Feeling a certain level of anxiety over big stressors or certain life events is totally normal. However, if you find that your fear or worry does not go away and, in fact, gets worse over time, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling and often passes quickly, while severe anxiety can seriously affect your day-to-day life. If you are finding your anxiety unmanageable, can’t identify the cause of your anxious feelings or if you are suffering from physical symptoms (such as heart palpations, fatigue, sweaty hands, upset stomach, or insomnia), it may be time to get help.
Stress is an important part of life. In fact, it can be critical to our survival. Stress triggers the “fight or flight” response that can let us know we are in danger. However, too much stress for too long can compromise our mental and physical health. Everyday stressors, such as work, finances, family issues, or relationships can spiral out of control. If you are feeling overloaded or struggling to keep up with the demands of your life, you might be experiencing stress. Stress can be controlled, but recognizing stress symptoms can be elusive. Things like low energy, headaches, insomnia, low self-esteem, difficulty relaxing, constant worrying, feeling overwhelmed or changes in appetite can all be symptoms of stress (among many others). If you think you might be dealing with chronic stress, working with a qualified mental health professional can help.
If you feel you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It is a free, 24-hour hotline, at 1.800.273.TALK (8255). Your call will be connected to the crisis center nearest to you. If you are in an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.