Anxious A Lot? 5 Ways to Tell if You Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Do you often feel overly anxious? Are your feelings of stress and worry affecting your everyday life and impacting your ability to live normally? Are you constantly anxious even when you have no reason to feel stressed?
Occasional nervousness and periodic sensations of butterflies are normal even for the calmest and most collected people. However, if you are feeling anxious on a daily basis, you may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Not sure how to tell the difference between regular nerves and something more? Read on to learn more about five common signs of generalized anxiety disorder:
1. Trouble Sleeping
Many people have difficulty sleeping the night before a big presentation or an important first date. Those who struggle with generalized anxiety disorder, however, experience sleeping problems on a regular basis.
If you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up in the morning, this may be a sign of anxiety. Furthermore, those with Generalized Anxiety Disorder often report regular nightmares and not feeling well-rested even after a full night’s sleep.
2. Panic Attacks
Panic attacks are one of the most obvious signs of generalized anxiety disorder. If you have ever had a panic attack, you know how frightening and overwhelming they can feel.
These panic attacks are often accompanied by many physical symptoms such as shaking, excessive sweating, or difficulty breathing. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is likely the culprit if you are having panic attacks on a regular or even semi-regular basis.
3. Impaired Function
Are you finding it difficult to function at work or school? Do you feel impaired in your romantic or platonic relationships? If so, Generalized Anxiety Disorder may be to blame. Generalized Anxiety Disorder separates itself from “average worry” when it begins to impact all areas of your life.
If you are struggling to even get through your daily routine or find that you cannot concentrate like you used to, you may have Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
4. Increased Physical Symptoms
Anxiety causes a wide range of physical symptoms. If you have been feeling sick or even just a little “off” lately, this could be a sign of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Common symptoms of anxiety include upset stomach or nausea, indigestion, headaches, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, exhaustion, difficulty swallowing, and aching muscles. Additionally, people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder also tend to experience colds and flu-like symptoms more regularly.
5. Situational Avoidance
People who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder experience feelings of severe distress and discomfort when faced with stressful or unknown situations. Such situations can include workplace parties, holiday gatherings, family dinners, wedding receptions, or networking events.
Have you been experiencing increased fear or dread at the thought of your social obligations? Are you making excuses to avoid attending functions where you might feel uncomfortable or out of your element? These could be signs of Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well.
Professional Counseling to Reduce Anxiety
If some or all of these five signs sound familiar to you, you may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Thankfully, anxiety disorders are relatively very common in the population and are often successfully treated.
If your anxiety feels overwhelming, professional counseling can give you the tools you need to cope. Your counseling will always be tailored to your specific needs depending on the severity of your anxiety.
I have been treating clients with anxiety disorders for over a decade. If you live in the New York, NY area and would like to give anxiety therapy a try, please contact my office today. I currently offer a free, thirty-minute initial consultation for all my new clients. I look forward to working with you!