When you have a big challenge in front of you, like a job interview, going on a first date, or starting your first day of school, it is understandable if you feel a level of anxiety. However, if your anxiety is so severe that it prevents you from living everyday life, it is possible that you are dealing with one of the many anxiety disorders that exist.
There are many types of anxiety disorders, each with their own set of causes and symptoms. The better you understand the disorder you’re dealing with, the better you will be able to address your symptoms and feel like you have more control over your life.
It’s important to understand that a certain level of anxiety is helpful. Anxiety is your body’s way of reacting when it feels that you are in a dangerous situation. Anxiety is like an internal alarm, warning you that you’re under threat, that you’re under pressure, or that you will be confronting a situation that is stressful.
The problem comes when anxiety overwhelms you, like when anxiety stops you from having healthy relationships with others or engaging in activities that most would consider normal. When that happens, you have likely crossed over from anxiety to an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are multiple conditions that are related to each other. They’re not just one disorder. This means that what an anxiety disorder may look like for you could be different from what it looks like for another person. Some people will get waves of fear and anxiety out of nowhere. For others, their anxiety is connected to a situation such as driving or being around large groups of people at a party. For some people, anxiety causes them to constantly be in a state of terror. They’re worried about everything going on around them. Others may have very intrusive thoughts that make them doubt themselves and their place in society.
Although anxiety disorders exhibit themselves in a variety of ways, they all are connected to a constant sense of fear or worry. This fear or worry exists in situations where the majority of people would usually not feel fear and usually not feel a sense of threat.
It’s important to understand that if you’re battling with an anxiety disorder, you’re not just dealing with a feeling. Your body’s fight or flight response actually triggers physical responses in your body. Because of the physical responses your anxiety is triggering, you may at times think that you are physically ill with a medical illness. A lot of people with these disorders will make multiple trips to the physician looking for a reason for their physical symptoms. It is not until they are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that they understand the reason behind the symptoms they are experiencing.
Anxiety disorders can cause a rapid heartbeat, upset stomach, dizziness, profuse perspiration, insomnia, shortness of breath, as well as a whole host of other troubling symptoms. If these symptoms sound all too familiar to you, make an appointment with our experts at Montana Psychiatry & Brain Health Center in Billings, MT. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation!