Distinguishing Between ‘Normal’ Anxiety and an Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety and fear are normal feelings that all of us experience in our lives. In most cases anxiety and fear appear when we are under stress, and are completely natural as a part of self preservations.
Because anxiety is a normal part of life, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish whether or not our anxiety has become anxiety disorder.
What’s the Difference?
Talking about anxiety and anxiety disorders can be confusing, but it’s important to differentiate between the two. It is completely normal to be anxious if you are going to an important meeting or job interview. But when your levels of anxiety are so high that they disturb your normal way of living, there’s a problem.
For example, if you feel uncomfortable among strange people you may begin to avoid any situation that involves talking to new people, like parties, restaurants, clubs, or public places in general. In most severe cases this avoidance could lead to agoraphobia and complete rejection of going out of your home.
In many cases people who have experienced panic attacks start to avoid certain places where they have happened, believing the place is the reason they had the panic attack. This could include avoiding public transport, going out alone, or going crowded places like concerts or public meetings.
Unfortunately, avoiding the situation that makes you uncomfortable only aggravates the problem. If you have experienced a panic attack on a bus, no longer taking the bus will not solve the problem. It will give you only a temporary solution. To cope with the problem you have to go to its roots, which of course is not the public transport itself.
Another red flag that you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder is the way you think and how you manage your daily activities and issues. We all feel down and negative from time to time. But a person who is suffering from anxiety is constantly worried and consumed by negative thoughts.
People with anxiety are also called "if thinkers," due to the fact that they worry about all the “what ifs.” If someone without anxiety is planning a wedding, they may find it a stress-free experience; if a person with anxiety is doing the same, it could give them major wedding anxiety.
What will happen if things go wrong? Is everything going to be OK with my guest list? What if the food is terrible? And this could go on and on. People with anxiety are constantly overwhelmed with negative thoughts, mostly worrying that something bad will happen to them or their loved ones.
This constant worrying and negative way of thinking is completely exhausting and can severely damage your lifestyle and relationships with others.
If You Think You Suffer From Anxiety
Relax! Of course, this sounds easy and enjoyable, but for a person with anxiety it is actually a challenge. Living with anxiety is certainly not easy and the most effective way to beat it is to learn to relax. This means that you will have to change your lifestyle and pay more attention to what you feel and how you do everything.
Meditation and yoga are some of the most useful ways to overcome anxiety. Other things that you may try are exercise or different hobbies.
Visiting a therapist is perhaps the fastest and sure way to beat your anxiety. Through different types of therapy you will learn how to cope with your anxiety and live your life to the fullest.
The most important thing is to find a relaxation method that works for you to relieve the pressure of anxiety.