Most people feel worried or scared when faced with a dangerous or stressful situation, but some people feel an excessive sense of worry or fear on a daily basis. People who suffer from anxiety disorders often feel fearful and anxious about the world around them, and may experience extreme effects of anxiety that turn into an anxiety attack of panic disorder from everyday situations.
Understanding the root cause of an anxiety problem can take time, but there are several common characteristics and symptoms that indicate that an anxiety disorder is present, and may need to be addressed. Identifying anxiety disorder symptoms and effects is the first step to getting better and finding a suitable treatment plan. Here are some of the key signs that you or someone you know is suffering from an anxiety disorder:
1. Constantly plagued by irrational fears. Everyone experiences fear in dangerous or potentially risky situation, but people with anxiety disorders tend to be plagued by irrational fears that consist of excessive worry or anxiousness over a situation that cannot be classified as harmful or dangerous.
2. Sensing danger in a safe environment. People with anxiety disorders often feel a constant sense of fear or danger in their surroundings, even if they have been in a certain place countless times, or the environment has been deemed safe by others. Anxiety disorder sufferers often have a heightened sense of awareness that can contribute to this problem.
3. Avoidance of certain social activities or situations. Those who are suffering from anxiety disorders often feel uncomfortable in social situations where they may be judged or ridiculed, and will avoid certain activities or social situations altogether. This can make it very difficult for them to have a healthy social life and sustain meaningful relationships.
4. Belief that something bad will happen if a ritual or routine is broken. Many people with anxiety disorders are superstitious, or develop behaviors that lead to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). According to HelpGuide.org, people with anxiety disorder often hold a “belief that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way… [they] may also suffer from compulsions such as washing hands over and over.”
5. Feelings of loss of control that trigger an anxiety attack. Many people who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety attacks have an intense fear of losing control of the situation. This can trigger a condition known as agoraphobia, where the person is afraid that they will have an anxiety attack in a public setting, and may be judged or ridiculed as a result. This cycle can continue to perpetuate itself, leaving the sufferer homebound or socially withdrawn over time.
6. Sudden, unexpected feelings of panic and overwhelm. Some of the characteristics of a panic attack are short, frequent episodes of overwhelm, intense fear and an elevated heart rate. Many people suffering from anxiety disorders experience panic or anxiety attacks on a regular basis, and these can also interfere with daily life.
Identifying the effects and characteristics of anxiety disorders can help to determine the most appropriate treatment plan, and even identify a root cause. There are several medical and non-medical treatments available for anxiety disorders and symptoms, so there are ways to overcome anxiety-related problems that may be affecting emotional health and well-being.