Experiencing anxiety about situations and things is a very normal part of life. It can help us make the right decisions by avoiding harmful situations, and it forces us to think through complex situations in order to avoid the feeling. Minor, everyday anxiety is like the little angel on your shoulder giving you advice on what to do and what to avoid. It sometimes works with your “gut feeling” so you can make the best choice.
This functional value of anxiety can be great, but when does it become a disorder? Dwelling on anxious thoughts and feelings can be a problem and really diminish your quality of life. When you avoid most or all social situations, or refuse to meet new people, you could be suffering from social anxiety and might not even know it. If you have an inexplicable fear of sense of impending doom and disaster, you might have generalized anxiety disorder. And if you fall into pits of despair and feel out of touch with reality, you could be experiencing panic attacks.
It’s when normal anxiety transforms from the tiny angel on your shoulder into a huge, overwhelming figure that digs its claws into your back and shoulders and doesn’t let go that anxiety is a problem. It’s when the disorder suffocates you.
Stay tuned to learn more about anxiety disorders and what you can do if you think you have one! If you know you have one, what advice can you give that has helped you overcome the disorder? Let us know in the comments!