Anxiety refers to one’s worry about future events; it is incredibly common and even normal to have feelings of anxiety from time to time. When anxiety becomes a problem is when it is becomes overwhelming to the point that it interferes with daily activities.
If it gets to this point, it may be more than just anxiety; it may be an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are diagnosable mental illnesses characterized by irrational and often unrealistic fears and worries that can seem unmanageable or uncontrollable.
The distinction between anxiety and an anxiety disorder can be difficult to understand for those who don’t suffer from either, but it can also be hard to come to terms with for those who are affected.
Whether you are trying to support a loved one or you yourself are suffering from any type of anxiety disorder, one of the first steps to helping or healing is to educate yourself – understanding these 3 things no one tells you about anxiety disorders is a great place to start.
1. No Two Individuals With Anxiety Will Feel/React the Same
Just like each person with an anxiety disorder will be triggered by different events, experiences, etc., each person will also react to these triggers in a different way.
Some individuals have extremely high-functioning anxiety. This means that to anyone on the outside, the person most likely appears to be perfectly fine; they do not display any signs that they are in distress and it does not interfere as seriously with their daily activities.
Oppositely, some individuals can be consumed by their anxiety; they may have panic attacks, feel physically sick, appear anxious or nervous, etc.
Because each person is different, it can be hard to understand or recognize if or how someone is suffering; but even if you can’t see the anxiety, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
2. Anxiety Disorders can be Both Physically and Mentally Draining
Yes, anxiety disorders are mental disorders but that does not mean they don’t also have physical effects on those suffering.
In truth anxiety can be physically exhausting. It can cause headaches, dizziness, stomachaches and digestive problems, insomnia, shortness of breath, and excessive sweating, for example – all of which can severely interfere with one’s day-to-day activities.
3. Professional Help is Available
It might be hard for you to believe, but talking to a therapist can help.
A therapist can help you understand your anxiety by guiding you through the emotions you are feeling, the events or thoughts that are triggering those emotions, and even offering you various coping methods that can help you manage those emotions.
Don’t Be Afraid To Talk About It
Whether it is yourself or someone else suffering from an anxiety disorder, talking is the best way to educate yourself and understand the situation. Remember, anxiety is complex and affects every person differently – no one idea of what anxiety encompasses is more or less valid than another.
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