Checklist for Self-Diagnosis for Anxiety

Healthy people experience anxiety every day, in small amounts and for short periods. A little bit of anxiety can make life more exciting and might even give someone a business or sports edge. Too much anxiety can interfere with living life and enjoying health.

Anxiety disorder has an incidence of 44 cases per 1000 adult males and females according to the World Health Organization. This statistic represents people with high enough levels of anxiety to be considered suffering from the disorder.

When everyday anxiety turns into every minute anxiety, the system is broken and the disorder can take over. Or, in the case of someone in an extreme environment like a war, the system will break, causing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a type of chronic anxiety that includes recurrent thoughts and flashbacks. Many of the symptoms can be the same as anxiety disorder.

If anxiety is brief, such as right before getting on a roller coaster ride, then it is of no medical or psychological concern. If the anxiety starts to be noticeable in situations that are not obviously stressful, or if the stressful situation continues, then it might be time to do a personal inventory to make sure the line to anxiety disorder is not being crossed.

Put a check by each of the statements that apply to you. Count up the checks when you have finished the survey.

Biological Symptoms of Anxiety

Consider getting help if these symptoms last more than 20 minutes:

  • My heart feels like it is pounding (tachycardia)
  • My heart feels like it is jumping in my chest
  • I can’t catch my breath
  • I keep sweating, and it’s not cold
  • My stomach is in knots
  • I feel I can almost never fully relax.

Emotional/Social Symptoms of Anxiety

Note level of severity and consider getting help if indicated:

  • My anxiety prevents me from going out or from talking to people I want to talk to
  • My anxiety prevents me from leaving my house
  • My anxiety has kept me from going to work
  • I seem to have one thought that goes through my mind
  • I have felt anxious most of the time for more than one week
  • I feel like I’m going to die soon

If you have two or more of any of these symptoms, you may want to consider professional help. If you can change your life to avoid the stressors, then that would be a first positive step. If you feel you can’t, then intervention is in order. Help will likely come in a combination of services from a medical doctor as well as a counseling professional. They can help you handle symptoms while making whatever practical and perceptual changes necessary to reduce anxiety before it starts to have serious consequences.

The body and mind can not functional healthily if the body is enduring unending anxiety. If a person feels anxious a preponderance of the time or if the anxiety is interfering with life, then it’s time to get help.

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