Recognising Anxiety: Signs that it’s time to seek help
Everyone has feelings of anxiety every now and then. It might be an upcoming exam you may feel anxious about or a medical procedure. It could be the conversation with your manager or waiting for a promotion. It could be when you wait for your child to come home and it’s way past the time they said they would be back. During times like these, that feeling of unease, worry and anxiety can be perfectly normal. Anxiety is a natural response to stress, a mechanism that helps us prepare for potential dangers and challenges.
However, when anxiety becomes persistent or overwhelming, and starts to impact aspects of your life, it may be a sign that you need help. Here are some signs to take note of:
Worrying more than normal
One of the primary indicators that anxiety may be affecting your life is persistent and excessive worry. If you find yourself constantly ruminating over negative thoughts and “what-ifs,” and these thoughts interfere with your daily activities, you might want to seek help. These worries might be related to various aspects of your life, such as work, relationships, health, or finances.
Anxiety can lead to avoidance behaviour, where individuals start avoiding situations or places that trigger their anxiety. For example, someone with social anxiety might avoid social gatherings or public speaking events. While avoidance may offer temporary relief, it can eventually isolate you from valuable experiences and hinder personal growth.
At some point, anxiety can start affecting your body. Physical symptoms can manifest in the form of headaches, muscle tension, stomach problems, rapid heartbeat and difficulty breathing. Often these physical symptoms can be confused with other medical ailments. However, if no evident medical cause is found, it might be worth seeking help to reduce your anxiety and you might see these symptoms reduce quickly or even disappear.
Anxiety often disrupts sleep patterns, leading to difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. Insomnia and restless nights can leave you feeling exhausted, irritable, and even more susceptible to anxiety’s grip. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate anxiety symptoms, creating a vicious cycle that may require professional intervention.
Changes in Appetite
Anxiety can affect changes in eating patterns. While come people indulge in comfort eating, leading to an increase in weight, others may experience a loss of appetite, leading to unintended weight loss. These changes in appetite can further contribute to emotional distress and have adverse effects on your physical health.
Impact on relationships and work
Anxiety can strain both personal relationships and those at the workplace. Constant worry, irritability, and difficulty expressing emotions or needs may lead to misunderstandings and conflicts with loved ones or colleagues. If you notice that your anxiety is affecting your ability to connect with others or maintain healthy relationships, seeking help is crucial.
Decline in Work or Academic Performance
Anxiety can hinder your ability to focus and concentrate on tasks, leading to a decline in work or academic performance. You may find yourself feeling overwhelmed and unable to meet deadlines or perform at your usual level of competence. Recognising these changes and their connection to anxiety is vital to avoid long-term setbacks in your career or education.
CBT, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, Medication
These are the therapies that I use in my practice to help clients achieve wonderful results.