Anxiety and stress are a normal part of life, for some a regular occurrence in life and for others simply an occasional manifestation. Anxiety in all forms should not be looked at as a negative and just because you experience stress or anxiousness it does not mean that you suffer from an anxiety disorder. 

Panic, stress and/or anxiety naturally triggers a fight of flight response in the body, that in certain situations can aid in a persons escape, survival or action in a tragic, violent or fearful situation. When exposed to a situation that is threatening or dangerous the body physically responds with an increased flow of blood to the muscles and heart which in turn provides a surge of adrenalin which gives one a temporary boost of both strength and energy. When this response is triggered without a situation that would incite the natural reaction, affects normal life functioning or occurs often - this can be a sign that it is an actual disorder. 

Here you will find facts, causes and symptoms to help you understand whether or not you may actually have an anxiety disorder or if what you are experiencing may be normal stress. 


Do I Have an Anxiety Disorder? Causes and Triggers

The causes of an anxiety disorder are not fully known to medical professionals but it is thought that the causes are many and may include: heredity, physical and psychological factors. 

Physical Causes

Pre-existing or onset of other conditions such as depression, pheochromocytoma tumor, over-active thyroid or adrenal gland, mental health disorders, insomnia or dementia (typically seen in older individuals). However, those are just a few possibilities - other physical causes of anxiety can include drug use and withdrawal including both prescription and non-prescription drugs or medications. 

Psychological Causes

Emotional situations such as breakups, separation from or loss of a friend or loved one, life threatening/violent natural or unnatural disasters and situations. Other emotionally trying situations can also contribute to chronic stress and anxiety related disorders. Do I Have an Anxiety Disorder?

Symptoms: Anxiety can present itself in a number of ways. Most common symptoms of an anxiety disorder may include chronic occurrences of any or a combination of the following symptoms without other explanations: trembling, sweating, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, depression, avoidance of people and normal or previously enjoyed  situations.

These symptoms can occur out of the blue with or without any identifiable provocation and can last for mere moments to years.  


Treatment for Depression, Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Serious treatment should always be left up to a medical or mental health professional and sought after a diagnosis is made. Different disorders may require differentiating treatment options so it no simple task to say what will help each sufferer as the needs may not be the same. However, if you are asking yourself "do I have an anxiety disorder?" then chances are you are experiencing some of the above signs and there are steps that you can take to treat and minimize some of the side effects and symptoms that come with a physical or stress related disorder. 


Suggestions for Minimizing and Treating Symptoms and Side Effects

Anxiety and Phobia WorkbookCoping With Symptoms and Effects of an Anxiety Disorder

  • Never under-estimate the power of knowledge. Pick up a book and learn about your disorder - sometimes the best way to overcome it is to know it's causes, triggers and techniques shown to work for those who suffer this condition. 
  • Meditation can be another great method for conquering internal turmoil, sleeplessness and panic attacks. Much like controlled breathing techniques meditation can help you take control over your body and help minimize common symptoms associated with a anxiety disorders and everyday stresses.


  • Consider a gentle and natural sleep aid such as melatonin to help you get a good nights rest. Other sleep medications may cause exacerbating side effects so be sure to discuss those with a doctor and read through the side-effects and usage instructions for all medications. 
  • Relaxation CD’s. No doctors prescription or consultation needed here. Relaxation CD’s can help you relax enough to fall asleep and help reduce the onset of anxiousness.

Restlessness, Rapid Heartbeat, Anxiousness

  • See Relaxation CD’s above. 
  • Deep and controlled breathing techniques. There are hundreds of CD’s, tapes, Videos and books created to help you learn how to breathe properly as well as techniques that help your body to relax.  These stress relieving techniques can help bring calm when your body goes into adrenalin mode. 

*Before starting any new treatment be sure to discuss it with your physician or mental health professional to ensure its suitability to your diagnosed disorder, illness or condition and to prevent unforseen complications. This article is meant to provide you with information and ideas and is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any medical or mental health condition.