Excessive worrying: This one is pretty much a no-brainer in terms of basic criteria for an anxiety disorder, but it must be mentioned, as it’s one of the first signs. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, a person with generalized anxiety disorder typically worries about the same things the average person worries about, but in such an extreme way that it interferes with daily life. While a healthy person may worry up to an hour a day, a person with generalized anxiety disorder can be consumed . these thoughts for up to 10 hours a day. These worries will impair a person’s ability to function.
Panic attacks: If a person often experiences a true panic attack, they should seek medical help, as they most likely have a panic disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health defines panic attacks as sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, trembling, choking sensations, and a feeling of impending doom. If you have a panic attack as a result of an almost-disastrous car accident, that would likely be considered a normal and appropriate response. However, if you have sudden and repeated attacks of intense worries about when the next attack will occur or avoid the places where panic attacks have happened in the past, it may be a panic disorder.
Trouble sleeping: For people with an anxiety disorder, lack of proper sleep can be an everyday reality. Mayo Clinic lists symptoms like fatigue and irritability among common contenders for those with generalized anxiety disorder. It’s not uncommon to have a restless night’s sleep on the eve of a work presentation or the night before a big trip, but having to constantly battle with the inability to fall, and stay, asleep because you can’t stop worrying may be a sign you have an anxiety disorder.
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