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You experience anxiety when something troubles your mind, causing you to worry. It could be a social event that's coming up, an impending task you don't know how to handle, or a situation that causes fear.
Most times, once the thing causing anxiety is resolved, the anxiety would go away and wouldn't get worse. You may be able to manage it on your own if there's something particular triggering the anxiety.
However, this is not the case if you have an anxiety disorder. The anxiety symptoms may worsen over time, and you may not be able to function properly because of the persistent feeling of worry.
Anxiety is an unpleasant emotion involving worry, fear, and stress. Like other negative emotions such as anger, anxiety often comes because of a trigger but goes away after a while.
When you have anxiety, your adrenaline and heart rate typically go up to help you focus on the threat. It's more or less a state of high alert, like when you're running away from danger.
However, it's different when it's not just anxiety that comes and goes but a constant state of mind. The worry becomes endless and doesn't essentially require an actual triggering situation. This persistent feeling of anxiety is a disorder.
You likely have anxiety disorder when the feelings are overly intense, whether in the presence or absence of a threat.
The symptoms of anxiety disorder are virtually the same as those of normal anxiety but are persistent.
If you have an anxiety disorder, the symptoms may get worse over time if left untreated. It may affect your relationship, work, and school.
Fortunately, whether your anxiety is normal or a disorder, there are ways to manage it, including therapy and medication. It's advisable to get help as soon as possible to ensure this condition doesn't impair your normal day-to-day activities.
Your mental health specialist can recommend over-the-counter prescriptions for you to use and lifestyle habits to practice or change.
Persistent anxiety could be a:
People with post-traumatic stress disorders typically also experience some anxiety symptoms. However, that's not an anxiety disorder, according to how it's classified in the DSM-5.
Notably, over 30% of American adults are estimated to experience an anxiety disorder at a point in their lives. If you're currently at that point, do not hesitate to reach out. There is help waiting for you.
Anxiety isn't necessarily permanent. In fact, about 40% of people who once battled anxiety disorder now live in excellent health!
And the good news is that something as simple as staying connected emotionally is crucial to full recovery from anxiety. Having someone to confide in is a form of social support; it fosters confidence and a higher sense of belonging.
While using medications for your anxiety disorder, never forget to stay connected with your loved ones.