Anxiety is part of your body’s natural defense mechanism. In its ideal form, it’s a state of heightened awareness to danger and a precursor to either standing down, fleeing or fighting. Problems arise when anxiety becomes a chronic state; an end unto itself that often arises for irrational reasons. When that happens it’s considered an anxiety disorder. At some point, you may wind up asking yourself “Do I have anxiety?” Below, we’ll provide some tips to help you answer that question.
7 Signs You May Suffer from an Anxiety Disorder
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms you very well may suffer from anxiety.
1. Excessive worrying – Everyone worries about something once in a while. A big test at school, a work presentation, making the rent and more are all common sources of worry. Worrying becomes excessive when the person begins to worry about trivial things. For example: worrying you’ll get in trouble if you cross something out on one of those airline arrival cards is an example of excessive worrying.
2. Insomnia – If you’re losing sleep lying awake at night worrying about trivial things or things that are beyond your control (like an asteroid hitting the earth), there’s a pretty good chance you are suffering an anxiety disorder. Especially if the insomnia has become a regular part of your life. The asteroid example leads us neatly into our next potential sign of an anxiety disorder…
3. Irrational fears – Some anxiety is well placed. If it’s been revealed the company you work for is planning massive layoffs, there’s every reason to be a bit anxious about the future. On the other hand, lying awake at night worrying how you’ll survive in the event of an asteroid strike doesn’t make a lot of sense. Nor does worrying about how you’ll handle family requests for assistance if you win the lottery.
4. Extreme self-consciousness – In some cases, people are fearful when faced with the prospect of having to speak in front of a large crowd. To an extent, there’s nothing abnormal about being a bit nervous in that type of situation. Where self-consciousness becomes a problem is when the feeling that everyone is watching prevents a person from engaging in or enjoying everyday social situations like parties, company lunches or nights out with friends.
5. Muscle tension – This is an often subtle but very real symptom of anxiety. A person may clench their fist without realizing it while standing still. Or they may curl up their toes in the shower. Or they may experience a general tension throughout their body that serves no particular purpose. Physical tension is a sign of emotional unease. The person’s body may also remain tense after they fall asleep. A sure sign all is not well. Mental health experts typically recommend exercise to try and work off some of this excess tension. It may not address the underlying issues, but at least it can help the aggrieved person feel a bit more relaxed. And maybe sleep better.
6. Perfectionism – There’s nothing wrong with trying to do things right. Where this impulse can become problematic is when the person spends an inordinate amount of time judging themselves and berating their own efforts. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. It’s how we learn. If, however, you think making mistakes is some kind of character flaw, you may well suffer from an anxiety disorder. Perfectionism often goes hand in hand with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Which we’ll look at next.
7. Obsessive or compulsive behavior – If you find yourself obsessing over the cleanliness of your desk, or compulsively rearranging the pencils on that desk, you may suffer from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. So too if you check over and over that the door is locked or wash your hands repeatedly in the belief you missed something. Going to the store at the same time every night to buy the same things also indicates a deep sense of anxiety.
8. Flashbacks of a disturbing event – Everyone retains memories of unfortunate or disturbing events. Sometimes, however, those memories can interfere with the normal course of life. Intense flashbacks may be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some mental health professionals see flashbacks as a symptom of other disorders as well, including, but not limited to, general anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.
If you’re wondering “Do I have anxiety?” consider whether any of the above-listed symptoms of anxiety apply to you. If you’re at the stage where you’re contemplating treatment for an anxiety disorder, we’d suggest you consider ketamine. Ketamine has proven itself in multiple clinical trials and often helps relieve anxiety when all other medications have failed.
Ketamine for Anxiety Treatment
Ketamine got its start as a powerful anesthetic and rapid pain reliever, but research in the last two decades indicates that Ketamine may be the biggest breakthrough in depression and anxiety in half a decade. Research shows that up to 80% of patients may find relief from their symptoms after undergoing a series of IV Ketamine infusions.