Everyone feels anxious at times, but there's a difference between feeling anxious and battling anxiety disorder. If you're worried that you have the latter, you should consult a doctor immediately. Anxiety Disorder is a serious condition that can be treated with medication and/or therapy.
1. You Can't Cope
If you're anxious, you may be more nervous and stressed, but you can still rationalize those feelings. Someone with anxiety disorder can't cope with their anxiety. You experience irrational feelings of fear and dread so intense that you can no longer deal with them. If that sounds like you, you should tell someone about you symptoms.
2. Ongoing Physical Symptoms
It's normal for your heart rate to quicken when you feel anxious. You may even sweat and have trouble breathing. However, if you have anxiety, these symptoms recur for up to six months, according to Everyday Health. Skipped heartbeats, dry mouth, trembling, and dizziness are all also associated with anxiety disorder. Tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms for more than a little while, and/or if they worsen.
3. Recurrent Panic Attacks
You may have experienced a panic attack before, so you know how embarrassing and stress-inducing they are. Panic attacks are intense, sudden moments of fear that aren't caused by an actual danger. If you have Panic Attack Disorder, a type of Anxiety Disorder, then you suffer from frequent panic attacks. This problem escalates when people with Panic Attack Disorder fear going out in public because they are worried about having a panic attack in front of other people. That's why it's important to let someone know as early as possible if you think you have Panic Attack Disorder.
Agoraphobia also involves fear of going outside. More specifically, Everyday Health defines it as "fear of being in a place from which you can't escape or avoid embarrassment." If you feel like you are afraid to be alone or leave your house, or suffer from one of the physical symptoms such as nausea, a feeling of choking, or numbness, contact your doctor.
5. No Stressor
Stressors such as an upcoming test, interview, or big date can cause anxiety. It's totally normal to feel anxious about stress-inducing events like that. But feeling anxious every day in response to little tasks that shouldn't feel stressful can be indicative of General Anxiety Disorder. If you feel anxious about deciding what to wear and what to put on your sandwich, you should pay closer attention to your anxiety and talk to a mental health professional.
Chronic anxiety can lead to depression. Now this leads to a whole host of other distinctions between sadness and depression. Whether or not you're sure you are "depressed", the safest bet when you notice anxiety triggering sad feelings is to talk to a psychiatrist or physician about your symptoms. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
One form of anxiety is PTSD—post traumatic stress disorder. If you have experienced any sort of trauma in the past, you may have PTSD. Even if you think your anxiety isn't that severe yet, contact a doctor to whom you're comfortable telling your traumatic experience and discuss the likelihood of you having PTSD.
As women, we often want to pretend like everything is fine. People assume that we are weaker or more emotional because of our sex, so we have to work extra hard to prove them wrong. But you shouldn't sacrifice your mental health for the sake of maintaining a reputation. Don't worry about being a bother or a "broken person." The people who love you and the doctors who care for you are happy to help! Do you think it's difficult to be honest with yourself and others about your mental health?