This article will provide a comprehensive guide to the question “Do I have Anxiety” and assess the symptoms of anxiety. It will also look into the types of anxiety disorders and some potential anxiety treatments.
Do I Have Anxiety Test?
Given below is a list of questions that can help you identify if you have signs of generalized anxiety disorder or GAD. The most commonly used tool for measuring anxiety is the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale.
On a scale of 1 to 5, rate the following questions where 1 implies to never and 5 implies to very often.
- Do you worry about various things?
- Do you get annoyed and/or easily irritated when anxious?
- Do you find it challenging to control your worries?
- Do your worry or anxiety make you feel lethargic or fatigued?
- Does your worry or anxiety interrupt falling and/or staying asleep?
- Does worry or anxiety make it difficult to concentrate?
- Do you feel on edge?
- Do you worry about how better you do things?
- Do you worry about the future?
- Do you worry about things that have already occurred in the past?
- Do your muscles get tensed when you feel anxious or worried?
- Do you experience recurring thoughts that are discomforting and unwanted?
- Do you observe strong, strong fear, inducing panic, shortening breath, chest aches, a pounding heart, nausea, shaking, sweating, dizziness, and/or fear of dying?
- Do you ever avoid places or social environments for fear of panic?
- Do you experience repetitive behaviors to control your worries (locking doors, counting, washing hands, repetitive words, etc.)?
This questionnaire is NOT a diagnostic tool. This questionnaire can be used for personal knowledge but not the diagnosis. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health practitioner or doctor. Furthermore, if you experience any of these somatic symptoms, you must consult a doctor, as these symptoms could be due to some other underlying illness.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal stress response and sometimes is beneficial in certain situations. It helps in alerting people of some dangers and helps them prepare and focus on the way out.
However, anxiety disorders differ from the normal feelings of anxiousness and nervousness, as it includes excessive anxiety and fear.
Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder and influence almost 30 % of adults at some stage of their lives.
Anxiety disorders can cause people to avoid triggering situations or places or things that worsen the symptoms. These disorders can influence job performance, school productivity, and personal relationships.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders include the disorders which share the characteristics of excessive anxiety and fear and additional behavioral disturbances.
DSM 5 includes the following anxiety disorders:
- Selective Mutism
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Panic Disorder
- Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder
- Substance or Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder
- Anxiety Disorder Due to Other Medical Condition
The most commonly observed anxiety disorder is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), so in the next few sections, we’ll be looking into the details of symptoms and treatments.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) include the following:
- Extreme fear or anxiety induced by the actual or forecasted exposure to two or more of the following conditions:
- Being in closed-off places.
- Being alone outside of the house.
- Standing in line or a crowd.
- Being in open areas.
- Using public transportation.
- They avoid the situations because the person believes they may feel stuck or help might be unavailable in the situation, that the person begins to panic.
- The above-mentioned situations usually induce anxiety or fear.
- The situations are avoided, require help from a loved one, or are endured with a strong fear.
- The fear is out of proportion to the possibility of danger.
- The avoidance or fear is persistent, as it stays for at least six or more months.
- The avoidance or fear causes significant distress.
- If another medical condition occurs along with the disorder, the fear or avoidance is undeniably excessive.
A panic attack is characterized by the rush of emotional and physical symptoms due to severe fear and anxiety, causing a state of intense arousal, which may exhibit itself as physical pain and constricting feeling in the heart.
Panic attacks can make them feel like they are dying, and the feeling of impending doom is a big symptom of a panic attack. The diagnostic criteria for panic attacks as described in DSM 5 are as follows:
A panic attack is a sudden surge of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes, and during this time, four(or more) of the following symptoms are exhibited:
Note: The sudden surge can happen from a state of calm or anxiousness.
- Shaking or trembling
- Palpitations, rapid heart rate, or pounding heart.
- Shortness of breath
- Choking feelings.
- Chest pain or congestion feeling.
- Nausea or abdominal distress.
- Heat or chills sensation.
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- Paresthesias (feeling of numbness or tingling sensations).
- Fear of losing control or feeling like they are going crazy.
- Feel like dying
- derealization (unreal) or depersonalization (detachment from one’s self).
Note: At least one of the panic attacks has been followed by a month (or more) of one or both the following:
- Persistent worry or concern regarding additional attacks and their impacts (Going crazy, loss of control, and having a heart attack).
- A significant maladaptive behavioral change related to the attacks (strategies to avoid panic attacks, like exercises and active lifestyle).
Any other mental disorder does not explain the disturbance ( panic attacks do not happen as a response to social situations, as in social anxiety disorder; in response to the phobic objects, as in particular phobia; obsessions, as in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); in response to traumatic events, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or in response to separation from an attachment figure, like separation anxiety disorder).
What Causes Anxiety?
Researchers are still discovering the exact cause of anxiety. However, it is likely caused by a combination of factors. These factors may include environmental and genetic factors and brain chemistry. Additionally, researchers are of the opinion that the areas of the brain controlling fear are typically affected when a person is experiencing anxiety.
Ongoing research about anxiety aims to take a deeper look at the parts of the brain involved with anxiety and panic.
Factors that can increase the risk of anxiety disorder are listed and described below:
- Genetics: If someone in the family has an anxiety disorder, then you have a high chance of developing one too. The risk is higher if either of your parents has anxiety.
- Stress: Everyone experiences stress in various stages of their lives. Excessive or unresolved tension can increase the risk of developing chronic anxiety.
- Trauma: Severe trauma, like wars, or child abuse, increase the chances of developing anxiety. It can be experienced by the victim themselves, or a close one.
- Personality type: Some personality types are more susceptible to anxiety. Busy, high-achievers are more at risk of developing anxiety.
- Sex or gender: women are twice more susceptible as men to have a generalized anxiety disorder and other relevant conditions.
Treatment For Anxiety
After you are diagnosed with anxiety, you can explore the treatment options with your doctor. For some people, medical treatment may not be necessary, considering they may have mild anxiety. Lifestyle changes can help in coping with the symptoms.
Whereas in moderate to severe cases, treatment can help in overcoming the symptoms and lead to manage daily life.
Treatment for anxiety includes two classes: medication and psychotherapy.
Medications usually include antidepressants, sedatives, and anxiolytic drugs. Most commonly, anxiolytic drugs are used. People often develop anxiety due to various reasons. So, Xanax and Valium can treat the symptoms. However, these are highly addictive drugs and can also cause extreme dependence. Therefore, lesser addictive drugs like fluoxetine and sertraline can be used to treat anxiety.
Meeting the therapist or counselor can help in learning tools to use and coping strategies for anxiety. Some of the natural remedies or coping strategies and techniques to manage anxiety are described below:
- Meditation and Mindfulness Activities: These activities greatly help reduce the chaotic thoughts and bring a sense of groundedness and calm in the people. It is most effective in relieving stress and anxiety.
- Physically Active Lifestyle: Improving the physical movements and adding exercise and walking regimen to your routine can help manage your anxiety.
- Healthy Diet: Including healthy and nutritious meals in your daily routine can help you keep anxiety at bay. Some foods like salmon, turmeric, yogurt, dark chocolate, green tea, and chamomile can help in controlling anxiety. Additionally, stay away from anxiety-causing drinks and foods, typically coffee and tea.
- Get Adequate Sleep: sleep disturbances are a major sign that you may be experiencing anxiety. However, making conscious efforts to manage your sleep pattern and the cycle can help in managing your anxiety concerns.
This blog provided a comprehensive guide to the question “Do I have Anxiety” and assessed the symptoms of anxiety. It also looked into the types of anxiety disorders and some potential anxiety treatments.
Anxiety generally is not a medical condition but a natural response essential for survival when a person finds themselves in danger. An anxiety disorder may develop when the response is more intense and exaggerated.
If you have any anxiety disorder, let us know in the comments how you manage it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Do I Have Anxiety Test
Can you self-diagnose anxiety?
No, you can not self-diagnose anxiety. It is likely that you observe some signs and symptoms of anxiety. If you have concerns about anxiety, it is advised to seek the help of mental health professional. An accurate diagnosis is made through clinical examination and assessment. The self-tests can only be used for personal purposes; however, to get the confirmed diagnosis, consult a psychologist or psychiatrist.
How do you know if you have test anxiety?
- How often have you been affected by nervousness, anxiousness, or felt on edge over the last two weeks?
- How often have you been affected or not being able to stop or control worrying over the last two weeks?
- How often have you been affected by worrying excessively about different things over the past two weeks?
- How often have your worries and stress hindered your studying and learning process?
What are the 5 signs of anxiety?
- Hyperventilation, rapid heart rate
- Trouble focusing or thinking about anything else.
- Having a sense of impending doom, danger, or panic.
- Restlessness, nervousness, or tension.
Is there a way to measure anxiety?
The STAI or state-trait anxiety inventory is the most commonly researched and extensively used measure of general anxiety and is available in various languages. Numerous clinicians use the STAI scale under rheumatologic conditions. The measure is comparatively brief to administer and is affordable in scoring or interpretation.