Nervousness or anxiety is a part of normal life. One may get anxious while speaking in public, or while under stress. However, when anxiety becomes so frequent, or so forceful, that it begins to take over their lives, then it is called a disorder. Panic attacks, phobia, social anxiety are various diagnoses under anxiety disorders.If you experience any of the following symptoms on a frequent basis, you may want to consult a psychiatrist:
1) Excessive worry - It is a characteristic feature of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). It is a broadest type of anxiety problem where there is excessive worrying about everyday things. In GAD the anxiety is persistent for most of days of the week, for atleast six months. Also, the anxiety must be severe enough to interfere with daily life and is accompanied by symptoms, such as fatigue.
2) Insomnia or Sleep problems - Wide range of both physical and psychological problems can lead to disturbed sleep. And, it is not unusual to toss and turn on the night before exams or job interview. But if lying awake, or worrying about specific problems or nothing in particular becomes chronic—it might be an indication of an anxiety disorder.Waking up with a weird feeling with your mind racing, and you’re unable to calm yourself down—is another symptom suggesting that you might be suffering from anxiety disorder.
3) Irrational fears - In some anxiety disorder, anxiety is attached to a specific situation or thing—like exposure to places at a height, animals, blood, or crowds. If the fear becomes overwhelming, disruptive, and way out of proportion to the actual risk involved, it's a sign of phobia, a type of anxiety disorder.Phobias may not surface until you are exposed to a specific situation and discover you're incapable of overcoming your fear.
4) Inability to relax/ Unable to relax or a constant muscle tension - is often associated with anxiety disorders. Because this symptom is so pervasive and persistent that is often very difficult to notice for the person who have lived with it for a long time. Regular moderate exercise can help to keep muscle tension under control, but stress may flare up this symptom.
5) “Acidity" or indigestion - Although anxiety has its origin in mind, but it often manifest through physical symptoms, like acidity or chronic digestive problems. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition characterized by stomach aches, cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, and/or diarrhea, 'is basically an anxiety in the digestive tract'.
6) Performance anxiety - Usually most people get at least a few butterflies before performing on stage or otherwise being in the spotlight. But if you find yourself persistently thinking and worrying about it, or anticipating about getting anxious again, you may have a form of social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia).
7) Self-consciousness - In most cases, people do get anxious by everyday situations like making one-on-one conversation at party, or speaking in front of even small number of people. In these situations, people with social anxiety disorder tend to feel like all eyes are on them, and they often experience blushing, trembling, nausea, profuse sweating, or difficulty talking. These symptoms can be so disruptive that they make it hard to meet new people, maintain relationships, and advance at work or in school.
8) Panic attacks - It is a feeling of impending doom, feeling of fear and helplessness that can last for several minutes, usually accompanied by physical symptoms of breathlessness, racing heart, chest pain, etc. People with panic disorder live in fear about when, where, and why their next attack might happen, and they tend to avoid places where attacks have occurred in the past. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are some other major anxiety disorders.