Do I have anxiety?

This question may have popped up in your mind in the past, when you found yourself ruminating over something for several days. And now, when all we can do is think about keeping ourselves safe from Covid, you might find yourself wondering about it more often. News outlets are rightfully encouraging us to focus on our mental health, but how do you know if you have a condition that warrants attention. Take this quick self-test to find out:

  1. Have you been worrying excessively for more than six months?
  2. Do you find your worry difficult to control
  3. Have you experienced least four of the following:
        1. Sleeping problems – either sleeping too much or difficulty sleeping
        2. Edginess or restlessness
        3. Tiredness
        4. Irritability – more than usual
        5. Stiffness in your muscles
        6. Difficulty focussing or concentrating on things
  4. Your anxiety is causing problems in your relationships, work or just day to day life
  5. This is not the effect of  a medical condition that you have or any medications or drugs that you use

If you can say yes to all or most of these, then you could be dealing with anxiety, or more specifically, Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

This is different from the anxiety that we all experience as humans, that is not all-consuming. Anxiety is not always a bad thing. As I talk about on my Anxiety Treatment page, anxiety is a primal response to keep ourselves safe from danger. While we may not need to worry about wild animals like our cave ancestors did, healthy anxiety makes sure that we have food in the house before it runs out, that we take care of important things before they lapse and become bigger, and that we keep our children safe and healthy. If we didn’t worry when a little toddler was walking near a swimming pool, it could lead to terrible consequences. We do need to be hyper vigilant in some aspects and times in our life.

But when this goes beyond the necessary, and spills over into every single aspect of your life that you no longer relish it, then you know it is a problem. If your worry about your child’s health and safety is so much that you can no longer enjoy your child’s childhood, then you may need help. Similarly, if every thing seems to make you jittery to the point where your start getting physical symptoms, and the quality of your work and interactions with others are impacted, you may benefit from learning techniques to cope with it.

 

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