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Getting nervous or worried go hand in hand with life. There are situations which tend to make people worried or nervous about the outcomes such as a job interview or a public speech…or something.

There is a limit, though, to which worrying about a particular thing is considered generally fine. If the feelings of nervousness and fear take you over to such an extent that it affects your daily life and hinders with your ability to accomplish things like you normally would, then it’s very likely that you have an anxiety disorder.

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So, how to effectively differentiate between normal worrying and an anxiety disorder? I wish it was that simple, you see…anxiety takes on many forms such as panic attacks, social anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorders, all of which may or may not be triggered by some specific influence.

There are some signs that can help you identify anxiety though. Knowing these signs is a headstart, which may prove to be very useful as you or someone you know could be suffering from these signs. If so, don’t be hesitant to seek help, there are people who would be happy to help with any issues you are facing.

Here are the 10 signs you may have an anxiety disorder:

1. Worrying too much

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As mentioned previously, worrying about something that is of importance to you is very normal. That being said, the biggest hallmark of having an anxiety disorder is worrying too much about things. Big or small, important or trivial, it doesn’t matter. You just can’t shake off the feeling.

“The distinction between an anxiety disorder and just having normal anxiety is whether your emotions are causing a lot of suffering and dysfunction,” says Sally Winston, PsyD, co-director of the Anxiety and Stress Disorder Institute of Maryland in Towson.

The constant worrying is also accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue for it to be an anxiety disorder.

2. Sleep Troubles

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Trouble falling asleep is another symptom associated with anxiety disorders.

Of course, trouble falling asleep is also associated with a number of other conditions and it’s not really unusual to lie wide awake before an exam or an important event. But if you find yourself lying awake for most nights thinking and worrying about something or nothing at all, it’s likely that you might have an anxiety disorder.

Another sign of an anxiety disorder is that you wake up agitated, unable to calm yourself or still fatigued and tired.

3. Phobias

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Sometimes anxiety doesn’t represent itself as more generalized towards the circumstances. Sometimes it represents itself as fear of a very specific thing.

Again, it’s fine to be afraid of things, but if the fear becomes disruptive to your life, is far greater than the actual risk associated with the situation and you’re unable to cope with it, it’s a sign of an anxiety disorder.

Phobias can be very disruptive, but sometimes they aren’t that obvious. Because phobias are directed towards specific things, one can go around functioning normally if not presented with that situation. A person with a phobia of trampolines will be fine until asked to actually jump on one.

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