Your heart is pounding before a big presentation at work. You worry over family problems or finances. You have butterflies in your stomach thinking about asking your boss for a raise. These are all natural human reactions to challenging situations.
If you feel overwhelmed by worries or fears, and if this impacts your daily life, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Signs and Symptoms
If you have experienced any of these feelings, and if they won't go away, it may be a sign of anxiety.
- Constantly tense, worried, or on edge
- Anxiety interferes with work, school or family responsibilities
- Fears that you know are irrational, but you just can’t shake them
- Belief that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way
- Avoid everyday situations or activities because they cause you anxiety
- Experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic
- Feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner
In addition to some of the feelings you might have, anxiety can cause physical symptoms as well, such as:
- Heart pounding or racing
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach upset or dizziness
- Frequent urination or diarrhea
- Muscle tension
If you experience sudden symptoms, symptoms that are new to you or symptoms that interfere with daily activities, talk to a healthcare provider. And, in case of emergency, always CALL 9-1-1.
If you have feelings of worry, stress or anxiety, you can try several Self-Care methods. If, however, your worries or fears are causing extreme distress or interfering with your daily activities, it is important to contact a healthcare provider.
You can start with your doctor, who can check to see if your anxiety is caused by a medical condition like hypoglycemia or a thyroid problem. Be sure to tell your doctor about all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs you are taking. Your doctor may also recommend that you consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. A therapist will work with you to talk about your feelings and work with you to create a treatment plan.
- Helpline Center in Sioux Falls
- National Institute on Mental Health
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)