Most people experience anxiety in some form in their lives. It is a feeling of uneasiness and worries, usually generalized as an overreaction to a situation that only subjectively can be seen as fear-inducing. Surely you felt anxious before exams, before a job interview, or when talking to your crush for the first time. Anxiety is a normal human response, but when the symptoms are too intense or persist for a longer period, it could be diagnosed as an anxiety disorder. There are several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.
Do you think you have anxiety? Have you been troubled with fitting symptoms? Take our quiz to see if you could have an anxiety disorder. Remember: this test is not a substitute for a professional medical opinion. Reach out to a specialist if you do not feel well. It is never too late to seek help.
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders, characterized by considerable and uncontrollable feelings of anxiety and fear, causing the impairment of the person’s social, occupational, and personal function.
In a day-to-day discourse, anxiety and fear are often used interchangeably. They have distinct clinical meanings, however. Anxiety is defined as an unpleasant emotional state for which the cause is either not readily identified or perceived to be uncontrollable or unavoidable. Fear is defined as an emotional and physiological response to a recognized external threat. You could say that anxiety is more about how we feel, and fear is about how we respond to situations.
Anxiety can cause physical and cognitive symptoms, which include restlessness, irritability, fatigue, problems with concentration and focus, increased heart rate, chest pain, abdominal pain, shakiness, and a variety of other symptoms.
Generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is a common type of anxiety, defined by long-lasting anxiety, which is not focused on a particular object, situation, or event. People who have GAD experience fear and worry that isn’t specific to just one thing. They become overly concerned with everyday affairs, like health, finances, work issues, family, relationships, and death. Worry often disrupts the daily functioning of the individual. Symptoms may include excessive worry, restlessness, trouble sleeping, exhaustion, irritability, sweating, and trembling. Symptoms must be consistent and ongoing, persisting for at least six months, for a formal diagnosis of GAD. People with generalized anxiety disorder often have other disorders including other psychiatric disorders (for example, major depressive disorder), substance use disorder, obesity, and may have a history of trauma or family with GAD.
The single largest category of anxiety disorders is that of specific phobias, which includes all cases in which fear and anxiety are triggered by a specific stimulus or situation. A phobia is an intense, unreasonable, and irrational fear of or aversion to specific objects or situations, which pose little to no actual danger. Specific phobia can lead to avoidance of the object or situation, the persistence of the fear, and significant distress or problems functioning associated with the fear. Common phobias are flying, blood, water, highway driving, and tunnels. When people are exposed to their phobia, they may experience trembling, shortness of breath, or rapid heartbeat.
Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by reoccurring unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear, during which the person can experience palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, being numb, or feeling something awful is going to happen. The symptoms reach their peak in minutes, but the panic attacks can last even up to several hours. Attacks can be triggered by stress, irrational thoughts, general fear or fear of the unknown, or even exercise. However, sometimes the trigger is unclear and the attacks can arise without warning. To help prevent an attack, one can avoid the trigger. This can mean avoiding places, people, types of behaviors, or certain situations that have been known to cause a panic attack. This being said, not all attacks can be prevented. In addition to recurrent unexpected panic attacks, a diagnosis of the panic disorder requires that said attacks have chronic consequences: either worry over the attacks’ potential implications, persistent fear of future attacks, or significant changes in behavior related to the attacks.
Agoraphobia is the specific type of anxiety about being in a place or situation where escape is difficult or embarrassing or where help may be unavailable. These situations can include open spaces, public transit, being in a crowd or simply being outside the person’s home. A common manifestation involves needing to be in constant view of a door or other escape route. People affected by agoraphobia will go to great lengths to avoid anxiety-inducing situations. In severe cases, some may never leave their homes.
Social anxiety disorder, or SAD, is an intense fear and avoidance of negative public scrutiny, public embarrassment, humiliation, or social interaction. This fear can be specific to particular social situations, like public speaking, or be experienced in most or all social interactions. Physical symptoms of social anxiety include blushing, sweating, trembling, rapid heart rate, nausea, and difficulty speaking. Panic attacks can also occur.
Do you feel you have anxiety? Take our quiz to see if you suffer from symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Good job, you, for taking steps to better your mental health!
How many questions are in the quiz?
There are 20 questions.
How many options can you get?
You can get 4 options.
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