Anxiety disorders are not only very common, but for some people, they can affect their way of life. Over 40 million adults in the US suffer from anxiety disorders. However, mild anxiety can be very easy to deal with, and most of us have experienced it at least once in our lives.
But what about debilitating anxiety? And how can you overcome it?
The definition of debilitating anxiety is extreme stress or feelings of fear that can lead to panic attacks. This sort of anxiety is severe and can negatively impact the way one lives their life. Luckily there are ways to overcome debilitating anxiety, and in this article, we will discuss how you can identify and treat it.
How To Identify Debilitating Anxiety
We all experience anxiety now and then, and usually, it’s easy to manage. But debilitating anxiety can often come with symptoms that aren’t so pleasant. If you experience these symptoms, then you most likely are suffering from severe anxiety.
Shortness Of Breath
If you feel like you can’t breathe when you get anxious, it can make you panic harder than you already are. You feel like you can’t breathe because when the body goes into fight or flight mode, it’s readying you to get out of dangerous situations, even if there isn’t any danger. So it can feel like your chest is getting tighter.
Feeling like you can’t breathe may make your anxiety worse, which is why it’s essential to focus on your breathing when you’re anxious.
Upset Stomach And Acid Reflux
Believe it or not, debilitating anxiety can make you feel sick. If you’re constantly stressed out, it can harm your body, especially your stomach.
Research shows that stress causes a change in your brain receptors, which makes your body react differently to acid. This can cause acid reflux and even stomach aches. Even worse, at times, excessive anxiety can even lead to you developing ulcers.
Overthinking excessively is a sign of debilitating anxiety. Sure all of us have our moments of overthinking, but if it’s keeping you worried constantly or making it harder for you to sleep, it could be a problem.
Overthinking can include:
- Thoughts of dread.
- Worrying that something terrible will happen.
- Overthinking about something someone may have said.
If you find yourself overthinking about the smallest of situations, you may have severe anxiety.
At times people with debilitating anxiety can even have a full-blown panic attack just because of overthinking.
If you find yourself not sleeping properly at night due to anxious thoughts, you might be suffering from severe anxiety. A lot of people find it hard to fall asleep at night because their thoughts keep racing.
Feelings of fear can make you feel like you can’t fall asleep, but luckily there are many ways in which you can calm down before bed. Nevertheless, it’s best to deal with such issues because nighttime anxiety may lead to sleep disorders such as insomnia if not treated.
Debilitating anxiety may make you feel like you need to distance yourself from social situations. This can be due to feeling that something terrible may happen or just feeling anxious because you’re meeting people.
Research shows that people with anxiety may withdraw from social situations to feel comforted. But if this withdrawal keeps going on, they may develop social anxiety.
High levels of stress can cause a person to sweat more, especially if they are in an anxiety-inducing situation. This may be on the palms of your hand, your feet, or just sweating all over.
This is again because your flight or fight response is activated. Studies show that the adrenaline rush you get from being in fight or flight mode can activate your sweat glands, which is why people tend to get sweaty when they’re anxious.
How Can You Treat Debilitating Anxiety?
Now that we have talked about the symptoms of debilitating anxiety let’s move onto the treatments. Here are anxiety tips and treatments that can make life easier for you.
Getting therapy is the best way for you to deal with severe anxiety. Not only will your therapist talk to you about the things which cause your anxiety, but they will also help you manage your symptoms.
Symptom management plays a huge part in dealing with your anxiety. Your therapist will get you to identify your triggers and work out ways to calm yourself down with things like breathing exercises.
Another excellent therapy exercise that helps with anxiety is progressive muscle relaxation. This is when you tense and relax different parts of your body while listening to the audio your therapist provides. Breathing exercises can also help you manage anxiety, especially if you feel like you can’t breathe during a panic attack.
There is no doubt that a healthy lifestyle can bring many positive changes to your life. It can also help you manage your anxiety much better. Sleep, exercise, and healthy eating are the main pillars of good mental health.
Just by making small changes like working out daily, eating healthy, and sleeping 7-8 hours each day, you’ll find that stress becomes much easier to deal with.
If you use drugs like alcohol or nicotine, know that it can affect your anxiety negatively and may even make it worse. However, by making healthy changes to your life, you will feel less anxious.
However, if your anxiety is severe, you may want to seek professional help.
Sometimes for severe cases of anxiety, your doctor may recommend medication. These medications can include antidepressants or benzodiazepines, and several others. Make sure to not use any anxiety medications without consulting a professional first.
Meditation is another excellent way to deal with anxiety. Not only does it help you clear up your thoughts, but it is a perfect way to practice your breathing. You can even chant affirmations while you meditate to uplift yourself.
Anxiety can make you feel horrible, but luckily there are many ways in which you can manage it. We hope these anxiety tips help you find some relief and become a happier, healthier you.