You’re not alone if you’ve been more stressed than usual. We’re living in scary times, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and worried. Life is challenging, and in addition to concerns you might have about the country or world events, there’s the everyday stuff to worry about.
Did you feed the dog before you left the house? Does your kiddo have lunch money in his account? There’s that office party this weekend, and you’re feeling nervous about making a good impression. Did your loved one make it home safely? You won’t be able to sleep until you hear from them.
We all experience the occasional sleepless night when we can’t seem to turn off our brain, and it’s pretty normal to feel some anxiety from time to time about things happening around us, but how do you know when you’re “worrying” is something to worry about? At what point should you seek professional support for your anxiety?
Simi Psychological Group is a team of therapists specializing in anxiety and panic therapy treatment. Our team of licensed professionals is here to let you know that you do not have to go through it alone. Anxiety does not have to be something that you cope with; it can be something that you heal from. To learn more about our anxiety therapists and their services in Simi Valley, call (805) 842-1994. Our team has brought together some warning signs brought on by anxiety that you should seek professional treatment.
- You are experiencing panic attacks – Panic attacks are like anxiety on steroids. It’s that overwhelming feeling of terror or dread. You might feel dizzy or feel like you can’t breathe. You might feel like the walls are closing in on you, or you will faint. You might even feel physically sick. You feel out of control and powerless to stop it. You’re spinning. Panic attacks are extremely unsettling and scary. Once you’ve had one, you may even begin to worry about having another, which increases the chance of it happening. If you begin experiencing panic attacks, especially more than one, that’s a good time to call reinforcements and seek professional support.
- It’s interfering with your personal or professional relationships – When anxiety starts taking over, it can greatly impact your relationships. You’re more likely to cancel plans with friends or even miss work or school when you struggle with severe anxiety. Having a panic attack, for example, right before a big meeting can leave you feeling shaken and not at your best. And meeting that friend for coffee when you can’t stop worrying about car accidents on the way to the coffee shop? Safer to cancel, right? Severe anxiety leads to avoiding controlling what’s happening to you. This is one way that anxiety can significantly impact personal and professional relationships and responsibilities.
- You can’t concentrate- Severe anxiety can make it extremely difficult to focus on anything else. You can’t concentrate. You keep worrying and overthinking, or the knot in your stomach just won’t go away. The dread permeates your core, and you feel paralyzed or frozen, yet you’re moving through your day because you must. You’re not present, and you’re not focused. You feel trapped inside your head and can’t help but chastise yourself, which doesn’t help. When anxiety becomes so extreme that you can’t concentrate or feel like an active participant in your life, it’s a good idea to reach out for help.
- You’re not sleeping- If you’re lying awake more nights than not, unable to turn off your brain, it’s time to get some help. Lack of sleep has a cumulative effect and can lead to additional emotional and physical health issues. How can you function the way your life requires when you’re exhausted, and your emotional resources are all tapped out? And the longer you go without a solid good night’s rest, the more vulnerable you are to physical ailments. And speaking of…
- You’re experiencing physical symptoms- Anxiety can appear physically in many ways. Some of the most common are stomach, gastrointestinal issues, and headaches. Muscle tension from constant anxiety can also lead to fatigue, muscle spasm, and back, neck, or shoulder pain. Heart palpitations, racing heartbeat, shortness of breath- these, too- are how anxiety impacts you physically. If you notice your physical health taking a turn for the worse due to stress, seeking professional support is essential.
- You’re no longer doing the things you used to enjoy- Are you avoiding the things you used to love doing? Suddenly, the book club seems overwhelming. You can’t bring yourself to go. Or the thought of taking the kids out to the park brings panic. You used to be so active, but lately, you are finding it harder to leave the house. If the sense of dread that you experience becomes so all-consuming that you feel like you want to crawl out of your skin, get support.
- You’re avoiding routine tasks- We may not enjoy them, but things like grocery shopping, paying the bills, doing laundry, going to appointments, and so on are part of life. But for people with severe anxiety, these tasks can become unbearable. The mere thought of going to the grocery store triggers a panic attack. If you find that a Target run makes you want to curl up in a ball sobbing, it’s a sign.
- You’re experiencing thoughts of worthlessness, shame, or hopelessness- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, despair, humiliation, and self-degradation go hand in hand with clinical anxiety. You’re feeling overwhelmed, stuck, sometimes “crazy” (you’re not crazy, by the way), and helpless. You might be asking yourself, “what’s wrong with me?” and judging yourself mercilessly. Anxiety can have a crippling effect on one’s overall mental health and well-being. As these feelings intensify, you begin to feel more and more isolated. You can’t seem to “get it together,” and you don’t know what to do or whom to turn to. Help is available, and it’s time to seek treatment if you’ve had any of these thoughts or feelings.
- You’re having suicidal thoughts– You feel like something’s seriously wrong with you, and you don’t know why. You might have thoughts of self-harm, and in dark moments, you may even begin to have thoughts of suicide. You want this pain to end. If you find yourself in this place, do not pass-go; get help immediately.
Clinical anxiety is a prevalent issue, but when you’re the one going through it, it can make you feel completely alone. The question of when to seek professional help comes down to how you think your anxiety impacts your everyday life and overall quality of life.
If you have experienced any of the above indications, please know that you don’t have to keep feeling this way. You don’t have to continue to suffer. Mental health professionals can provide information, resources, strategies, and compassionate support to help see you through it. If you can relate to any warning signs above, seek professional help. Anxiety is very treatable. And you are not alone!
To get started, reach out to the team of licensed anxiety therapists at Simi Psychological Group. Our team in Simi Valley is here to help you regain control of your life from the grasp of your anxiety. To speak with one of our therapists, contact us at (805) 842-1994.