Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today comes to us from Virginia in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. How do I know that I am developing anxiety?
Well, everybody has experienced a time where they’ve been nervous. It’s a natural response to worry about a big presentation or a new job. Experiencing butterflies in the stomach is the body’s way of protecting and determining if it should be in “fight or flight” mode.
However, having anxiety or an anxiety disorder is different than experiencing worries related to a particular situation or issue.
Anxiety currently affects more than 20 million Americans. Many people are concerned they may be developing or have an anxiety disorder. Given the level of stress that people are experiencing regarding work, finances, family, kids, etc., it’s logical to understand why anxiety disorders are the number one psychological disorder in the U.S. There are a few ways to help determine if you or someone is developing or has an anxiety disorder.
The DSMIV-TR, which is the diagnostic manual used to diagnosis psychological disorders, including anxiety disorder, states:
a. Excessive anxiety and worry, apprehensive expectations occurring more days than not, for at least six months about a number of events or activities such as work or school performance.
b. The person finds it difficult to control the worry.
c. The anxiety and worry are so shaded with three or more of the following six symptoms with at least some of the symptoms present for more days than not, for the past six months. Now note only one item is required in children.
1. Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge.
2. Being easily fatigued.
3. Difficulty concentrating or your mind going blank.
5. Muscle tension.
6. Sleep disturbance – difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep or restless, unsatisfying sleep. If you are worried, you can consider taking the anxiety test at AnxietyBoss.com, and it should give you a good general idea of where your anxiety is.