Monthly Archives: April 2016

7 Symptoms That Could Mean You Have Anxiety Disorder

Maybe your heart was beating so fast that you could feel it in the afternoon when someone cut into your queue. Maybe you were suddenly asked a question in a meeting room and found that your palms were dripping with sweat. Maybe more and more of your friends are telling you that you worry too much over trivial stuff.

Whatever the case, you suspect that your anxiety is not just a flash in the pan. You actually think that every little thing that seem odd whether it’s your behavior or your body is the result of something more sinister.

It could be a medical condition… maybe you have anxiety disorder.

Relax. Stop worrying about every little thing. Maybe your worst habit is to look for things to worry about.

There are some documented symptoms of anxiety disorder. And even if you do display them, there is no certainty that your condition is something out of the ordinary.

But if you suffer from the below symptoms, you can see a doctor to get some closure.

1) Worry about your self image

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a positive nice image to show the world. But surely you must know that you can’t please everybody all the time.

And then there are also many people from all walks of life that will not have any impact of your life whether they like you or not.

Approval seeking behavior is normal as we are social beings who love to have company.

The problem arise when you flood your mind with worrying thoughts constantly about whether others like you or not, in one way or another.

Why stress yourself out over this?

2) Being an extreme pessimist

There will always be ups and downs in life.

In fact, experiencing the downs make us mentally stronger to strive for the ups.

However, if you tend to always look at the dark side of things uncontrollably, and always expecting the worst possible outcomes, that is a little odd.

Maybe you just need a little extra love :D, or a class in positive mindsets.

Also, very often the negative sides of things are really negligible and really don’t matter that much. Frequently making a mountain out of a molehill can just mean that you interpret things differently than your friends.

Maybe you just need more friends who will call you out on these habits.

3) Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

When I first heard about this term, I thought that it was s joke. I felt that it’s just a convenient excuse for friends explain cranky behavior.

But I later it is indeed a medical condition.

The most common sign that make someone a prime suspect is an obsession to cleanliness. At least that’s what my colleagues say.

So if you find that you absolutely cannot stand the thought that your keyboards were used by your manager minutes earlier due to hygiene reasons, or that you make it a point to scrub the corner of the bathroom 5 times even though you know full well than 1 scrubbing session is good enough, or you will never sit on your sofa in anything other than your “sofa clothes” because of a fear of germs, maybe you have a mild case of OCD.

The point is that these things that most people don’t put so much care into tend to stress you out. Sometimes you might even get nervous using a thumb drive belonging to someone else (who knows where it has been!) and run for the woods.

If you are aware that you are taking these little issues to the extreme, you should consider getting yourself evaluated by a professional.

And don’t worry. He probably won’t mind having you sit on his chair in your jeans.

4) Being a perfectionist

There are pros and cons of being a perfectionist.

Very often, people put up personas at work just so to get things done. There is a common saying that “if you are unable to earn respect, then you have to demand it”.

At the same time, we all know that life is not perfect. Sure you can demand perfection on the things you do. But you can’t force your will on your friends and family.

Family is after all, about accepting each other as who they are.

Getting upset when things do not meet your own standards of what is perfection, is a sign that you are overdoing it. Demanding perfection is one thing, getting upset for a lack of it is another thing altogether.

In dating, guys like to call this the “princess syndrome”.

5) Inability to focus

With so much worries going on in your head, you will have hit 50% of your brain power if you are able to focus selectively at the same time.

But if you frequently find yourself being unable to concentrate, don’t sound the ambulance yet. Maybe you are just one of those dreamers :D.

But if you are unable to focus because you are having dark thought on unrelated things… maybe you do have a problem.

6) Avoiding things you don’t like

Everyone will have a whole list of item that they don’t like, that does not mean that they run away from old-fashioned analog phones or vintage CRT monitors.

Disliking something is different from fearing it.

If your dislike for things arouses an avoidance reaction that is associated with fear or panic, I think you know yourself that you do have a problem with anxiety.

7) Physical effects of anxiety

The are physical effects of severe anxiety. These are clear symptoms that your anxiety levels are so intense that your body is responding to it as a counter-measure.

Common physical effects include:

  • sweating when you are not exerting yourself physically
  • heartbeats to fast that you can feel it
  • high blood pressure
  • dizziness and “high” moments
  • fatigue and lethargic
  • muscle tension and fidgeting
  • gastrointestinal upset
  • pain

The above physical symptoms do no need to occur for a prolonged period to ascertain the existence of anxiety disorder. They can come and go like the weather.

Also not that that different people can suffer different symptoms on any medical condition.

And if you are experiencing them and refuse to get a diagnosis, there could be serious health implications. Do seek help for your anxiety if you as much as suspect that you have a problem.

The Costs Of Suffering From Anxiety

Suffering from anxiety is an awful feeling. Most people will have had the experience of at least a personal incident or 2. That is small change compared to those who gets into that state on a regular basis.

And for many sufferers, there is a belief that it is a condition that they can never alleviate in their lifetime.

That is actually not 100% true. Getting rid of anxiety attacks 100% of the time can be a stretch. But you can definitely subdue it to a significant extent.

If you have never convinced yourself that a problem is not serious enough to take action on correcting, maybe running the costs of not managing anxiety will convince you.

It will be tough to put a cost on anxiety since it is an intangible state that is hard to quantify. But calculating a cost will not be so far fetched if we are to measure it against intangible terms.

A physical toll on your body

You might have already realized that stressing yourself out is more of a mental state. And because your mind don’t suffer common diseases like influenza or injuries like a sprain, it’s really a negligible condition.

But surely you must know that the brain is in control of all parts of your body?

High blood pressure, tensed muscles, migraines, gastrointestinal symptoms, etc, can all affect your body. So it’s actually not just an intangible condition.

The more your stress your brain, and in the case of anxiety disorder, put it into overdrive, you could be walking a tight rope.

Family well-being

Given a choice, a spouse will most probably choose to have a partner who won’t break down or freak out at the slightest events.

Relationships can really suffer when one party cannot understand and accept that there is such a thing as anxiety disorder.

Refusing to seek treatment can be perceived by your partner as a selfish act as you don’t put the welfare of the family into consideration.

Hey. Just because you have a condition doesn’t mean that you can get away with all sorts of nonsense that your spouse has to attend to.

What’s worst, your children might pick up on your behavior and habits. It’s like setting the seeds for them to be receptive of being anxious instead of suppressing it as they grow up.

Becoming obese

Stress, especially a huge amount of it, causes cortisol to to increase.

Maybe that’s why many people use stress as an excuse to gulp down a WHOLE tub of ice-cream…

Cortisol is a stress hormone that encourages fat to collect at the abdominal area. Making you fat and therefore increases the risks of stroke and heart diseases.

You are just giving cortisol more life by not managing your stress levels.

Extra medical bills

Anxious people tend to spend a lot of time stressed out about their health.

It’s nothing to laugh about.

This translates to more frequent visits to Doctors who charge exuberant consultation fees, more expenses to medication to help you relax, and more hourly sessions with the well-paid therapist who drives an expensive continental car.

You are just making everyone else rich at your expense.

It must be a pleasure serving you…

Your work will suffer

You would have to admit that you will have a lesser chance to excel at work if you are always nervous with what you do… unless your boss is a sadist who likes the amusement you give him…

Failing to curb your condition can result in:

  • lesser promotion opportunities
  • more days absent from work
  • little rapport with colleagues in the office
  • lesser capability in managing teams
  • decreased productivity
  • etc

For what it’s worth, there IS actually a cost to your anxiety. Both in tangible and intangible form. And I think most sufferers acknowledge the problems that come with their condition can be managed if they take action.

Don’t put off confronting the problem anymore. Being lazy or oblivious is not how an adult should handle problems. The fact that the people around you will suffer for inaction on your part should be motivation in itself.