All of us have some sort of anxiety in our lives. Daily events make this normal. But some think longer and harder about certain conditions and it affects their quality of life.
Chronic anxiety is a part of a series of conditions called generalized anxiety disorders (GAD). They include panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, phobias and social anxiety disorders. Where others may feel overwhelmed in a situation and then recover, those who experience chronic anxiety always find themselves back in this situation no matter what they do.
Chronic anxiety is a condition that may begin as normal worry. A situation in your life may cause you to begin fretting about the present or the future. Over time, these thoughts consume you and dictate your actions. What one person may push aside and forget about, you continue to lament about.
Anxiety is not uncommon. A person who changes their life in answer to increased anxious thoughts may be experiencing a more severe problem. If you have been experiencing any of the following symptoms for at least six months, see your doctor. They can suggest a course of treatment which may involve seeing a psychologist. Official diagnosis of chronic anxiety requires at least six months of unrelenting symptoms.
Signs of Chronic Anxiety
- Digestive issues – When we are upset or nervous about a situation, we get butterflies in our stomach. This can happen before a public speech. What is not normal is when the issues are more progressive and don’t go away after the event has passed. It can include heartburn, cramping, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Chest pain – Often associated with heart attacks and angina, chest pains may arise when you think of a certain situation in your life. It can also bring on heart palpitations or shortness of breath.
- Irritability – Anxiety can lead to a state of restlessness in your life. The constant thoughts that you can’t get away from can make you impatient with yourself, especially if you desperately want to change.
- Insomnia – Sleeplessness is a sign of worry. The mind takes time to calm down at night. It is harder to complete this process and get to sleep when you are filled with anxious thoughts.
- Confusion – Some people view anxiety as being in a fog. The perceptions and thoughts alter how you see your life. You are also easily distracted by new thoughts that lead to anxious feelings. You may feel like you are losing your mind because you can’t control your thoughts or your response to them.
Those who experience anxiety disorders don’t have to live in fear or shame. There is treatment out there that can reduce or totally relieve the symptoms by getting at the underlying condition.