Everybody has anxiety from time to time, it’s important to have the instinct of fear as a human being, but many can needlessly suffer from anxiety when they don’t need to. So when do you know you need help for anxiety and are not just going through a stressful time? And indeed, as Self puts it, “Figuring out how serious your anxiety is can be tough because anxiety is a normal and essential part of being a human.”

First sign is when you feel the threat of danger when there’s nothing threatening there. (Often times anxiety is defined as fear without an object.) A key sign to get help is when it affects and interferes too much with your daily life. A great phrase this article uses: “When your world starts to become limited because of anxiety…What is it doing to your life, your relationships, your sleep, your health…”

Another key is when anxiety causes procrastination and avoidance. Are you missing hanging out with friends because of your nerves? Is anxiety over your bills causing you to delay paying for them? Are you losing sleep with fear? Also pay attention to feeling angry and irritable, or fatigued, because anxiety can usurp a lot of your energy. As one source puts it, “The physical reaction to anxiety, by nature, is supposed to be short-term. The body is supposed to come back down to baseline. But a prolonged period of anxiety depletes your resources and exhausts you.”

This report states that “anxiety is the most prevalent mental illness in the United States,” which shows that many, many people have it, and there’s no shame in getting help for it. As a source tells Self, “If your anxiety is bothering you and you are suffering, you deserve to get help.”

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