Recognizing the Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health issue in teens and adults. Life experiences that may cause above average stress can trigger symptoms of anxiety, such as an important exam, job interview, big meeting, or public speaking. Having stress during those situations is perfectly common, and sometimes those big events can trigger anxiety and it will heighten the feeling of stress and even cause you to not do the event at all. When those symptoms occur without warning or stay long after the event has passed, that is when you may want to seek help.

What are Symptoms of Anxiety?

Anxiety can present itself in many different ways. Sometimes past events that caused a lot of trauma in your life can cause you to develop symptoms of an anxiety disorder. You could even have a lot of big changes happening that trigger symptoms. These are some of the common ways anxiety presents itself:

  • Increased stress levels.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Feeling on edge or angry.
  • Feeling isolated.
  • Freezing, or spacing out for long periods of time.
  • Disrupted Eating Habits.
  • Racing thoughts.

When Should I Seek Help?

You should seek help anytime you feel you may need help or support managing your symptoms. It is normal to seek help and guidance, and a mental health counselor/therapist can offer useful guides for managing your symptoms.

Sometimes however, symptoms grow worse over time and become unmanageable without help. If you experience any of the following it may be time to seek the help of your primary care doctor or a mental health specialist:

  • Thoughts of suicide.
  • Symptoms are getting worse or increasing over time.

What Will My Treatment Plan Look Like?

Treatment of anxiety varies from person to person, but you will work closely with your counselor/therapist to develop the right plan for your individual needs. Counselors/therapists will oftentimes begin with a more holistic approach without medication. Many treatment plans will involve getting to the root of your symptoms and learning how to best tackle them. While these are some common ways to help manage your symptoms, it is important to remember that all treatment plans can vary from person to person:

  • Creating and sticking to a simple routine.
  • Creating social support to combat isolation.
  • Proper diet and exercise.
  • Managing caffeine intake.
  • Spending more time outdoors.
  • Taking vitamins.

Sometimes you may need more help managing your symptoms and you may be prescribed medication along with your treatment plan. There is nothing wrong with having medication, as it helps you manage your symptoms. Just remember that receiving medication is not a cure for symptoms but a way to help manage them. It is very important to communicate with your mental health provider and be as open and honest as possible so they know how the medication is affecting you. They are here to help you, and it is their goal for you to succeed, so communication is key.

There is nothing wrong with having difficulty managing your anxiety symptoms on your own. In some cases, your symptoms can be because of another underlying condition. It is important to remember you are not alone and there are many others like you that are seeking help. Keep in mind, these are not the only symptoms and ways to treat anxiety. If you feel you may be suffering from anxiety, consult your primary care physician or mental health specialist.

If you feel you are in crisis or need to speak to someone right away, call NorthKey’s 24/7 crisis line at 859-331-3292.

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