To gain a sense of whether you’re dealing with common, everyday worry or a more serious anxiety disorder, you won’t need to go to see a professional. Anxiety disorders are usually self-diagnosable, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include stress that’s out of proportion to the event at hand, inability to set aside a worry, and restlessness.
Furthermore, Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million adults – almost 20 percent — in the United States. You are most certainly not alone.
Take an Anxiety Test
Thea Gallagher, Psy.D., the clinic director at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, prepared a simple seven-question test to help people determine whether or not they have anxiety. Answer yes or no to the following questions:
- Do you feel worried or anxious about most things?
- Is your worry extreme?
- Do you worry on a daily basis?
- Has your worrying been consistent over the last 6 months?
- Is your worry uncontrollable?
- Do you struggle with concentration, irritability, restlessness or sleep?
- Has worrying began to affect school, work, friendships, relationships and other important features in your life?
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions, you might have an anxiety disorder. If the worry you experience is interfering with your ability to get through the day and has lasted for more than six months, it’s likely not just “everyday stress.” Treatment for anxiety can help get you back into a place where you experience a more positive quality of life. Once you determine that you have anxiety, this additional test can help pinpoint the severity of the anxiety you’re experiencing.
Other Symptoms of Anxiety
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive and persistent worry that is out of proportion to the actual danger or lasting for a period of at least six months. Other symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:
- Muscle tension
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Easily startled
- Psychosomatic symptoms: Headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, pins and needles
- Physical symptoms: Shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain
- Behavioral symptoms: anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress in social situations or at work, causing you to avoid either, or both.
Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
If you determine you have anxiety, don’t despair. There are plenty of effective treatments, including medication, psychotherapy, and [LINK]natural treatments.
Talk therapy — such as cognitive behavioral therapy — is an effective treatment for anxiety. This procedure includes a therapist working closely with a client to identify, process, and cope with their anxiety triggers.
Antidepressants, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, have also proven effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Additionally, the anti-anxiety medication buspirone, as well as tranquilizing benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, can be used as needed, though they can be habit-forming.
Plenty of treatments are natural and can be prescribed by yourself to yourself. Think on the lines of meditation, daily exercise, healthy eating habits, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. All can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
We all contend with worry and stress, but if your level of apprehension is interfering with your everyday life, it’s time to find out if you could be struggling with an anxiety disorder. After you take an anxiety test, there is plenty of help out there to ease the overwhelming and often debilitating symptoms of anxiety so that you can start living life without anxious interference.