According the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), anxiety affects around 40 million in the United States each year.
Warning Signs/SYMPTOMS ⚠︎︎
Symptoms of anxiety can be different for every person. Below are some potential signs.
Feeling fatigued or weak
Constantly overwhelmed or on-edge
Fearful of the future
Irregular sleep patterns
Inability to control constant worry
Trouble focusing or staying motivated
Avoiding things that trigger anxious thoughts
Not due to medical condition or substance
DSM-5 Criteria A. Excessive anxiety and worry, occurring more days than not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities. B. The person finds it difficult to control the worry. C. The anxiety and worry are associated with three or more of the following six symptoms (with at least some symptoms present for more days than not for the past 6 months).
Restlessness or feeling keyed up or on edge
Being easily fatigued
Difficulty concentrating or mind going blank
Sleep disturbance (difficulty falling or staying asleep, or restless unsatisfying sleep)
D. The disturbance is not better explained by another mental disorder. E. The anxiety, worry, or physical symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. F. The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance or another medical condition.
Some may be at higher risk of having anxiety if they have experienced any of the following:
Other mental disorders (like depression)
Family history of anxiety
Loss of family
How to help
Immediate danger: Call 911
If you have anxiety:
Try to connect with friend & family.
Seek treatment - talk to a doctor or therapist.
Stop misusing drugs or alcohol.
Reward yourself on the small things.
Be active - moving your body can help release anxious energy.
Challenge your anxious thoughts - ask yourself questions like, "Is this likely to happen? Will this scenario affect me forever? Am I thinking rationally about this scenario?"
Take a walk outside & try to clear your mind.
Focus on the positives - take your mind off your anxious thoughts and think of something that makes you happy!
Breathe - take a deep breaths and picture a calm version of yourself.
Grounding technique for anxiety attacks: Take a deep breath. Find five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one emotion you feel.
If you know someone with anxiety:
Being respectful - understand their pain & illness is real, not something that can be brushed off.
Avoid making comments like: "Calm down. It's not a big deal. Stop worrying."
Express concern and support - let them know you are there to help.
Offer to listen to them.
Encourage them to seek treatment and get professional help.
Ask them what you can do.
Educate yourself on what type of anxiety they have.
Check up with them.
Provide them helpful resources.
Take care of yourself too - don't poor all of your energy onto one person. Learn to create boundaries and focus on your personal mental wellness.
Be forgiving of emotional outbursts.
Georgia Behavioral Health Professionals: CLICK HERE