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Is What I’m Feeling An Actual Disorder?

Diagnostic criteria are what treating professionals look at when a client comes to them for treatment. To have a mental illness, an individual must meet the diagnostic criteria. Similarly, one could be having a few symptoms but not meet the criteria for the actual disorder. This is often the case with common feelings of anxiety. Anxiety is often dealt with by many people. Nervousness is common but usually doesn’t impair daily functioning. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, however, is a mental illness that impairs daily functioning. It’s important to remember that while it’s a good thing that more and more people know what anxiety looks like, not everyone suffers from an actual disorder. It’s important to know what a disorder looks like and what regular feelings of anxiety are. 

Is What I’m Feeling an Actual Disorder?

Everyone can feel nervous from one time or another. This does not mean that everyone has an actual disorder, however. Chronic and clinical anxiety is very different from regular nervousness and anxious feelings. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), here are some common symptoms that all anxiety disorders share:

  • Emotional
  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Feeling tense and jumpy 
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
  • Physical
    • Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
    • Upset stomach 
    • Sweating, tremors, and twitches
    • Headaches, fatigue, and insomnia
    • Upset stomach, frequent urination, or diarrhea

Empathy for Those Diagnosed

For those that do not struggle with chronic and clinical anxiety, it’s important to remember to be mindful of how you use your words. For example, it’s not funny to joke about having a panic attack when, in reality, you just got slightly scared. People with panic attacks go through intense moments that are hard to deal with. They shouldn’t be made to feel like what they’re going through is a joke. It’s important to also remember that those with anxiety disorders are not overreacting — they’re doing the best that they can. Show them empathy and that you care for them, even if you don’t understand what they’re going through. They’ll appreciate you being there for them and by their side. 

Villa Tranquil Recovery is here for you if you think you are struggling with an anxiety disorder. We offer plenty of dual diagnosis programs for those who need them. Call our trained and experienced staff today for more information at 214-799-3080. We can’t wait to hear from you.