If you’re like me, your day is filled with to do lists, laundry, cooking, working, caring for others, and trying to stay afloat in daily life. When you throw worry, fear, frustrations, and relationships into the mix, you can easily see why so many people struggle with anxiety. For those of us who are prone to anxiety, we often find ourselves asking questions like, “Is this amount of anxiety normal?” or “At what point do I seek outside help?” or “Is this is a normal reason to see a therapist?” If you find yourself asking these questions, then this blog is for you! In our previous blog, we established what anxiety actually is and looked at some statistics on anxiety. In Part 2 of this “All About Anxiety Series,” we want to take a look at some of the symptoms of anxiety as well as at what point seeking therapy is helpful.
Anxiety symptoms vary from person to person and can present themselves as emotional, cognitive, and/or physical symptoms. Some of the emotional and cognitive symptoms that people with anxiety experience are:
- Racing thoughts
- The inability to relax
- Difficulty concentrating
- Problems in relationships
- Overthinking plans to all of the worst case scenarios
- Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they are not
- Indecisiveness and fear over making the wrong decision
- Excessive worry
Anxiety can also produce physical symptoms such as:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Chest tightness/difficulty breathing
- Hot flashes or cold sweats
- Tingling in the hands and/or feet
- Trembling or twitching feelings
- Acid reflux
- Nausea, diarrhea, or irritable bowel
Some individuals with anxiety also experience anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks. An anxiety attack is when someone is so overcome with anxiety that he or she is actually unable to function. During an anxiety attack, a person will often experience symptoms such as uncontrollable crying, hyperventilating, racing heart, tingling in the hands and feet, numbness, shaking, and chest pain. In many cases, an individual may feel as if her or she is having a heart attack during one of these episodes.
Almost all of us will experience symptoms of anxiety or possibly even an anxiety attack at some point during our lives. For some individuals, anxiety comes and goes. For others, anxiety hangs around, persists, and begins to feel overwhelming. At this point, many pose the question, “When should I seek help for my anxiety?” We encourage individuals to think about their daily lives and ask themselves if the anxiety is interfering with their everyday tasks. If the anxiety is keeping you from doing everyday tasks or is keeping you from functioning at a normal level, then anxiety has become a problem that needs to be dealt with. Problematic anxiety keeps us from functioning at a healthy level and most likely is also affecting your relationships and the people around you. When anxiety has reached this level, it is unlikely to just disappear or go away on its own. At this point, we encourage you to reach out to a counselor for help. Anxiety and anxiety attacks are very treatable, and most clients are feeling better and seeing significant improvement in their anxiety and anxiety symptoms within 4-8 weeks.
The therapists at Water’s Edge Counseling help clients with anxiety on a daily basis. They are passionate about helping individuals work through their anxiety so that they are functioning at a healthy and normal level in all areas of their life. In our next blog post in this series, we will address tips for managing anxiety, as well as different therapy techniques that are used to help treat anxiety. If you or someone you care about is struggling with anxiety, we would love to talk to you more about how we can help. Please give us a call at 912-319-5552. We look forward to hearing from you!