How do I Know if I Have Anxiety?
You think you have an anxiety disorder. The problem is you keep second-guessing yourself. You keep asking, “but how do I know if I have anxiety?”
You haven’t gone to the doctor.
Maybe you’re worried that you’ll come off as a hypochondriac or that no one will take you seriously. I felt that way too. That is literally anxiety at work. Many anxiety sufferers describe feeling this way.
I want you to know that I believe you, and your doctor will too!!“
Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.”
Don’t Let Your Anxiety Dictate Your Health
The only way to be sure if you have an anxiety disorder is to be diagnosed by a doctor.
You will probably never feel completely ready to make that appointment. So, look at it this way; you can just grab that band-aid and yank it off, or you can pull it off slowly and draw out the experience.
If you’re anything like me, the question of having anxiety is giving you anxiety. So, a little advice from someone who has been there: make. the. appointment. You can research while you wait for your appointment date but don’t keep putting it off.
Once you’re diagnosed, your doctor will give you a lot of information about what you can expect, treatment options, types of support, and a referral to a specialist if needed.
I know. I’m starting to sound like a broken record. “I GET IT KABRINA. ANXIETY BAD. DOCTOR GOOD.” But I really can’t stress it enough.
Alright, now that I’ve shared that little tidbit, here are some tips and suggestions on how to answer the question, “How do I know if I have anxiety?” before seeing your doctor.
Document Your Anxiety
Take out a notebook or piece of paper and jot down this information. Take your notes with you to your appointment.
This page will help you keep all of your thoughts in one place, and eliminate some of the stress of the doctor’s visit.
Write down the type of anxiety and the symptoms you experience, notes, and any questions you may have.
Narrow Down Your Search
So, let’s start by narrowing down the possibilities.
Asking google, “How do I know if I have anxiety?” is going to bring up a lot of unhelpful results, as there are many types of anxiety disorders.
We are going to be looking at the five main types here. Look at the infographic below and use it to narrow down your possible affliction.
For instance, if your anxiety doesn’t stem from a traumatic event, then you can go ahead and eliminate PTSD as a possibility.
If the anxiety only takes place during social situations, and at no other time, you can go ahead and eliminate GAD.
Go through the list and eliminate the ones you know you don’t have, and write down the ones that sound familiar.
Check Your Symptoms
After you have narrowed down the list of possible types, it’s time to look at symptoms.
There are a lot of symptom lists. Therefore, it’s important to use reliable resources. Stay away from sites that talk about “anxiety cures.” These people are trying to make a quick buck off of you.
I’m going to include some of the most trusted resources for you here. While researching try to stick to sites that are backed by the government or well-known organizations.
My links are from the ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA and the National Institute of Mental Health.
Follow the links to the disorders you wrote down. Read the page and write down the symptoms you experience on your paper. Rule out any of the disorders you may have been mistaken about.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Finally, write down any symptom you experience that was not on any of the lists.
Great, now you have a pretty great idea of what your affliction is, and have a great starting point for your doctors visit. There is just one thing left to do!
You already have one form of support: me! Questions, concerns, a shoulder to cry on, you name it. While I’m pretty great , You should still find other groups to join.
There are many support groups to choose from. Give google a quick peek and search for anxiety support groups in your area.
If you just aren’t a social butterfly, that’s fine. There are social media support groups too! Join a couple. If they don’t tickle your fancy, (make you happy), then leave and join a different one.
There is no such thing as too much support.
Aside from being an awesome form of support, the groups can be a great place for research. One quick post and you will realize just how many of them have the same problems as you.
I have created an anxiety support group on Facebook! You can Join HERE.
It’s great that you are researching your affliction. I spent a lot of time with my head in the sand before taking action. Keep researching!
They say knowledge is power and that definitely applies to anxiety disorder. The more you know, the better you can treat it.
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What are your anxiety symptoms? Comment below!