Anxiety is not only a psychological disorder, it is also a completely natural human reaction . In other words, having anxiety is not in itself something negative; it can even be something positive. If anxiety appears in a dangerous situation (which is what usually happens), it serves to warn us that something is going wrong, to alert us and signal that we should start to worry. But when that anxiety appears in moments in which there is no danger, in which we are totally safe, we are talking about a disorder that could alter our way of living , and that could end up being a serious problem. That’s when we talk about anxiety disorder.

Knowing if you really have an anxiety disorder is very difficult. It is essential that, if you have any type of doubt, you go to a psychologist so that he is the one to help you and guide you all the way. Only a professional will be able to confirm if you suffer from this disorder or if not, and only he will know how to tell you what steps you should take to overcome anxiety. But if you have doubts, perhaps knowing what the distinctive features of anxiety are can help you. Because this way you can see if you really feel identified, or if, on the contrary, the only thing you are feeling is stress accumulated by a complicated stage.

Not all people have the same symptoms

The first thing you should know is that, although there is a certain picture that many people suffer when they are diagnosed with anxiety, it is not something that is always strictly adhered to. That is, you can meet one of the symptoms, or seven, or three; And, in all cases, you will be having anxiety.

If you notice that you have a lot of constant , recurring worries that agitate you and do not even allow you to lead your life normally, you should start to consider the possibility that you have this disorder. As a general rule, what usually worries a person with anxiety the most is their financial situation, their health or their future ; They are things that, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to fully control them, and that will cause your fear to begin to increase more and more. Worrying is positive, being aware that something is wrong too, but anxiety is not that. Anxiety is being afraid of something that is only real in that person’s head.

You may not feel that, but you do feel overly nervous at the prospect of interacting with people in public. Human beings are sociable by nature, so the logical thing is that we do not always flee from social situations; You may not feel like being around people one day, but if you never feel like being with anyone, then it’s a problem. Shyness has nothing to do with this, because a person can be shy and still enjoy the company of their friends, and even meet new people. Anxiety, again, goes beyond that. It implies that the person feels palpitations, tachycardia, sweating … Because, usually, anxiety brings with it physical symptoms, and not only psychological ones.

These physical symptoms are the easiest to detect. They tend to be, in addition to those we have mentioned above: shortness of breath, nausea, tremors, dizziness, insomnia and a fear as deep as it is inexplicable.

Anxiety is a very varied disorder

Anxiety is a complicated disorder, especially because, according to the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ there are seven types of specified anxiety disorders , and other types of anxiety disorders which include all those that have not been specified . Each type has its own characteristics, its specific symptoms and, as we have pointed out, it also depends a lot on the person and their specific situation how these symptoms are reflected. Making a kind of broad generalization, it is interesting to know that anxiety is usually seen in four different ways: through physical symptoms, through dissociation, through mental discomfort, or through physical tension .

It is because of this complication, because of how complex this disorder is, that it is recommended that the first step, when in doubt, go to a professional and openly tell about the problems that concern you. In this way, it will be much easier to both diagnose and treat it.

Common traits of anxiety

It is true that there are some traits that people who suffer from anxiety usually have in common and that, if you see yourself reflected in them, you could suffer from this disorder. For example: an excess of control, wanting to control absolutely everything, and that their plans are carried out exactly where and when they want. This leads to extreme perfectionism and, with it, to demotivation when seeing that perfection does not exist.

In addition, they are people who do not know how to react to small problems, who are always active, who do not know how to be without work because they feel “useless” if they see that they are not productive . For them, all the comments that someone makes will be taken personally, and they will want to please everyone; that will lead them to not want to say no never, and to be burdened with more work than they should have done at first. This is usually coupled with an immense desire to flee , but too afraid of changes to dare to do so. When a person suffers from anxiety, he feels everything almost to the extreme: his emotions, his moods and, in turn, he also perceives the moods of others more clearly .

The more that a person has these qualities does not lead to anxiety ; they are simply common traits that are often shared. Anxiety is not something chronic, it is something that can be treated and changed, and for that, therapy with professionals is necessary. People with anxiety feel that they carry a great weight on their shoulders and, as they recover from this disorder, they will notice how this weight disappears little by little. Hence, treatment is essential, so that everyone can continue their life normally. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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