Diagnosing An Anxiety Disorder
Written By April 26, 2017-
There are several different anxiety disorders that people have to suffer through. But the common question that seems to come up is: does everyone who has some sort of adverse reaction to stress and anxiety also someone who has a undiagnosed disorder? The answer might not be as simple as a yes or a no, but to try and lean more heavily to one side or the other, it would appear more likely that they suffer from one of the conditions.
How to Diagnose Anxiety
In order to understand how this might be the case, you might benefit from understanding a general description of the common anxiety disorders and how they affect those that have been diagnosed with them. Once you can see (at least through the final type of disorder) how even those dealing with regular panic attacks could be undiagnosed disorder sufferer’s, we can delve more deeply into a few ways that you can combat the mounting anxieties in your life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This kind of condition is spurned by having endured something that was very traumatic and had a lasting effect on the brain in a stressful or paranoid way. The brain still struggles to come to terms with what might have been witnessed or experienced, and it manifests through panic attacks and recurring nightmares and horrid thoughts.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
This is a two-part condition. The first part involves obsession about something. To be clearer, obsessions occur in this disorder as urges, doubts, unwelcome thoughts and unwelcome mental images. The compulsion side of this disorder is the actions that the sufferer will take in order to make the obsession disappear for a time. Such as an obsession that you aren’t safe without the doors locked well, your compulsion could be to check to ensure that they are locked well several times before your mind can agree that the danger is gone.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This is kind of the catch-all of the panic disorder realm, as there are many people who seem to suffer from strong recurring bouts with social anxiety that can derail their life for a time. Without it being related to an experience from the past, or part of some relationship of obsession and compulsion, doctors have taken to throwing it into a condition known as GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder).
Panic attacks are something that are often unique and clear symptoms of an underlying disorder. While some people are diagnosed with a panic disorder, which typically just results in an excessive and unforeseeable amount of panic attacks, this is also something that tends to get lumped into GAD as well. A common occurrence with those that suffer from a panic disorder is to be unaware of what triggers an attack. The unknown about when another attack might happen becomes an anxiety trigger in and of itself, causing more and more panic attacks.
So You’ve Got Panic Attacks or Unmanageable Anxieties…
What Do You Do?
There are a few things that you can do for yourself if you feel as though you might have an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. The first thing that you need to do is to attempt to figure out where your main line of stress and anxiety is actually coming from. Getting rid of your triggers as best as you can will help you to lead a more normal life devoid (ideally) of anymore panic attacks.
Another thing that you can do is to attempt to work out a way for you to leave some of your stress behind you, or at least let it go for periods of time. Find an activity that you have to completely immerse yourself in, but something that engages your brain in a fun way. This will take your mind far from your stress (giving you a much needed break), but it won’t be unproductive for you, either.
As much as many people are unwilling to go this route, you really should seek out the expertise and experience of a licensed professional. They are going to have the skill set to properly diagnose a condition, and might have the right mental tools to teach you to combat your recurring condition. But no success can really be achieved by going that route if you aren’t willing to be open and honest about what is going on in your life, what might be causing your stress, and be willing to talk openly about your fears and feelings.
If you are not willing to seek out the advice and treatment options available from a medical professional, than at the very least you should confide in someone that you trust. Talk to them about the stresses that you have added into your life, and what you believe you are going through specifically. Your friend might not have the answers that a mental health professional would, but they are going to do whatever they can do to help you through what you are dealing with. Sometimes just knowing that someone is in your corner willing to share the load is enough to overcome even the most damaging of stress.
How Do I Know If I Have A Disorder?
The truth is, you likely won’t know on your own. Some people think that anxiety and stresses are just a commonplace uncomfortable feeling that will pass with enough time. For some of the most serious of these mental disorders, you might not be able to see your own behavior as abnormal or fear-driven (like many who suffer from OCDs).
If you feel as though you are anxious a lot of the time (or more than you believe you should be), this could be an indicator that something is amiss. Talk to someone you trust, or talk to a medical professional. They will be able to help you down a road of treatment that is suitable for you that is meant to completely eradicate your stress and anxiety, and if it can’t do that, to at the very least keep it in the background most of the time.