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Do I Have Anxiety or An Anxiety Disorder?

Co-Author Courtney Maliakkal, B.S.

Public awareness of anxiety and related disorders has spread considerably, leading many of us to wonder, “Do I have an anxiety disorder?” Because there are many kinds of anxiety disorders and these disorders vary in presentation, the answer to this question is complicated. With this blog post, we hope to give you a broad understanding of what Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is and how you can get help. 

What is GAD and what are the symptoms?

Anxiety is often considered a “normal” and even adaptive part of everyday life. For example, worrying about a problem at work or an upcoming exam can lead to finding solutions quickly or studying more effectively.

However, a diagnosis of GAD requires clinically significant anxiety or feelings of worry and/or fear that are persistent and excessive. With GAD, this anxiety also impairs your ability to function in various aspects of your life, including work, school, relationships, health, etc.

Symptoms of anxiety can be emotional (e.g. excessive worry, fear, panic, or irritability), cognitive (e.g. inability to focus or remember things), or physical (e.g. sleep disturbance, shaking, sweating, or heart pounding), and can be triggered by many different types of stressors.

If you find yourself struggling with anxiety for a prolonged period or find that your excessive worry keeps you from daily life activities, it is likely time to ask for help.

How Do I get help?

Because Anxiety Disorders are complex in their presentation and can only be diagnosed by a licensed health professional. A course of treatment should begin with a comprehensive assessment to tailor treatment plans that accurately and effectively helps you work towards reducing your symptoms.

Treatment plans often include psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. If you are currently suffering with anxiety, you can consult with your primary care physician, talk to family and friends, and look at therapist directories online to understand your options for treatment.

Although it can feel overwhelming to open yourself up to a comprehensive psychological assessment, it is an important first step to finding relief and support.

If you would like to access care and want more information on our anxiety services at Coronado Psych, please contact us at 619-554-0120,, or click here to schedule an initial consultation.  

Please see the links below for more information about anxiety:

American Psychological Association:

National Institute of Mental Health:
American Psychiatric Association:

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