How to know if you suffer from anxiety

Stress is common, and the tendency to imagine worst-case scenarios or experience anxiety is increasingly common. However, when anxiety becomes pervasive, generates distress and negatively affects quality of life, it’s important to take steps to remedy it. But how do you know if what you’re feeling is “normal” anxiety, or if it’s an anxiety disorder that needs special attention? Anxiety can be felt both physically and emotionally, and has an impact on behavior. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for.

Physical symptoms

  1. Heart palpitations: A heartbeat that accelerates for no apparent reason.
  2. Excessive sweating: Sweating profusely even under normal conditions, without physical exertion and without being in a very hot environment.
  3. Trembling: Hands or legs shaking for no reason.
  4. Muscle pain: tension or pain in the muscles, often in the back or neck.
  5. Digestive disorders: nausea, diarrhea or constipation with no obvious medical cause.

Emotional symptoms

  1. Sense of dread: A constant feeling that something bad is going to happen.
  2. Irritability: Feeling easily irritated or frustrated.
  3. Excessive worry: worrying disproportionately about things that don’t necessarily warrant it.

Behavioral symptoms

  1. Avoidance: Avoid situations or people that trigger anxiety.
  2. Procrastination: Constantly putting off tasks or decisions.
  3. Reassurance-seeking: Frequently ask others for their opinion to reassure yourself.

When should you consult a professional?

If you find that several of these symptoms are affecting you significantly and have been persisting for some time, it’s advisable to see your doctor to make sure there isn’t an underlying physical health problem, and to consult a psychologist if necessary.

Treatment options

There are several treatment options for anxiety disorders, including psychotherapy (such as cognitive behavioral therapy – add link to site), medication (such as antidepressants or anxiolytics), and complementary approaches (such as mindfulness meditation).

Consult a psychologist

Anxiety is complex and can have a major impact on our physical and emotional well-being. If you recognize yourself in many of the symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Solutions exist to improve your quality of life. Contact us, we can help.

Megan Turgeon - Psychologie Anxiété Laval

Megan Turgeon

Ph.D. candidate in Psychology

She is currently a doctoral candidate in psychology at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and is on her way to completing her academic journey.

She has completed internships in various environments which have allowed her to work with children, teenagers, and adults. In her career, she works with individuals with a variety of issues, such as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, and personal and relational difficulties.

Through her thesis subject, she is also developing expertise related to issues of infertility, assisted reproduction, and the transition to parenthood. In her practice, she is committed to providing a safe, client-centered space to welcome their difficulties and suffering.

She uses the cognitive-behavioral approach as well as therapeutic techniques from different psychological approaches that allow her to adapt to the specific needs of each person she meets.

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