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What To Do If You Think You Have Anxiety

Things People Do To Control Social Anxiety

ð§ How Do You Know If You Have Anxiety? – Simple Test – by Dr Sam Robbins

If you’ve been waiting until you feel that your social anxiety is under control to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone, you may never get to that place. In the meantime, why not “fake it until you make it” by doing little things that can help you feel more in control of your social anxiety, instead of it controlling you?

What Is Social Anxiety

Social anxiety disorder is a chronic mental health condition in which social interactions cause irrational anxiety. Social anxiety is more than just feeling shy. People with social anxiety have an intense fear of situations where they could be watched, judged, embarrassed, or rejected by others. The symptoms are so extreme that they interfere with the persons daily routine and prevent them from taking part in ordinary activities.

When To Seek Professional Help

While self-help coping strategies can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that theyre causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, its important to seek professional help.

If youre experiencing a lot of physical symptoms, you should start by getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isnt caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs youre taking.

If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your disorder and devise a course of treatment.

Recommended Reading: What To Do When You Have Separation Anxiety

Supporting Someone With Anxiety Or Depression

There are ways that you can help someone with anxiety or depression. It may be helpful to:

  • let them know if youve noticed a change in their behaviour
  • spend time talking about their experiences and let them know youre there to listen without being judgmental
  • help them to get information from a website, library or community health centre
  • suggest they go to a doctor or health professional, and help them to make an appointment
  • offer to go with them to their appointment and follow up with them afterwards
  • encourage them to get enough sleep, to exercise and to eat well
  • encourage family and friends to invite them out and keep in touch, but dont pressure them to participate in activities
  • contact a doctor or hospital if they become a threat to themselves or others.

It is unhelpful to:

  • put pressure on them by telling them to snap out of it or get their act together
  • stay away or avoid them
  • tell them they just need to stay busy or get out more
  • pressure them to party more or wipe out how theyre feeling with drugs and alcohol
  • assume the problem will just go away.

If you or someone you know needs support, talk to a doctor or other health professional about getting appropriate treatment.

How Do I Know If I Have Health Anxiety

How do you know if you having an anxiety attack ...

There are signs and symptoms of the conditions that you can see below.

Signs and symptoms

  • Checking and monitoring for potential changes in your body and health
  • Googling symptoms, you feel in your body
  • Actual physical pain in your body
  • Thoughts preoccupied with illness
  • Attending doctors to be given a clean bill of health, but not feeling relieved. Scared that they had missed something.

Although classed as an anxiety disorder, illness anxiety disorder shares many characteristics of OCD in terms of obsessions and compulsions, and I want to highlight this below.

Also Check: Does Klonopin Help With Anxiety

Practice Mindfulness Meditation And Relaxation

Mindfulness meditation, relaxation, and breathing exercises can help calm your mind and body, which may allow you to feel less worried. Plus, it only takes a few minutes each day to feel a difference. Use this time to be aware of whats going on in your mind and body. Start with five minutes a day and work your way up to mindful moments several times a day.

To help you get started, listen to a guided meditation, or recorded breathing exercises. Once you feel comfortable with the practice, you will find more focus and awareness throughout the day.

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.

Read Also: How Do You Know If You Have An Anxiety Disorder

How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed

If you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Theyll start with a complete medical history and physical examination.

There are no lab tests or scans that can diagnose anxiety disorders. But your provider may run some of these tests to rule out physical conditions that may be causing symptoms.

Is Health Anxiety Making You Ill

Do you have anxiety? (TEST)

The symptoms you feel in your body are real.

Health worries create real physical symptoms in your body.

The more you worry about your health, the more anxious you feel. Anxiety creates real physical symptoms in your body. Some of these symptoms include.

  • headaches

However, you may misinterpret what is happening in your body.

Suppose your thought processes are concerned with severe illness. In that case, it will not make sense for your brain to think that symptoms you feel in your body may result from anxiety caused by worries relating to your health.

  • Initial worry that something may be wrong with you
  • Over time, these worries create anxiety.
  • The anxiety results in physical symptoms in your body.
  • The physical symptoms then become a source of concern, making you more convinced that something serious is wrong with you.

Read Also: How To Calm Down My Anxiety Attacks

Obsess Over Things People Normally Would Never Think About Twice

You obsess over everything in your head. Most likely, the things you obsess about would never cross someones mind who doesnt have anxiety. Maybe you obsess over a conversation you had last week, or the way your boss looked at you the other day. Maybe you obsess over the fact that your boyfriend hasnt texted you in a day, and you worry if you said anything to upset him. Whatever it may be, its hard for people without anxiety to understand why you are so caught up in things that wouldnt even matter to them.

Schedule A Worry Break

It may sound counterintuitive when looking at strategies to help you find relief from anxiety, but allowing yourself a short worry break each day can free up your energy to focus on the task at hand. How you set this up depends on your routine. One way is to schedule a chunk of time later in the day, maybe 15 minutes after dinner, to go through your worries for the day.

Earlier in the day, you can write down any worries or anxieties that creep into your mind. Then, give yourself permission to deal with them later. This allows you to go about your day while still acknowledging that something is bothering you.

Later, when you go over the worry list, make sure to set a timer. Review what you wrote, identify any thoughts that are still causing anxiety, and cross off those that dont seem important anymore. Allow yourself a few minutes to sit with each concern.

Also Check: Is Overthinking A Sign Of Anxiety

What Are The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorder

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.

When Should You See A Doctor For Anxiety

Five Things to Do If You Think You Have an Anxiety ...

As life-disrupting and misery-creating as anxiety can be, its often difficult to know when you should see a doctor about anxiety symptoms. Learning when you need anxiety help will help you feel more confident and less anxious about your decision. Use the following information to help you decide if and when you should see a doctor for anxiety.

If you worry about your anxiety symptoms and wonder if you should see a doctor, then maybe you also worry if seeing a doctor would be silly or pointless because maybe your anxiety isn’t actually that bad. This type of worry is a common feature of anxiety known as meta-anxiety, or anxiety about your anxiety.

For those of us who have experienced it, meta-anxiety is not only obnoxious but can be paralyzing. Having anxiety about when you should see a doctor for anxiety can get in the way of treatment. There are times when a trip to the doctor to discuss your anxiety is a very good idea that can help you move forward past anxiety.

Recommended Reading: What To Do If You Keep Having Anxiety Attacks

On Some Days You Are Too Physically And Mentally Exhausted To Get Out Of Bed

Some days, your anxiety can be so strong, that you truly feel unable to do anything but lie in bed and cry. At times, the world can be way too much for your mind to handle, and youll need to take a few days off and rest your mind and tired body. Anxiety can have a huge effect on our health, and it is not something to brush off to the side. It can be truly harmful, and a lot of people dont understand the effects it can have on an individual.

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Preparing For Your Appointment

Before the appointment it might be helpful to write down what you’d like to talk about to make sure that you don’t forget anything. Take a few minutes before the appointment to write up a list of things you might want to bring up.

Write down any symptoms of how you’re feeling and how your mood might be affecting you day-to-day life.

Write down key personal information, including upsetting events in your past and any current major stressful events.

Make a list of your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions and the names and amounts of medications, herbal remedies or supplements you take.

Feel free to take a family member or friend along to your appointment for support if it will help you feel more at ease.

Write down a list of questions to ask. These may include:

  • what type of mental health problem might I have?
  • why can’t I get over my mental health problem on my own?
  • how do you treat my type of mental illness?
  • will counselling or psychotherapy help?
  • are there medications that might help?
  • how long will treatment take?
  • what can I do to help myself?
  • do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
  • what websites do you recommend?

In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared, don’t hesitate to ask questions to your GP if you don’t understand something.

You aren’t alone

Read Also: What Can Help You With Anxiety

Instead Say: Lets Go To A Quieter Place Or Go For A Walk

If you want to try to help your friend get out of anxiety mode , you can try grounding them back in reality. Anxiety makes people hyper-focused on the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that are causing the distress, so to get your friends mind off of those things, ask if they want to take a walk, listen to some music or go to a quiet corner.

Sometimes we need a supportive push to help break us out of our vicious cycle of panic and panicking about panic. Techniques like this are similar to what trained psychologists and therapists use as part of cognitive behavioral therapy, the gold standard of treatment for people who have anxiety disorders.

Your Worries Interfere With Your Day

Anxiety Symptoms: You are NOT losing your mind

Ultimately, an anxiety disorder may become so severe that the basic business of living becomes compromised. People suffering from OCD may need hours to get out of the house in the morning because the pillows on the bed arent arranged properly. Schoolwork and job performance may suffer because perfectionism makes it impossible to complete a project or because social anxiety makes it impossible to talk to classmates or colleagues. Things become worse when emotional symptoms lead to physical ones such as headaches, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. The question I ask first is, Is your anxiety impairing your functioning?’ says Goldberg.

Anxiety responds well to professional care. Treatment may include psychotropic medications like Zoloft or Prozac, which can at least lower the voltage of the pain. That may make it easier to embrace and practice the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy, in which people learn to talk back to their anxiety, reframe their fears to something less extreme, and practice self-soothing techniques like mindfulness or distraction or breathing. Slow, graduated exposure to the very things people fear also helps the brain break the link between the trigger situation and the terror that follows.

No one can live a life untouched by anxiety. But with the right skills and the right help, no one needs to live one that is destroyed by it, either.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Prescribed Gabapentin For Anxiety

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