When Does Normal Worrying Tip Over into Anxiety?

When Does Normal Worrying Tip Over into Anxiety

Everybody worries. About different things, and to different extents, but there are very few people on this planet who could genuinely admit that they have nothing to worry about.

And ‘everyday’ worrying is not a problem in itself. If you’re not sure you have enough petrol in the car, if you have enough money to buy the groceries, or if you remembered to tell your husband to pick up the kids at school – these are all legitimate things to worry about. Along with many other things! For most of us, worrying is a normal way of processing life around us, or of showing that something is important to you.

So when does ‘normal’ worrying tip over the edge into an anxiety disorder? Essentially, when you find you are worrying about almost everything, particularly minor things that would not perturb the general majority of the population, or things that have no direct effect on you. If you have anxiety disorder, you will worry for much more of the time than people who occasionally have concerns. Your thoughts might get into a rut, or cycle, when your thoughts churn around and around and you simply can’t stop thinking and stressing.

If you have anxiety disorder, your worry can start to interfere with your job and social life. It’s something you can’t escape. It won’t go away – you don’t worry just about one or two things, but about everything, even things that you can’t control or aren’t even directly related to you. And the worry never lifts, but goes on for months and months. Anxiety might start to show in other ways, such as difficulty sleeping, mood swings and an inability to be still and relax. You may be aware that your worrying is getting out of control, but not be sure how to make it stop.

Another sign might be that solutions that help most people to overcome worries stop working for you. Many people find relief in quite simple things – a fun night out with friends, a relaxing bubble bath, meditation, listening to music, exercise, a funny movie or television show, or sharing their concerns with friends and family. If you have an anxiety disorder these things may help at the time, but the effect will not last.

Anxiety disorder is relentless. It’s overwhelming and exhausting. If you feel that your worrying is getting out of control and may be becoming an anxiety disorder, then, please seek help. You don’t have to feel like this.

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