Sometimes when we talk about mental health problems, we speak about them generally and don’t necessarily get specific on what those problems actually are. Many people experience depression and anxiety without realizing it, especially when struggling with addictions.
Anxiety is something many of us experience. Some of us feel anxious every day, some of us sporadically. Some of us experience months of worsened anxiety, particularly when depressed. Some people will go years feeling fine to then have their anxiety symptoms reappear.
How do we recognize anxiety? Anxiety can be complex but has some symptoms and effects that are easily recognizable.
Some people wake up to a rush of negative thoughts that hit them immediately upon waking. Some people wake up worried about the upcoming day, or logistics they have to sort out. They might wake up ruminating about whatever they were upset about the night before. Sometimes we carry issues we’re anxious about and wake up worried about them every day. Sometimes we will wake up upset about a different issue every day.
Some of us experience anxiety accompanied by depression, and we wake up to an onslaught of suicidal thoughts, accompanied by feelings of despair and hopelessness. Our inner voice tells us how inadequate we are, or it replays vivid memories of our mistakes. Sometimes we’ll wake up immediately thinking about the things we’re most embarrassed about or ashamed of.
For a lot of us, these anxious thoughts and feelings stay with us for the rest of the day. Being consumed with these negative, worrisome, sometimes disturbing thoughts can be really distressing. Sometimes our minds race and we feel like we can’t slow them down. We might think or say the same things repeatedly. Sometimes we experience confusion and overwhelm and can’t get our thoughts straight. We might have a hard time speaking, struggle to get our words out, or not be able to speak at all. Conversely, we might talk more than usual and even feel our thoughts and words are out of control.
For many of us, we experience anxiety in physical ways. We have a hard time catching our breath, or we might breathe really fast, shallow breaths. Our hearts beat faster. We might feel a physical nervousness in our chest, stomach, hands and feet. Sometimes we might feel panic as a wave of heat or cold rising in our bodies, or as an intense panic attack, which can feel similar to a heart attack.
Many of us struggling with anxiety have insomnia and other sleep problems. Some of us have a hard time making ourselves eat or have no appetite, while some of us overeat when anxious.
Recognizing anxiety is an important step in the healing process. Being able to identify what we’re experiencing can help us to then seek out healing solutions.
The community at Enlightened Solutions can help you to identify anxiety and work with you to manage it. Call (833) 801-LIVE.