“Do I have anxiety?”
I talk to a lot of different people in my line of work. Whether it’s meeting with folks one on one, or leading a coaching group, or being interviewed on television and podcasts- I get asked questions often. As a result, the same questions get asked over and over. And one of the number one questions I receive is this…
How do you know you have anxiety?
It’s a bit of a funny question, to be honest. I mean, you tell me that you have anxiety, right?!
This makes me pause. I’m listening for what they are really wondering, and hear these implied in their query: Is this anxiety or is it normal worry? Is something wrong with me? Am I normal?
Also, there is the desperation of the person to know what is wrong so they know what to do about it.
When you don’t feel okay, you need reassurance in how to think about what is happening and what do about it.
There was a time I didn’t know I had anxiety
I had anxiety from a young age but never called it that. I thought it was nausea and I hated nausea because it felt so overwhelming. There were times it was debilitating and affected my whole life. We had to leave events early for nausea, I couldn’t sleep alone, I couldn’t participate in a lot of things because of nausea. I lost 1/3 of my body weight at age 9. My stomach doctor diagnosed me with stomach migraines. I was struggling so badly and nobody called it anxiety.
Maybe this is why it lasted so long because not knowing what it was, my parents didn’t know how to get me help until I took the initiative to get myself help in my 20s. When I think of all of those years of suffering, I feel sad for little Jodi and redouble my commitment to helping kids and families.
You know, I used to be so bothered by this question: Do I have anxiety? But now I understand it. Now I love it! Because I know about 80% of people don’t get help for 1-10 years if they have anxiety, and maybe I am reaching those people and let them know that they don’t have to deal with it.
Do I have anxiety?
The answer is anxiety is very common. (If normal was something you could measure, it would be normal, but common is a better way to describe it.) If you feel anxious, nervous, uncomfortable, worried, stressed, embarrassed, obsessed, doubtful, insecure, those come with the hormone adrenaline. Or, if you have increased adrenaline, and are not presently in physical danger yet you feel scared, that is anxiety. I’m using anxiety as a descriptor, not a diagnosis. A diagnosis and a disorder label, doesn’t necessarily help anyone.
What does matter is that if you or someone you love is suffering, you/they can do something to stop the suffering? That’s all. It is a problem if it is bothering you at all. And at any stage of it. If you have it a little, if you have panic attacks, if you worry a lot, if it stops you from ANYTHING, it is time to take action to do something about it. Because there are a lot of things that you can do to help heal anxiety.
Anxiety is highly treatable.
In today’s new episode, I share more about the #1 Question I get asked and what I think people really mean when they ask it.
“Do I Have Anxiety?” – What you’re really asking…'Do I have anxiety?' - Answering the #1 question I get askedClick To Tweet
If you decide that you have anxiety, stick with me. Grab my 20 ways to calm from anxiety and panic pdf.
Life is precious. You don’t give another minute to anxious thoughts and feelings. There are more important things to do when you feel good enough to do them.
You have a goal and mission in life – a purpose – to live out your dream, and stay connected and having joyous adventures with the people that you love.
When I had anxiety, life didn’t feel precious. It felt hard and unbearable- like I was losing my mind, my identity and my spirit. Does that sound like you? If it does, my heart goes out to you.
But know this, you don’t have to stay in this cage anxiety has you in.
I was determined to find out what I needed to stop anxiety, committing myself to practice it with my heart and soul. That vow was the turning point for me. I finally knew the answer to “Do I have anxiety”, but I also decide that anxiety did not have me.
I got myself out of the cage.
I’ll climb in your cage and show you the way out, too. Ask for help. There is so much out there to help you heal from anxiety right at your fingertips.
How do you know when to ask for help? Share with me.