Nerve-Wrecked: 6 Signs Of Anxiety You Should Know About
There could be more to those panic attacks than just overthinking.
I heard my friend say, “Oh my God! I was totally hyperventilating”. And when I asked jokingly if she was experiencing any cerebral vasoconstriction, she gave me an incredulous look that said, ‘you-must-be-cuckoo’. 6 months later, she was reduced to being a shadow of herself, checking her phone every 2 minutes, watching out for the car that never hit her, constantly speculating if her friends were plotting something behind her back.
Anxiety disorder is a debilitating state of chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension. A little bit of anxiousness before a performance is okay, but if petty things are keeping you up at night and making you sick, then you must read on for a quick self-diagnosis, after which I recommend a visit to a medical professional, who will be able to narrow it down to the specific type and trigger.
Here’s what living with anxiety disorder looks like:
Constant worrying – You cannot stop worrying, no matter what you do. Every worry forgotten is replaced by a new one immediately, and this tension is so paralysing that it’s affecting the quality of your life.
Persistent feelings of apprehension or dread – You live in fear, often stressing about scenarios that are far from likely, in a state of dread or apprehension about anything and everything. For example, a discussion with friends about whether aliens exist robbed you of sleep, because you kept worrying about an alien invasion, global destruction, and the death of all your loved ones.
Feeling tense or jumpy – You know how some people bite their nails, finger-drum on the table, or pace around restlessly when they’re nervous? They’re shaky, jumpy, and fidgety, often getting startled by the smallest things. There’s a thin line between careful and paranoid, and the word for it is – ‘constant’.
Going blank – If you’re in between a conversation, trying to get your mind off something, then it’s only natural that at one point you could suddenly go blank, wondering what you were talking about. Such ‘blackouts’ are common in chronic anxiety patients, often coinciding with panic attacks.
When it starts affecting your physical health – Pounding heart, sweating, an upset stomach, dizziness, frequent urination or diarrhea, shortness of breath, tremors and twitches, muscle tension, headaches, or fatigue are all normal for you. It’s not the creation of your mind – anxiety leading to hyperventilation can explain the vasoconstriction in the brain and other parts, causing the twitching, dizziness etc.
Panic attacks – A panic attack is the sudden overwhelming feeling of anxiety or fear that may seem to occur out of nowhere, even when you’re sleeping. Many people wake up sweating, and have trouble falling asleep again, feeling helpless, often trembling and palpitating. It’s acceptable to have panic attacks as a one-time occurrence, but if they recur, it’s best to consult a psychologist who may help in finding out if they’re triggered by a specific event or are occurring as a part of an anxiety disorder.