Everyone experiences the emotions of anxiety. It is the natural internal warning system our bodies utilize to help keep us safe. It is characterized by the token fight or flight response. Our anxiety keeps us from jumping into dangerous situations without thinking first. It can also motivate us to get tasks done at work, and even happy events such as celebrations can bring on a feeling of anxiety.  But, as with all things, there needs to be a balance. Some levels of anxiety can be healthy and helpful. Too much anxiety, on the other hand, can be debilitating. This is what sets normal anxiety apart from anxiety disorders. 

False Anxiety Alarms

Generally, in our day to day lives we aren’t faced with life and death situations in which our anxiety levels should be at an all time high. We usually are dealing with unhappy coworkers, financial woes, and things of that nature. However, your body may be still reacting as if it is dealing with the life and death situations. Something may happen that sounds your anxiety alarm and you may start to feel panicked and dizzy. 

For example, you get called on in front of your co-workers to answer a few questions, and your alarm sounds. This can happen on occasion, however, if you can’t tell the difference between this false anxiety alarm and real anxiety alarms, or if this is happening so often that it is hard for you to function, then you may have an anxiety disorder.  A little anxiety sometimes can help performance and you may be motivated to work but if it is hindering you, that’s when there is a serious issue.

Anxiety Disorders

When is anxiety a problem? Anxiety becomes a problem when it is unmanageable. 

Someone with an anxiety disorder may not be able to focus as they are in a constant state of alert. Your anxiety may cause you to completely avoid things that cause you anxiety. For example, if you are afraid of flying you may avoid airports at all costs even if it this means canceling plans or forgoing career advancement. 

This does not mean that your anxiety isn’t there because you are avoiding the airport, the anxiety is still greatly affecting your way of life.  

Here are some ways anxiety can impact your life:

  • Struggling to make and maintain friendships
  • Missing work or failing to keep up at work
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Not enjoying life like you used to
  • Interrupting sleep habits

When (and How) to Seek Help

If you are suffering with anxiety you are not alone! 40 million Americans over the age of 18 suffer from anxiety disorders. So many of those who have an anxiety disorder are used to their symptoms and they may not even realize how bad they actually feel. If you believe you may be one of those suffering, please give Professional Pain & Interventional Psychiatry a call today at (214) 441-7369. The sooner you can get treatment, the sooner you can get relief.