The dating when you have anxiety between anxiety disorders and “normal” anxiety isn’t always clear. 163 0 16 0s16 7.
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5 0 1 0 6. Everyone gets nervous or anxious from time to time—when speaking in public, for instance, or when going through financial difficulty. For some people, however, anxiety becomes so frequent, or so forceful, that it begins to take over their lives. How can you tell if your everyday anxiety has crossed the line into a disorder? Anxiety comes in many different forms—such as panic attacks, phobia, and social anxiety—and the distinction between an official diagnosis and “normal” anxiety isn’t always clear. Here’s a start: If you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may want to talk with your doctor. But what constitutes “too much”?
In the case of GAD, it means having persistent anxious thoughts on most days of the week, for six months. Also, the anxiety must be so bad that it interferes with daily life and is accompanied by noticeable symptoms, such as fatigue. The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction,” says Sally Winston, PsyD, co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland in Towson. And, of course, it’s not unusual to toss and turn with anticipation on the night before a big speech or job interview.
Another tip-off that anxiety might be involved? You wake up feeling wired, your mind is racing, and you’re unable to calm yourself down. If the fear becomes overwhelming, disruptive, and way out of proportion to the actual risk involved, it’s a telltale sign of phobia, a type of anxiety disorder. Although phobias can be crippling, they’re not obvious at all times.