Is it an Anxiety Disorder or just stress?

We see many clients seeking treatment for anxiety disorders.  Many people want to know if their personal level of anxiety is normal, just stress, or of clinical concern.  While each individual case is unique there are a few general guidelines to help you determine if you need professional help in treating your anxiety.

Anxiety is a normal human emotion.  It alerts us of stress, danger, and potentially harmful situations.  Most of us will feel some sort of anxiety throughout our lifespan.  While anxiety related problems can be genetically influenced, many people acquire anxiety problems situationally across the lifespan.  How do you know if your current level of anxiety is healthy or too much?  This is a common question clients frequently ask.  An easy measuring stick is to ask yourself if your individual anxiety is keeping you from living life the way you want to live it.  Are you still able to be your best self even with your current level of anxiety?  If the anxiety is preventing you from being happy and living your life to the fullest, then it is time to seek some solutions. There are several things you can to help treat your anxiety.  First let’s identify some of the common symptoms of anxiety.

Common symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • Muscle tension or soreness
  • Restlessness or feeling “on edge”
  • Poor memory or concentration
  • Excessive sweating
  • Feeling a sense of intense fear or “freezing up”
  • Constant worrying or nervousness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Upset stomach or bowel problems
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances

If anxiety has escalated to the point that it interferes with your ability to live your life normally, then it may be time to do something about it.  If you don’t do anything about frequent, intense anxiety it will not likely go away on its own.  It is possible that it will remain the same or may even get worse.

There are many options to treat anxiety.  Resources include relaxation techniques, deep breathing, meditation, therapy, medication, supplements, self-help books, and many more.  One of the first things we ask our clients is to describe their current self-care.  What kinds of things do you do on a regular basis to take care of yourself? What are you currently doing that is working for you and what is not working?  Anxiety and stress are inevitable, but if they become unmanageable it is time to make some changes.  When we are in a good place emotionally, mentally, socially, physically, and spiritually, life is much easier to handle.  When one area of our life is out of balance, it affects the other areas and we are not our best selves.

If what you are currently doing to manage your anxiety is not working or you have questions, please contact us via phone or email. We are happy to help you on your healing journey.  Please click here to contact us.