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How to Cope With Extreme Anxiety

While occasional worry is a natural aspect of life, if your anxiety feels unmanageable or overpowering, it may indicate a mental health disorder—fortunately, anxiety-based issues are often highly treatable. Discover the distinction between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder, and explore steps to address severe anxiety if it’s adversely affecting your well-being, offering avenues toward relief and support.

Signs of Extreme Anxiety

Extreme anxiety may appear in your body physically or emotionally, below is a list of these symptoms compiled by Verywell Mind. These symptoms may appear as:

Physical Symptoms

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Sweating or trembling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Gastrointestinal issues (stomachaches or digestive issues)
  • Sleep difficulties, such as trouble falling or staying asleep

Emotional Symptoms

  • Intense feelings of fear or worry that are irrational or disproportionate to an actual threat
  • Increased feelings of irritability and agitation
  • Withdrawal from social situations or only enduring these situations with great anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating or problems completing your typical everyday tasks
  • Interpersonal and relationship issues
  • Thoughts of suicide

Panic Attacks

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Choking sensations
  • Nausea
  • Trembling
  • Chills
  • A sense of unreality
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • A feeling of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Feeling as if you are dying

Numerous anxiety disorders exist, and if you’re experiencing symptoms, your healthcare provider or therapist can assess them to identify the specific type you might have. Here, Verywell Mind has listed the different kinds of Anxiety disorders.

  • Generalized anxiety disorder: This condition is characterized by feelings of excessive worry about various events, activities, and situations. These feelings are accompanied by other symptoms, including restlessness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Called OCD for short, this condition involves unwanted recurrent thoughts combined with compulsive, repetitive behaviors. For people with OCD, engaging in repetitive behaviors can help temporarily ease the feelings of anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts.5 
  • Panic disorder: This anxiety disorder is marked by intense and recurrent panic that occurs unexpectedly. During a panic attack, people experience extreme anxiety, feelings of terror, and physical symptoms of fear, often feeling that they are losing control or dying.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder: People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience extreme anxiety and distress due to being exposed to a traumatic event. Symptoms of PTSD can include hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, and intrusive memories of the trauma.
  • Social anxiety disorder: This disorder is characterized by feelings of extreme anxiety in social situations. People with this condition often try to limit or avoid social settings, which can negatively affect their ability to function in relationships, work, and school.

Living with severe anxiety poses significant challenges, but several self-help strategies can aid in symptom management. Seek social support as connecting with others can offer crucial emotional backing, especially when grappling with extreme anxiety. Engage with trusted individuals or join anxiety support groups, where sharing experiences fosters support, care, and encouragement. Embrace mindfulness practices, as evidenced by a 2019 study linking mindfulness to reduced anxiety levels; mindfulness cultivates present moment focus, diminishing anxious thoughts and promoting bodily calmness and heightened awareness. Adopt deep breathing exercises to counteract rapid breathing induced by anxiety, supported by research indicating its efficacy in alleviating anxiety symptoms. Avoidance behaviors may provide short-term relief but exacerbate anxiety in the long run; instead, confront triggers gradually, employing coping strategies and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing to mitigate anxiety’s impact while reinforcing the understanding that anxious thoughts are transient.

If you are feeling suicidal or need crisis support call 911 or text MN to 741741.

Reference: https://www.verywellmind.com/extreme-anxiety-symptoms-types-treatments-and-coping-5201901

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