Everyone experiences anxiety on occasion. A certain level is normal. However, it becomes a problem when fleeting feelings of worry, nervousness, or dread become pervasive and unmanageable. An elevated and near-constant level of anxiety negatively affects relationships, job performance, and personal interests and growth. Anxiety is a serious disorder and is often overlooked and under-diagnosed by the medical profession. If you suffer from anxiety, you know how debilitating it can be.
The stress that comes with anxiety can also take a toll on physical health – often leading to increased muscle tension, headaches, digestive disorders, and hormonal imbalances. Many physicians (and patients) don’t realize the connection between anxiety and physical health and as a result, don’t achieve relief from physical health complaints (and typically won’t until the underlying anxiety is addressed).
How do you know if you have an anxiety disorder?
If you are not sure if you have anxiety, it is important to be aware that it is a broad term that refers to a number of disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a number of phobias (such as a fear of leaving home and going out in the world (agoraphobia) and social phobia (fear of public situations or performing socially)).
If you suspect that worry or nervousness may be related to your health issues, or you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, it is important to seek help.