Every human being has been anxious and distressed at some point in their life. Anxiety is a normal state of being, and we have all experienced it to a greater or lesser degree. Remember that day when the results came out for an exam you knew you hadn’t studied for? Or when you realized that you’d lost your way while returning from a night out with friends? Yeah, pretty scary, wasn’t it?
Now imagine feeling like that all the time.
Not a pleasant thought, is it? An anxiety disorder can wreck your day-to-day life in several subtle ways. Sometimes, this may even happen without you even understanding the problem or recognizing its roots. This, in turn, may lead to other dysfunctional coping mechanisms such as alcoholism or a drug problem.
Particularly in cases when the anxiety disorder has gone undiagnosed and untreated for a number of years, the patient may never realize why they are facing the problems and living with the debilitating emotions that they are. Unfortunately, such situations are still unacceptably common in India, especially in the non-urbanized regions of the country.
Common Symptoms of Chronic Anxiety
So, to enhance the level of awareness about this problem and build a better future, let’s talk about some of the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and the ways that these symptoms can affect your day-to-day life.
Chronic anxiety can leave you feeling scared of and overwhelmed by any time of social interaction. As a result, you may find yourself getting uncomfortable with the idea of meeting new people or even interacting with old friends and beloved family members.
You may notice that you’re trying to find ways to avoid talking to the cashier when visiting the grocery store. You may feel overwhelmed even by the thought of attending a party or a get-together with a large number of your friends and colleagues.
Furthermore, you may experience panic attacks and breathlessness when performing normal, day-to-day chores. All of us have worried at some point that we left the gas turned on when leaving the house, or that we forgot to switch off the fan.
Usually, though, these worries are manageable and do not limit our ability to think or act rationally. One sign that you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder is that such thoughts regularly give you panic attacks and render you incapable of functioning (or even thinking clearly).
If you’re suffering from chronic anxiety issues, you may find yourself being easily startled by loud noises. Hypersensitivity to loud or sudden noises is one of the more common symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
Does the sound of someone sneezing nearby, an engine starting or someone sneezing nearby cause your heart to beat faster and your skin to prickle with unease? If so, then you may want to contact your doctor and investigate whether or not you have unknowingly been living with chronic anxiety all these years.
These are some of the many subtle ways in which an anxiety disorder can adversely affect your ability to function in your day-to-day life. If you find yourself dealing with any of these issues, consider contacting an experienced therapist to help you effectively manage your symptoms and mitigate their effects.