It seems like the whole world is stressed out most of the time. Everyone seems to be in a hurry, with high-tech gadgets making everything move faster than usual and causing us to try to do too many things at once. The thing we must remember is that we are not high-tech gadgets, and our brains need time to process things at a more relaxed pace than our computer, tablet, or smart phone. But, if you are constantly feeling stressed out, it could be that you have some type of anxiety disorder. So how do you tell the difference?
Normal Stress vs. Anxiety Disorder
The easiest way to determine whether you are experiencing normal stress or if you have an anxiety disorder is to evaluate what is going on at the time. Are you in the middle of a crowded shopping center but you cannot find your child? Or maybe you are stuck in traffic when you are supposed to be in an important meeting. This feeling would be stress. However, if you are constantly feeling stressed out and worried about things (even what color socks to wear) throughout your day, this may be an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is when your feelings of stress continue after the stressful situation is over with. The feelings of stress may also be accompanied by one or more of these symptoms:
- Feelings of being on edge or nervous for no obvious reason
- Muscle tension or cramps
- Inability to sleep or stay asleep
- Chronic irritability or crankiness
- Forgetting things
- Trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Avoiding people and places that make you nervous
- Chronic fatigue
- Rapid heart rate or palpitations
- Lack of appetite
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of self-esteem
- Chest pain
- Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Feeling of impending doom
- Racing thoughts
Causes of Anxiety Disorders
Approximately 40 million people older than age 18 in the United States are affected by an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. That is more than 18-percent of the population, which makes it the most common mental health condition in the United States. However, even though it is very common, little is known about why some people are more susceptible to anxiety than others. Some experts believe anxiety is caused by:
- Use of alcohol or drugs
- Previous abuse or trauma
- History of mental health disorders
- Hormones or chemical imbalance
Tips to Help You Relax
There are some things that experts believe can help with anxiety disorders. Some of these things include:
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Eating right
- Exercising often
- Avoiding caffeine, sugar, and alcohol
In addition, you should talk to someone about what you are feeling. You can get advice from a trained and licensed professional online through BetterHelp.com or another online mental health care source. You do not even need an appointment, so you can do it right now without even leaving your home.
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and we have been compensated through BetterHelp.com.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.