ZocdocAnswersHow do you know if you have anxiety?

Question

How do you know if you have anxiety?

I keep thinking everything's going to fall apart at any moment. Is this anxiety? It's interfering with my work and life.

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you feel everything is no longer within your control. Is this anxiety? Anxiety is a psychological and physiological condition characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work or making an important decision. It is a normal reaction to a stressor that helps a person deal with a difficult situation by prompting one to cope with it. When anxiety becomes excessive, it may become a disorder causing such distress that it interferes with a person's ability to lead a normal life because people with anxiety disorders have worry and fear that are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling. Anxiety disorder is described as excessive, poorly controlled anxiety and worry about a number of events and activities (e.g., work or school) on a majority of days, lasting for at least 6 months. Somatic complaints are common, accompanying restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge; being easily fatigue; difficulty in concentration or mind going blank; irritability; increased muscle tension, and sleep disturbance (difficulty in falling or staying sleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep). Anxiety is not of phobic type and does not occur purely as part of post-traumatic stress order, social phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder or hypochondriasis. Anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause significant distress in social, occupational, or other important life functioning. Treatment with medication combined with cognitive-behavioral therapy offers best chance of remission. If your condition persists or becomes worse, I strongly advise you consult a psychiatrist.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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