We all feel nervous from time to time, but when does anxiety become an issue? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the US, affecting roughly 40 million adults annually.

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you could feel hopeless. When your anxiety is out of control, it can feel as if it’s taking over your life and robbing your peace of mind. However, with the right therapy, you can take actions to manage it and improve your quality of life. What are some of the signs of an anxiety disorder?

Persistent Self-Doubt

We all doubt ourselves from time to time; it’s all a part of being human. However, if you constantly find yourself going down a self-doubt rabbit hole, you could have an anxiety disorder. If you second-guess yourself over and over again throughout the day and cannot tolerate any kind of uncertainty, you may need to seek professional help.

Compulsive Behaviors

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the many different types of anxiety disorders. If you exhibit compulsive behaviors and rituals, you could have OCD. Some compulsive behaviors include counting, tapping, touching, rubbing, checking, washing, cleaning and more. OCD is also characterized by obsessive thoughts as well.

Traumatic Flashbacks

If you went through a particularly traumatic experience, you may relive it in your mind over and over again. Please keep in mind that post-traumatic stress disorder is its own disorder and is not grouped into an anxiety disorder.

However, people suffering from anxiety disorders could experience flashbacks from experiences that may not be perceived as obviously traumatic. For example, if someone was publicly ridiculed, they could experience flashbacks.

Panic Attacks

If you repeatedly experience panic attacks, you could have an anxiety disorder. Truly terrifying experiences, panic attacks can feel like an overwhelming sense of fear that lasts for several minutes. Physical symptoms include weakness, dizziness, a racing heart, tingling or numb hands, chest pain, stomach butterflies and feeling cold or hot.

If you have a panic disorder, you could live in fear about when and where the next attack will occur. This may cause you to avoid certain places or situations at all costs.

Perfectionism

Many anxiety disorders can be characterized by a perfectionist mindset. If you set your standards super high and feel as if you can’t do anything to achieve them, you may need to seek professional help.

Extreme Self-Consciousness

Does engaging in one-on-one conversations or eating in front of people provoke an overwhelming sense of anxiety in you? If daily interactions with people cause you to sweat, blush, tremble or feel nausea, you would have social anxiety disorder.

Excessive Worry

One of the biggest characteristics of a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is persistently worrying about large and small issues on a daily basis. If your worrisome thoughts are so bad that they interfere with your everyday life, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Sleep Issues

Do you worry so much that you regularly wake yourself up? Do you have trouble falling asleep in the first place because you are agitated over all the things you have to do? If you often wake up throughout the night with a racing mind, you may need to seek professional help.

Chronic Digestive Problems

Anxiety can often manifest in physical symptoms, including chronic digestive problems. If you feel so anxious that you experience an upset stomach on a regular basis, you could have an anxiety disorder. Symptoms include constipation, diarrhea, bloating or gas.

Stage Fright

Most people experience some nervousness about speaking or performing in front of people. However, you could have an anxiety disorder known as social phobia disorder if you cannot overcome that fear after practicing repeatedly or receiving coaching. People who suffer from social phobia disorder could dread their event for days or even weeks.

Muscle Tension

Muscle tension manifests itself in many ways, including clenched teeth, balled fists or constant muscle flexing. Although stretching and exercising can help alleviate the tension, it remains for people suffering from anxiety disorders.

Irrational Fears

A phobia is a debilitating fear that disrupts your quality of life and is considered an anxiety disorder. If you feel like your fears are causing chaos in your personal life, you may need to seek help.

If you feel it’s time to seek help for your anxiety, I can help. As a licensed psychotherapist and counselor, I can provide you with solutions to help manage your anxiety.Factors such as medical issues, trauma, stress, genetics and substance abuse can all contribute to anxiety.

I also specialize in family counseling, depression therapy, couples counseling, individuals counseling and divorce coaching. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you attempt to navigate your difficulties on your own. If you are looking for a caring counselor in Cockeysville, contact me today.