Everyone can name some time in their lives when they felt anxious. It’s a normal reaction to stressful situations and can happen for all kinds of reasons such as getting married, starting a new job, the first date of school or college, taking a test, and more. What happens for most people is that the stressful event takes place, and the anxious feeling disappears.
What happens for people who suffer from an anxiety disorder is that the anxious feeling doesn’t disappear; it is a constant part of their lives. This feeling can become so bad that it can completely incapacitate the person who is suffering from the disorder, so much so in some cases that they are unable to live their normal lives.
What does anxiety feel like? Here are some of the symptoms and explanations surrounding this mental health condition.
When you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you will be constantly worried about things that are happening, or that might happen around you. There will be no specific reason for this worry – it could be absolutely anything that causes the feeling to occur. The biggest problem when this happens is that the more you worry about something, the more of a concern it will become, and the cycle never ends.
This worry will take a possibly small thing and turn it into something much bigger and more worrying than ever. Thoughts speed up and cannot be controlled, and soon enough, the sufferer is in dire distress, unable to stop the anxiety from taking over.
Many people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder will have disturbed sleep, and this will mean that they are extremely tired all the time. This can lead to fatigue and exhaustion; productivity will reduce, and irritability will increase.
The reason that sleep is hard to come by when you suffer from anxiety is the racing negative, worrying thoughts that we mentioned above. These constant concerns make it hard to fall asleep, and if the patient does get to sleep but then wakes up again, they will often find they are lying awake in the night with these thoughts running through their heads. They might even become afraid to go to bed, knowing that they won’t sleep and that their thoughts will make them afraid.
When you are physically exhausted, as many anxiety sufferers are, this can make you more likely to develop different illnesses since your immune system will be compromised.
One of the most frightening physical symptoms of anxiety is panic attacks. These episodes are terrifying for those they are happening to, but they are also unpleasant for everyone around them. These can be one of the reasons why people with anxiety don’t go out; panic attacks are usually unexpected and can happen for what appears to be no reason at all, so it can be unnerving to go out to the store or simply out for a walk because you never know when a panic attack might strike.
During a panic attack, the heart rate rises, and many people feel shortness of breath and feel as though their chest is being restricted – it can often be a mistake for a heart attack and is a scary thing to go through.