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
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.