Anxiety. We all have it from time to time. And, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety is the most common mental illness in America.
But when is it time to see a professional therapist to help us cope with our anxiety?
If you have been dealing with anxiety for a while now, here are some telltale signs that it’s time to seek help.
Your health is suffering – Anxiety and the stress it brings can negatively affect your physical health. If you’re experiencing physical ailments – such as headaches, frequent colds, problems sleeping, and unexpected muscle pain – anxiety may be a root cause. Ongoing anxiety can interfere with the immune system’s ability to fight off illness and infection. Constant worry can keep you up at night and tension in your muscles from stress and anxiety can lead to pain. Of course, always consult with your primary care doctor to rule out any medical causes first.
Your relationships are suffering – If you are having difficulty maintaining relationships or if your relationships with family, friends, and your significant other are suffering, anxiety may be a culprit. High anxiety levels often result in feelings of irritation and unhappiness when interacting with others. When anxiety shows up as perfectionism or trying to control things to avoid anything going wrong, we are at risk of blaming our loved ones if they do things differently than what we had in mind. We might react in anger when we feel really anxious about our hectic schedule and then our partner is late for dinner. Anxiety can also lead to isolation (due to avoidance of anxiety-provoking situations) which can interfere with connecting with the people close to us.
Your emotions are out of control – An anxious person may feel extremely emotional on a regular basis. Feeling emotions is, of course, a healthy thing. However, if your emotions are more intense than usual, and hit you much more frequently, anxiety levels could be a cause. While crying is often associated with depression, those struggling with anxiety may cry and experience other symptoms of depression due to the negative impact anxiety can have on our relationships (as mentioned above) or other important areas of our lives.
Struggles at work or at school – Difficulty focusing, low energy levels, and a general sense of disinterest are all signs of anxiety at play. When our minds are flooded with racing, anxious thoughts, it is difficult to pay attention and be in the moment. Stress and worry can be all-consuming, using up our energy and making it difficult for us to want to do anything.
Feeling overwhelmed – If the rigors of everyday life feel overwhelming, it may be a sign that your mind’s coping mechanisms are compromised. Anxiety has a way of making the normal feel like the weight of the world. Anxiety tends to lead to all-or-nothing thinking so when something in your life is difficult or challenging, anxiety tells you that it is impossible and that you can’t handle it.
Lack of joy – If the things that made you happy in your life start to feel uninteresting, if you have an ongoing sense of dread, or an ongoing feeling of tension, then anxiety may be a culprit. Anxiety can make it feel like it’s all too much. You dread the things you need to do in your daily life and feel tense and stressed. Feeling anxious all of the time takes a lot of energy, leaving you with little energy or motivation to do things you used to love.
If one or more of the above describe what you are going through, please consider speaking with a professional therapist. You are certainly not alone in your struggle, and you deserve to recapture the peace of mind and joy that escapes you these days.
Serenity Solutions is one of Philadelphia’s most trusted therapy groups when it comes to treating anxiety. Give us a call today so we can talk about how we might be able to help. The therapists at Serenity Solutions would love nothing more than for you to start feeling better about yourself and your life. The first step is always just picking up the phone! Call us at 267-317-8817 or click here to schedule your free consultation and we’ll call you. We look forward to talking to you.