Invisible Illness: Anxiety

Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Signs and Symptoms:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder - People with generalized anxiety disorder display excessive anxiety or worry for months and face several anxiety-related symptoms.

-Restlessness or feeling wound-up or on edge
-Being easily fatigued
-Difficulty concentrating or having their minds go blank
-Muscle tension
-Difficulty controlling the worry
-Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep)

Panic Disorder - People with panic disorder have recurrent unexpected panic attacks, which are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate; sweating; trembling or shaking; sensations of shortness of breath, smothering, or choking; and feeling of impending doom.

-Sudden and repeated attacks of intense fear
-Feelings of being out of control during a panic attack
-Intense worries about when the next attack will happen
-Fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past

Social Anxiety Disorder - People with social anxiety disorder (sometimes called “social phobia”) have a marked fear of social or performance situations in which they expect to feel embarrassed, judged, rejected, or fearful of offending others.

-Feeling highly anxious about being with other people and having a hard time talking to them
-Feeling very self-conscious in front of other people and worried about feeling humiliated, embarrassed, or rejected, or fearful of offending others
-Being very afraid that other people will judge them
-Worrying for days or weeks before an event where other people will be
-Staying away from places where there are other people
-Having a hard time making friends and keeping friends
-Blushing, sweating, or trembling around other people
-Feeling nauseous or sick to your stomach when other people are around

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