It’s normal to get sweaty palms and nervous flutters in your stomach once in a while, whether you’re nervous for an exam, about to have an interview, or any other high-pressure event that may trigger the normal feelings of worry and stress. However, if these feelings become increasingly frequent that they are getting in the way of your daily routine, you may need to consider that the problem stems from a deeper issue.
Anxiety disorder can be hard to distinguish from the everyday stress of your regular activities, so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms. Even if you’re fairly certain your stress level is under control, knowing the symptoms may benefit your friends and family, as the inability to control stress can be overwhelming and, often times, crippling.
This type of disorder branches out to many different categories, ranging from panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias, however, the focus will be centered on generalized anxiety disorder.
The symptoms that children experience vary slightly from the symptoms that an adolescent may experience. It may be hard to detect serious anxiety problems in a very young child, given that having tantrums or scaring easily is a normal part of growing up.
There are small signs which could help you determine if their fear is a serious problem. After watching a horror movie, or experiencing a frightening event, a stable child would of course be unnerved. However, he/she can be comforted and assured afterwards. If the assurances provided are still not sufficient and the child is still fearful, it may be an early sign of anxiety disorder.
In an adolescent’s case, there may be physical signs such as tense muscles, or a sore feeling in the limbs. Constant sweating, nausea, and stomach aches over a long period of time are also common, and an extreme sensitivity to criticism. An unreasonable level of self-consciousness and fear of being judged by society are also signs of an underlying anxiety problem.
Note that an anxiety disorder comes on gradually, and the symptoms may not be present for the first few months, or even years. Be sure to constantly assess yourself to ensure your mental health is not inflicting negative harm on your life.
If you’re still uncertain whether you have a normal stress level or a disorder, the best thing to do is to check with a psychiatrist for a more accurate assessment of your mental health.