Is It Everyday Worrying, Or An Anxiety Disorder?

Everyone experiences anxiety sometimes. It's a normal, healthy response to stressors.

If you are able to function well, participate in activities, and live your life without anxiety getting in the way, you are living with a "normal" level of anxiety. Of course, clinicians and therapists may be more aware of the small signs of anxiety because we're trained to recognize early cues. And even if anxiety isn't getting in the way of your life or your functioning, but it still feels present more days than not, you should consider reaching out to a counselor or therapist about anxiety management strategies.

In August of this year, I collaborated on the Bustle article, 11 Signs Your Everyday Worrying is Actually Normal. Below you'll find some information, expanding on my input on this article.

A few signs that your anxiety is typical:

  1. It's typical to experience situation-specific anxiety, such as feeling nervous before driving a new route in your car, or experiencing some butterflies in the stomach before walking into your new classroom for the first time. 
  2. It's also good to experience a little bit of anxiety in new situations, as it helps your brain and body stay alert to the new experience - so that flutter in your heart on a first date means you'll be able to recall more of it. Or that twinge of anxiety as you're walking down an alley makes you more aware of small noises around you. 
  3. If you feel able to manage and lower your level of anxiety, that is within the "normal" realm. Many people with an anxiety disorder feel unable to control their spikes in anxiety, or have difficulty predicting when their next bout of anxiety is going to arrive.
  4. If you rarely experience anxiety, maybe once or twice a week, this is also considered "normal." People who suffer from anxiety often experience it more days than not, even multiple times a day, for months at a time. 

Curious to hear more, or consult with a therapist about your level of anxiety, or your child's? You can contact Kelsey at compassionatecounselingstl@gmail.com or 314-339-7640. Kelsey specializes in anxiety and anger management for kids and teens, age 4 through college. She works with clients in Webster Groves, Brentwood, Kirkwood, Town and Country, Creve Couer, and surrounding areas.