How To Tell If You Suffer From Anxiety

4 min read
How To Tell If You Suffer From Anxiety

Just imagine for a moment that your teenage daughter, sent out on an errand to the shops is late home. You are clock watching, your mind is conjuring up all sorts of scenarios. Has she had an accident or been hit by a car crossing the road, has she been abducted by some maniac walking home through the park? You drive yourself into a panic, expecting the police to come knocking on the door any second, wondering how on earth you will cope with such a loss. Your stomach is churning, the anxious feelings are out of control and you are just about to head out and look for her, when she comes calmly waltzing in through the door. Turns out she met a friend and stopped for a chat. In reality she is only half an hour past her expected return.

Making huge insurmountable mountains out of molehills can be an everyday occurrence to those suffering Generalised Anxiety Disorder or GAD.

Feeling stressed or worried is pretty normal when we have things going on in our day to day lives that create a pressure situation. Students sitting exams, deadlines at work, moving house, relationship problems, they all contribute. A certain level of anxiety can also be good, in that it helps us stay alert and focused, and anxious feeling associated with these stressful events normally subside as the situation passes or resolves itself.

Sufferers of anxiety however, live with these feelings constantly and coping with daily life becomes difficult as these anxious feeling are not easily controlled. Worries begin intruding on every aspect of everyday life whether there is any reason to worry about it or not. The day to day normality of going to work, studying and socialising can lead to unmanageable worries and feelings that something terrible might happen. Many simply describe themselves as a worrier!

Let’s take a look at some of the more common symptoms of anxiety disorder. They may develop gradually and separately, seem relatively insignificant or even be associated with other medical conditions, but together give a good guide for those who wish to be better informed before they decide to seek medical advice.

Common Symptoms

  • Hot and Cold Flushes
  • Racing Heart
  • Tightening of the chest
  • Snowballing worries
  • Obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviour

Other symptoms associated with GAD include

  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Feeling easily tired including trouble sleeping, difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep.
  • Unexplained muscle pain such as jaw or back
  • Having difficulty concentrating on everyday tasks
  • Feeling irritable

GAD sufferers may also experience related disorders such as depression, social phobias and panic disorders. Anxiety is a serious condition and understanding and recognising the symptoms are an important part of the diagnosis and tailoring of a treatment plan to the individual.

Statistics show that approx. 14% of the population will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime. Nearly 6% will experience GAD, affecting more women than men. It is indiscriminate and can occur at any time in life and can affect all age groups including children and the elderly.

If you have for six months or more felt very worried, found it hard to stop worrying, found that your anxiety made it difficult to participate in everyday tasks like work, seeing friends and family, then it may be time seek advice.

For those reluctant to take the first step, Beyond Blue (link here) is a great source for information, with explanations in a simple and easy to understand language. If you suspect you may suffer from an anxiety disorder you can fill in a simple questionnaire online and print the results to take to your GP for diagnosis and medical advice.

Have you suffered from anxiety and just brushed it off as a ‘stage in life’?

Do you have a friend that you feel concerned about and don’t know how to help them?


Jody Allen
About Author

Jody Allen

Jody Allen is the founder of Stay at Home Mum. Jody is a five-time published author with Penguin Random House and is the current Suzuki Queensland Amb...Read Moreassador. Read Less

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