Your Worries Interfere With Your Day
Ultimately, an anxiety disorder may become so severe that the basic business of living becomes compromised. People suffering from OCD may need hours to get out of the house in the morning because the pillows on the bed arent arranged properly. Schoolwork and job performance may suffer because perfectionism makes it impossible to complete a project or because social anxiety makes it impossible to talk to classmates or colleagues. Things become worse when emotional symptoms lead to physical ones such as headaches, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. The question I ask first is, Is your anxiety impairing your functioning?’ says Goldberg.
Anxiety responds well to professional care. Treatment may include psychotropic medications like Zoloft or Prozac, which can at least lower the voltage of the pain. That may make it easier to embrace and practice the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy, in which people learn to talk back to their anxiety, reframe their fears to something less extreme, and practice self-soothing techniques like mindfulness or distraction or breathing. Slow, graduated exposure to the very things people fear also helps the brain break the link between the trigger situation and the terror that follows.
No one can live a life untouched by anxiety. But with the right skills and the right help, no one needs to live one that is destroyed by it, either.
The Difference Between An Anxiety Attack And A Panic Attack
Once again, anxiety attack is not a clinical term. It’s a term used to describe periods of more intense anxiety that go beyond traditional anxiety experiences.
That differs from the term panic attack. Panic attacks are severe anxiety attacks like what is described above – attacks that are often so disabling that many people struggle to cope with them and develop panic disorder, health anxiety, and possibly agoraphobia.
Traditionally, the term “anxiety attack” is used to discuss weaker versions of panic attacks. If you have multiple panic attacks, you have panic disorder. Anxiety attacks can affect anyone – even those without panic disorder or an anxiety disorder – and so the term is used to encompass all of these types of attacks.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll discuss these types of anxiety attacks as the weaker version of a panic attack. But in life, people do use the two terms somewhat interchangeably, and both are related to the same feelings of doom, along with relevant symptoms.
What Does It Feel Like To Have A Nervous Breakdown
A nervous breakdown, to say the least, is not something that anyone wants to go through. While its not a formal diagnosis, the term nervous breakdown is widely used to describe a period of extreme overwhelm that impacts a persons functioning. A nervous breakdown is like a full system shutdown in many ways. Characterized largely by symptoms affiliated with anxiety and depression, a nervous breakdown often occurs when it all feels like too much. So, what are the signs of a nervous breakdown? What are the causes, and what can you do if it happens to you?
What Causes A Nervous Breakdown?
Several things can contribute to a nervous breakdown, and its often a combination of factors, such as multiple life stressors, at play. Potential causes include:
- Traumatic events. Examples of traumatic events may include but arent limited to natural disasters, the loss of a loved one, abuse*, losing ones home, and physical health complications or injuries. Traumatic events can put us in a state of shock, leading us to a breakdown-like state.
- Prolonged stress. A nervous breakdown will not typically occur after one isolated stressful day. Instead, if work stress, financial stress, familial stress, or stress from another source piles on, it can lead to a nervous breakdown.
*Please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE if you or someone you know is facing abuse.
The Symptoms Of A Nervous Breakdown
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What Are Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are characterized by prolonged or recurring feelings of anxiety that impair your daily life. In some cases, these feelings are so severe that they may cause you to avoid any situation that can produce them. There are various types of anxiety disorders such as:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Sweating when its not hot
- Avoiding certain situations that cause anxiety
Oftentimes when people feel extremely anxious, they may feel like they are having a panic attack. However, if youve never had a panic attack before, it can be tough to determine what is happening. While feelings of extreme anxiety and panic attacks are very similar, there are a few key distinctions to help you determine if you are having a panic attack. The first thing to know is that panic attacks come on suddenly and can cause you to feel extremely distressed in only a matter of minutes. Panic attacks are also classified as experiencing four or more of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Feelings of detachment
Why Do I Feel Anxious And Panicky
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, worry or fear. Everyone feels anxious at some point in their life, but for some people it can be an ongoing problem.
A little bit of anxiety can be helpful for example, feeling anxious before an exam might make you more alert and improve your performance. But too much anxiety could make you tired and unable to concentrate.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Gad
GAD develops slowly. It often starts during the teen years or young adulthood. People with GAD may:
- Worry very much about everyday things
- Have trouble controlling their worries or feelings of nervousness
- Know that they worry much more than they should
- Feel restless and have trouble relaxing
- Have a hard time concentrating
- Be easily startled
- The health and well-being of their children
- Being late
- Completing household chores and other responsibilities
Both children and adults with GAD may experience physical symptoms that make it hard to function and that interfere with daily life.
Symptoms may get better or worse at different times, and they are often worse during times of stress, such as with a physical illness, during exams at school, or during a family or relationship conflict.
Is It Nerves Or Anxiety
Nervousness and anxiety are similar in that both cause a variety of physical and cognitive symptoms. But that’s where the similarities end.
- Length of time:Nervousness ends when the nerve-wracking situation is over. Anxiety is persistent. The intensity may ebb and flow, but it never completely goes away.
- Intensity: Nervousness doesn’t prevent you from doing the things that make you nervous. Anxiety, on the other hand, can prevent you from doing something you enjoy and make it difficult to focus and go about your day.
- Focus: Nervousness is a response to something specific, while anxiety is often more general. You may feel anxious but can’t always pinpoint what you’re anxious about.
Remember that while nervousness can be a sign of an anxiety disorder, it’s very common to experience it from time to time without actually having an anxiety disorder.
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Learn What Social Anxiety Is And How It Feels For Many Individuals
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What does it feel like to have social anxiety? For someone who has never experienced anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions, describing what social anxiety feels like can be challenging at best. Social anxiety symptoms can manifest in different ways for different people. However, many individuals with social anxiety report feeling similarly when faced with uncomfortable social situations.
How To Know If You Have An Anxiety Disorder
If your anxiety is so intense that you’re unable to cope with it, you may have an anxiety disorder.
This anxiety can be a symptom of many conditions, including:
- Phobia-related disorders
Each condition presents its unique symptoms. However, all anxiety disorders involve excessive fear, worry, or dread that interfere with your daily activities.
If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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Anxiety And Other Conditions
It is also important to note that the aforementioned symptoms can also be experienced by individuals with certain health conditions like heart disease, thyroid problems, and breathing disorders. This can make it hard to determine if these symptoms are due to a medical condition or to anxiety. Generally speaking, if a medical condition is not found responsible, then the symptoms are attributed to anxiety.
If you are diagnosed with anxiety, it is also very likely that you may also be diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder because anxiety is usually associated with these other conditions. This means that you can alternate between periods of anxiety and depression that are characterized by feelings of worry and unease followed by feelings of hopelessness or disconnect. Oftentimes these feelings are cyclical, meaning that you may feel stuck in a cycle. Luckily, working with a mental health professional can help you learn how to more effectively deal with this cycle and can even help you break the cycle. Contact us for more information about our services or to schedule an appointment.
You Avoid Things Because Of Your Fears
We all avoid things we fear or dislike: you could go your whole life without roller coasters or cilantro or horror movies. But they dont really affect your life. Anxieties start to strip away the things that do. You may dread getting a medical test because of what you could learn, says Albano. But if youre avoiding going to your doctor at all because of it, thats a problem.
People with an airplane phobia may, similarly, limit their travel to only places they can drive. People with big dreams may sometimes settle for smaller ones because their anxiety holds them back. I know people who went to law school and wanted to pursue a career in criminal law but were afraid to be in front of a courtroom, says Albano. So they push documents in a law firm instead.
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Anxiety Attacks Are Overwhelming And Frightening Learn What An Anxiety Attack Feels Like And What To Do In The Event That One Occurs
Although an anxiety attack is not a clinically diagnosed condition, the term is often used to describe an episode of overwhelming anxiety that can be triggered by fear or apparent threat. The term anxiety attack is often confused with the term panic attack, which is a sudden episode of extreme fear that can result in physical reactions. They are uncontrollable and disabling. The feeling can be so intense that the person experiencing it may feel like they cant breathe or are going to die.
What some people may label as an anxiety attack may be the manifestation of an anxiety disorder or a reaction to a current or impending circumstance that causes anxiety. Knowing how to identify and manage anxiety can help treat the condition.
Anxiety Symptoms Can Interfere With Work School And Relationships Learn What It Is Like To Live With Anxiety Along With Management Tips
Although everyone experiences anxiety at some point, persistent or excessive stress, worry or fear can interfere with daily life. When living with anxiety, symptoms can interfere with ones career, education and personal relationships. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the country, affecting 40 million adults in the United States. Living with an anxiety disorder means everyday anxiety does not go away and can worsen over time. Understanding life with anxiety, including identifying triggers and developing coping strategies, is critical to successfully managing this common and challenging condition.
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How Does Anxiety Affect The Body
You know what stress feels like: Sweaty palms and the feeling of butterflies in your stomach are two of the most recognizable hallmarks of feeling stressed.
But, what exactly does anxiety feel like?
In the short term, you may be tempted to brush these signs and symptoms off. But, over time, you may begin to notice that the symptoms of anxiety affect your overall quality of life.
For instance, headaches and difficulty concentrating may make you less productive at work, muscle tension may lead to pain that keeps you from being active or getting a good night’s rest, and nausea may affect your appetite and ultimately lead to fatigue.
“In addition, when anxiety is allowed to persist for some time, there can be long-term health implications,” warns Dr. Sawal. “Generalized anxiety disorder has been linked to high blood pressure, poor cardiovascular health and coronary artery disease.”
Your Panic Is Persistent
An anxious brain, like a non-anxious brain, is always learning. But the anxious brain sometimes learns the wrong things and has an awfully hard time unlearning them. Once youve decided that people at parties are probably judging you, your brain may lock that lesson in and pretty soon generalize it to any social encounter. Ditto an obsessive-compulsive fear of disease or a panic over separation or loss. Sometimes, especially in the case of OCD, it takes just a single traumatic event a genuinely embarrassing social moment, say, or a legitimate medical scare for the brain to establish a fixed fear. Left untreated, those anxieties can go on for months and years.
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The Link Between Anxiety Symptoms And Depression
Many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from depression at some point. Anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability, which may explain why they so often go hand-in-hand. Since depression makes anxiety worse , its important to seek treatment for both conditions.
It Doesnt Make Us Crazy And We Definitely Dont Need You Telling Us Were Crazy Either
Loving someone with anxiety can be hard, but the worst thing you can ever do is give someone more reason to worry. If you truly believe in them try to understand. Know that its you vs. anxiety vs. them. The best thing you can do is just listen or be there if someone cant explain why they feel how they do.
Understand that sometimes you may be the reason for an attack, even though you havent given us a reason as to why you or your actions should be. Dont take it personal. Be careful with your words dont say were overreacting, to calm down or to stop worrying. Dont you think that if we could stop worrying, we would have by now?
People try to understand whats going on in my head, why I worry about things that havent happened or why I let my thoughts make me so unhappy. My answer is I dont know. And no matter how many people I talk to, my answer is always I dont know. I wish I had an answer, and someday, I probably will.
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What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis. You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard. There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service
You can find your local PALS details through this website link:
What Does Anxiety Attack Mean
Anxiety attacks often have triggers, although they can be triggered by nothing at all. Some people experience anxiety attacks during periods of intense anxiety, but many others experience them “out of nowhere,” usually as a response to a physical sensation. For example, it’s not uncommon to have your first anxiety attack simply because your heartbeat speeds up, because anxiety has caused you to be hypersensitive to these changes.
The causes of anxiety attacks are everything from severe stress to hyperventilation to a need to regain control. It differs for different people, which is why treating it has a great deal to do with identifying triggers. Once you’ve experienced an anxiety attack, the fear of another anxiety attack may actually trigger an attack, because those that are afraid of getting a panic attack again often pay too much attention to their own body, and react to any changes in sensations.
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