety

Does Alcohol Make Anxiety Worse

Moping is a mistake that is easy to ignore and that also makes anxiety worse. But it is not the only one. For example, many people find that they feel “calmer” and more relaxed when they drink alcohol. But alcohol only numbs you to anxiety in the moment rather than providing any type of cure.

While alcohol may numb your anxiety, it also weakens your ability to cope with stress. Your mind expects alcohol to be the tool you use to take it away, and you become less likely to be able to reduce anxiety without it. Because alcohol also causes illness, dehydration, poor decision making and sleeplessness, it ends up creating more anxiety than it helped.

What To Do When Your Anxiety Becomes Debilitating

 25+ Best Memes About Something Bad

    Anxiety is an intrinsic human emotion that everyone experiences occasionally even people who are usually calm, cool, and collected know what its like to feel anxious, nervous, or worried in stressful or unpredictable situations that take them out of their comfort zone.

    But for about 40 million adults in the United States, anxiety isnt just another routine emotion, its a deep-seated, overpowering disorder that causes distress and interferes with life.

    Here at EXIS Recovery, we know just how disruptive uncontrolled anxiety can be: It can steal your sense of control, undermine your confidence, trigger intense physical symptoms, and deplete your energy. Luckily, you can reclaim your life from debilitating anxiety heres how.

    Recommended Reading: How Common Are Anxiety Disorders

    Overplanning Or Trying To Control The Uncontrollable

    Sometimes my helpful ways become bossy and dont consider the logistics of planning, especially when it comes to a family gathering. I exaggerate plans to try and control the people in my life. This ignores reality that my relatives are human, have agency, and are going to do what they want.

    When Im putting so much energy into a dinner or day thats so far ahead in my calendar, it can be unrealistic.

    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.

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    Effects Of Anxiety On Your Mind

    These can include:

    • feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax
    • having a sense of dread, or fearing the worst
    • feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down
    • feeling like other people can see you’re anxious and are looking at you
    • feeling like you can’t stop worrying, or that bad things will happen if you stop worrying
    • worrying about anxiety itself, for example worrying about when panic attacks might happen
    • wanting lots of reassurance from other people or worrying that people are angry or upset with you
    • worrying that you’re losing touch with reality
    • low mood and depression
    • rumination thinking a lot about bad experiences, or thinking over a situation again and again
    • depersonalisation a type of dissociation where you feel disconnected from your mind or body, or like you are a character that you are watching in a film
    • derealisation another type of dissociation where you feel disconnected from the world around you, or like the world isn’t real
    • worrying a lot about things that might happen in the future you can read more about these sorts of worries on the Anxiety UK website.

    “I could feel all these physical symptoms building inside me, literally filling every part of my body until I felt completely light-headed and disembodied.”

    Anxiety and physical health problems

    Having a physical illness or disability can also make you feel stressed and anxious, so it might sometimes feel like your anxiety problems and physical health problems are part of a vicious circle.

    Can Anxiety Really Kill You

    Morning Anxiety? It Might Be Cortisol Awakening Response

    While everyone experiences anxiety, if it gets to the point where you’re crippled by its side effects, it may be time to get some help.

    If you or someone you know is dealing with severe anxiety, it can feel like it’s going to absolutely kill you. This is especially true for people who experience panic attacks.

    That said, while anxiety itself will not kill you, it has been linked to heart disease, as well as a number of other symptoms that can pose serious threats to your health.

    Below, we’ve outlined exactly what anxiety is, as well as its physical symptoms and long-term impacts. We also go over panic attacks and anxiety disorders so that you can better understand what causes them. Finally, we talk about how to support someone in your life who has severe anxiety, and how to get help if you’re living with anxiety.

    Read Also: How To Immediately Calm Anxiety

    Why Do I Have Anxiety

    What causes anxiety and anxiety disorders is complex. It is likely that a combination of both genetics and environmental factors play a role in why some individuals are more prone to anxiety than others. Some events, emotions, or experiences may make it more likely for the symptoms of anxiety to begin or worsenthese are known as triggers. Anxiety triggers can cause panic attacks in some people and differ from person to person and so working with a mental health professional to identify what your triggers are and how you can react when faced with them can be incredibly helpful.

    How To Help Someone With Anxiety

    If you’re watching a loved one struggle with severe anxiety, it can take a serious toll on your own mental health. That said, there are some things you can do to offer them effective support.

    Here are some ways you can help someone who is experiencing anxiety:

    • Don’t enable: If you’re continually making concessions for someone because of their anxiety, it can have the adverse effect of helping them avoid things that they should learn to face head-on. This could end up leaving them more limited in the long run.
    • Don’t force confrontation: Leave confrontation to the person’s therapist. Trying to push someone when they aren’t ready can lead to them resenting you.
    • Express validation: Don’t minimize their fears or nerves in any way. Instead, let them know that you understand that different people are triggered by different things, largely as a result of their past experiences.
    • Express concern: If you notice that your loved one is avoiding things that they used to love or just generally withdrawing more and more from social situations, it’s OK to point that out to them using specific examples.

    If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

    For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

    Also Check: Is There A Difference Between Panic Attacks And Anxiety Attacks

    Anxiety: What It Is What To Do

      While anxiety symptoms vary widely, odds are good that at some point youve experienced occasional physical and emotional distress signals such as panicky breathing, your heart pounding in your chest, trouble sleeping, feelings of dread, or even loops of worry. Thats normal.

      Experiencing anxiety is normal, says Dr. Gene Beresin, executive director of the Clay Center for Healthy Young Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital. A certain amount of anxiety can even be helpful. The problem is that sometimes the systems underlying our anxiety responses get dysregulated, so that we overreact or react to the wrong situations.

      What Are The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorder

      Are You Suffering From Anxiety or Depression?

      This section provides an overview of the most common types of anxiety disorders.

      • Generalised anxiety disorder
      • Post-traumatic stress disorder

      Generalised anxiety disorder

      GAD is common. The main symptom of GAD is over worrying about different activities and events. This may feel out of your control. You feel anxious a lot of the time if you have GAD. You might feel on edge and alert to your surroundings.

      This can affect your day-to-day life. You might find that it affects your ability to work, travel places or leave the house. You might also get tired easily or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You might have physical symptoms, such as muscle tension and sweating.

      It is common to have other conditions such as depression or other anxiety disorders if you have GAD.

      GAD can be difficult to diagnose because it does not have some of the unique symptoms of other anxiety disorders. Your doctor is likely to say you have GAD if you have felt anxious for most days over six months and it has had a bad impact on areas of your life.

      Panic disorder

      You will have regular panic attacks with no particular trigger if you have panic disorder. They can happen suddenly and feel intense and frightening. You may also worry about having another panic attack.

      Panic disorder symptoms can include the following.

      You may also dissociate during a panic attack. Such as feeling detached from yourself.

      Social anxiety disorder

      Some common situations where you may experience anxiety are the following.

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      Managing Your Reactions To The Anxiety

      When your partner talks about his or her anxiety in the context of your relationship, its easy to take it personally and become upset. Its easy to interpret anxiety as selfishness, rejection or an attempt to create distance, but try not to.

      If you start to feel frustrated with your partners anxiety you should take a step back and ask yourself why you are having this kind of reaction. This will help you understand yourself better and prevent you from giving a negative reaction to your partner. Bisma Anwar, LMHC

      Imagine your partner says she has anxiety about you cheating. If you take it personally, you might think she has this anxiety because she judges you or thinks you are the kind of person who is likely to cheat.

      The moment you make it about you, youll start to feel upset. You might react defensively and say something mean.

      When you react with anger, your response is most likely coming from a place of fear and hurt feelings. Doing your best to not react out of anger is key, and apologizing after for anything hurtful youve said or done is crucial to reconciliation.

      Then your partner will strike back. Flash forward to an hour later and youre fighting. The argument has snowballed. You might not even remember why you are fighting.

      Restlessness Or Not Being Able To Sleep

      The more tired I get, the more I ponder a million details per minute. This inability to rest and stop worrying can be a giant sign that things are out of control. Perhaps Im trying to crowd out my own thoughts and emotions by thinking about others. This helps me avoid things that are perhaps too painful to face, acknowledge, or process.

      When I look outside into the dark morning and realize that my eyes are tired , I find myself wishing to sleep. It should be obvious then, but the hamster wheel comes back.

      Also Check: How To Reduce Anxiety Before Bed

      Creating A Safe Space To Discuss Anxiety

      Whether you ask or deduce it after months of dating, there will be a point when your partner discloses they deal with anxiety. Its a crucial moment in the relationship, so be sensitive, have empathy and do not judge. Thank them for trusting you with this information that they have most likely have not shared with many people. See it as the beginning of a discussion you can resurface occasionally.

      Dating Someone With Social Anxiety

      How to stop feeling anxious about anxiety | Tim Box | TEDxFolkestone

      If you are dating someone with social anxiety, the anxiety will most likely affect your social life. You might not be able to take your partner to all of the social events or gatherings you want to go to. Like with other forms of anxiety, social anxiety disorder could lead to arguments or cause the two of you to grow apart if it starts to impact your relationship.

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      What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms

      You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.

      Lifestyle

      Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery.

      Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.

      Breathing exercises

      Breathing exercises can help to calm you when you are feeling anxious. Or having a panic attack. You will get the most benefit if you do them regularly, as part of your daily routine.

      There is more information about breathing exercises in the further reading section at the bottom of this page.

      Support groups

      You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.

      You might be able to find a local group by searching online.

      Rethink Mental Illness have support groups in some areas. You can find out what is available in your area if you follow this link:

      Or you can call the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service on 0300 5000 927 for more information.

      Recovery College

      You can find more information about Recovery by clicking here.

      How To Know If You Have An Anxiety Disorder

      If your anxiety is so intense that you’re unable to cope with it, you may have an anxiety disorder.

      This anxiety can be a symptom of many conditions, including:

      • Phobia-related disorders

      Each condition presents its unique symptoms. However, all anxiety disorders involve excessive fear, worry, or dread that interfere with your daily activities.

      If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

      For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

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      How Do I Get Tested For Anxiety

      While online quizzes like this can help someone understand their feelings, they should be followed up with a professional assessment. Your medical doctor or a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker, can help.

      According to NYU Langone Health, an anxiety test for adults from a health care professional will include a physical exam, a lot of questions about your symptoms and any medications you are taking , and potentially a blood test, to rule out any physical conditions that could be causing anxiety like hypothyroidism.

      If physical or pharmaceutical causes are ruled out, a health care professional will then conduct a psychological evaluation, asking more questions about your symptoms including how long youve experienced them and whether they persist or come and go and whether anyone in your family has had a history of anxiety disorder or depression. This eval can also detect or rule out the presence of conditions like PTSD or an eating disorder, which can accompany anxiety disorders.

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