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How Do You Tell If You're Anxious or Just Worrying Normally?

Updated: 35 minutes ago

This may sound familiar to you:

“I wake up with dread and fear, unsure why.

"I can't stop my mind from racing.”

"My son was expected to arrive home from school an hour ago but hasn't called as he usually does. Oh my God, he must have been in a collision!

We all worry, are afraid, and are concerned. Most individuals spend much time worrying about their jobs, relationships, or an imminent event with higher than usual costs, like an exam or a month or two. The inability to turn fears off and continue to enjoy other elements of your life distinguishes worry from anxiety.

Sometimes people are concerned about a particular issue, such as a phobia of spiders or specific events that can create social anxiety. Still, when you feel tense, unable to unwind, and unable to identify the source of your stress, you may have generalized anxiety disorder or GAD.

Though not everyone with GAD has the same symptoms, most persons suffer from the following emotional, behavioral, and physical signs.

GAD symptoms that are emotionally related

· Your mind is always racing with worries you can't stop thinking about.

· You try to avoid thinking about the things that give you anxiety, but you can't help; they keep coming to mind.

· An incapacity to deal with ambiguity; a need to know what the future holds.

· A persistent sense of dread or anxiety.

Symptoms of GAD that Impact Your Behavior

· Inability to unwind, appreciate alone, or spend time alone

· Having trouble focusing or paying attention to things

· Putting off tasks because you're stressed

· Preventing worrisome circumstances from occurring

Physical symptoms of GAD

· Feeling tense, experiencing bodily aches or muscle tightness.

· Having issues getting or staying asleep because your mind won't shut down.

· Feeling jittery, anxious, or uneasy.

· Diarrhea, nausea, and stomachache.

So what causes generalized anxiety in people? Research is examining how your genes may predispose you to develop GAD, as well as how brain chemicals affect your emotions. I believe, and many professionals concur, that a combination of your environment, psychological variables, and DNA determines whether you develop it.

Anyone can acquire GAD, including children, and when I speak with my GAD clients and ask them when they first remember feeling anxious, they frequently say it was in their late childhood or adolescence. However, it can appear for the first time at any moment between youth and middle age, with women having a twofold more significant chance of doing so than men.

You likely have generalized anxiety disorder if you have long-term problems with worry and fears. What if, though, your symptoms are only transient? You might have just gone through a stressful event or situation, or perhaps specific medical issues or medications are genuinely causing your anxiety.

It's crucial to visit a mental health expert for a proper diagnosis and to determine whether you're dealing with any issues that frequently co-occur with GAD, such as depression, substance misuse, phobias, etc. You don't have to feel this way because all these issues are entirely treatable. Reach out and ask for assistance.

If you’d like to work with me, schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation by contacting me here. Let’s chat!


*The information and resources on this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to assess, diagnose, or treat any medical and/or mental health disease or condition. The use of this website does not imply nor establish any provider-client relationship. Furthermore, the information obtained from this site should not be considered a substitute for a thorough medical and/or mental health evaluation by an appropriately credentialed and licensed professional.


Paul Hunnicutt is a licensed Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Texas. Paul owns an online private practice called Texas Mental Health and Wellness Center PLLC. Paul loves to help intelligent and driven people move from anxiety and depression to having confidence and clarity about their lives. If you want to work with him, click here to set up a consult.

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