Worrying, anxiety and when it's too much

Everyone experiences worry in some way during daily life. You may feel understandably anxious as a reaction to ordinary urgent situations, for example, if you are running late for work. However, you may also feel anxious when you are worrying about something that may or may not happen, a threat that only exists in your imagination. 

18 out of 100 people

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders such as PTSD, panic attacks, phobias, and general anxiety disorder affect 18% of people in the U.S. each year, making them the most common mental health problems.

Anxiety becomes an anxiety disorder when overwhelming fear and worry prevent you from being able to live a normal life. Anxiety disorders can affect anyone and may begin at any age.

People with anxiety disorders are unable to control their own disturbing thoughts. They may start to avoid everyday situations that they fear will trigger more stress.

Anyone in Ventura County who has a question about mental health should seek help immediately, the same way you would ask for help when we have any other health question. If ignored and untreated, extreme anxiety can prevent you from being able to participate in daily life.

Symptoms to Look Out For

Normal anxiety can become a problem when symptoms don't go away and start to interfere with the rest of your life. Signs of anxiety include:

  • Extreme worrying
  • Feelings of fear or dread
  • Trembling
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle tension
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Perspiration
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping

If these symptoms last for an extended period of time, you may have an anxiety disorder. Some of these may also be signs of physical problems, so check with your health care provider about that possibility as well.

Video by Tri-County GLAD