How to know if you have anxiety: the signs and symptoms of an anxiety disorder

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re answering some of the top mental health questions asked on Google.

Today, we’re answering: How to know if you have anxiety?

Anxiety is something we all experience, but an anxiety disorder is a mental health condition, and is diagnosed with anxiety becomes a huge part of your life.

There are many anxiety disorders, including generalised anxiety disorder, which we’re talking about today.

What are the signs?

Rachel Boyd, Head of Information Content at Mind, says we all experience anxiety at some point – especially if we’re facing stressful situations or major life changes. Feeling anxious is a natural part of being human.

She continues: ‘Anxiety can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.

Symptoms might include feeling a sense of dread, a faster heartbeat, feeling light-headed or dizzy or having panic attacks.

‘While experiencing some or all of these symptoms is common enough, anxiety can be classed as a mental health problem if it starts to impact on your day to day life.’

When should you get help?

Rachel says that if your anxiety is lasting for a long time, is very regular or out of propoprtion to a scenario, you might have an anxiety disorder.

She continues: ‘If your feelings of anxiety are lasting for a long time, very regular or out of proportion to the scenario, you might have an anxiety disorder.

‘There are a number of different kinds, including generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, perennial anxiety or panic disorder.

‘If you find that feelings of anxiety are starting to significantly affect your life, you can talk to your GP about treatment options, such as talking therapies or medication.

‘Talking about your problems with your doctor can be challenging, so Mind has produced a guide – ‘’ – to help you prepare for the short time you get with your GP.’

Mental Health questions answered

Google’s most-asked mental health questions in 2019 so far:

According to Google, the most frequently asked ‘how to’ questions relating to mental health this year so far are:

1. How to relieve stress
2. How to help anxiety
3. How to stop worrying
4. How to stop a panic attack
5. How to deal with stress
6. How to cope with depression
7. How to know if you have anxiety
8. How to know if you have depression
9. How to help someone with PTSD
10. How to overcome social anxiety
11. How to get help for depression
12. How to treat OCD
13. How to help a depressed friend
14. How to overcome a phobia
15. How to treat PTSD

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