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Need Help Figuring Out if I Have Anxiety

Published: January 23, 2018
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I need help figuring out if I have anxiety. Since freshman year of high school I have begun over worrying about the simplest things. For example, if in a conversation someone paused for a little too long I would think about why and if it were awkward for the rest of the day. I developed extreme sweating on my palms and feet and I had a lot of hot/cold flashes. However, it never really interfered with my day to day life. I could (and still can) hold normal conversations for the most part and rarely have trouble sleeping. However over the past few years my physical health in addition to my mental health has been deteriorating. I throw up at least 4 times a month and every time it occurs during a social gathering. I'll be there and next thing you know I can't get my mind off the fact that I'm nauseous and have to throw up, but the thing is most of the time I actually have to make myself do it. And even after I throw up, the nausea doesn't go away- I spend typically around the next 4 hours sitting by a toilet shaking non stop and vomiting on occasion. I have also recently experienced a few panic attacks where I nearly pass out- though not sure why because I'm not sure if im wheezing or not.I don't typically like to talk about it but a good amount of the time my friends ask me if I have anxiety because I take small issues and blow them way out of proportion. I worry about things no one else understands for hours. And recently I've been experiencing a lot of upper abdomen pain whenever I worry too much. The thing is though, I'm always diagnosing myself- I've had stomach issues for around 2 years now and I've hypothesized everything from parasites to IBS to type 1 diabetes. The thing is though, aside from the panic attacks I never really feel fear. Worry yes, lots of worry, but not fear. The only other things that make me think it may be anxiety/depression is I've been having a lot of trouble getting out of bed and doing things. I'd prefer to just stay in bed and watch Netflix all day but once I force myself to go out I tend to have a good time until the nausea kicks in then I try to get home as soon as possible and sleep it off. Is this something I should see a doctor about or is it just in my head?
Signed: Need Help Figuring Out if I Have Anxiety

Dear Need Help Figuring Out if I Have Anxiety,

From what you described there is a definite possibility that you have been dealing with extreme levels of anxiety. Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, there are some people who have anxiety disorders, which means that they experience intense, excessive and constant worry and fear about everyday situations.

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Having difficulty controlling worry
  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

 

Give the symptoms you have been experiencing, TeenHealthFX would recommend that you schedule a consultation with a reputable mental health professional, such as a clinical social worker, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health professional will be able to perform an assessment, give you an accurate diagnosis of the situation and discuss effective treatment recommendations.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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