What Anxiety Feels Like

What Anxiety Feels Like

Anxiety is a crippling emotion. It comes in many forms and levels of intensity. It happens to approximately 40 million people in the U.S alone. It can sneak up on you suddenly to your surprise or it can hang on to you day in and day out with no break. No two people experience anxiety the same way. It can take over your life. Anxiety can happen to anyone, anytime, at any age. No one is exempt. It occurs in both men and women. No matter how much or little education one has or what income bracket, it affects everyone equally. Even the toughest athletes are among those who deal with this.
People experience a variety of feelings depending upon the type of anxiety they have. There are seven types of anxiety disorders according to the DSM V (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
Chronic anxiety day in and out feels like an overwhelming sense of doom about everything that happens. Negativity reigns in the mind of this individual seeing situations as if some type of disaster is about to happen. This is what is known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Someone who may not feel like they can’t breathe suddenly or feel like they may be dying is a common feeling when experiencing a panic attack. Some describe it as they feel like they are having a heart attack. These frequently occur without any warning making it difficult to function on a daily basis. It’s a very scary feeling. Without treatment it usually gets worse not better.
Feeling overwhelmed and out of control like there is no hope and no way out is a common feeling among those who experience anxiety. Sleep becomes difficult now matter what one tries. Becoming more irritable and angry rears its ugly head, taking it out on others. Concentration suffers and so does work. Then the fear of being fired takes over.
These are just a few examples of how anxiety feels. I specialize working with people who experience anxiety disorders and have dealt with this first – hand. The good news is there is help and hope. The right professional help is the key.
American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-5®), Fifth Edition 800 Maine Avenue, SW Suite 900, Washington, DC 20024