Feeling concern for your loved one who's driving through a thunderstorm is a reasonable level of worry. Keeping yourself awake at night by thinking about all of the things that could possibly harm your loved one — that could indicate a problem. Anxiety is a serious issue, and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. But paying attention to the signs you have a legit anxiety disorder can help you know when it's time to seek help.
Granted, it can be tricky to tell the difference between a normal level of worry and a destructive level of worry. Abstract ideas like fear are pretty impossible to quantify, after all. But according to the National Institute of Mental Health, if your anxiety does not go away over time, and it even seems to get worse, you may have an anxiety disorder. The feelings of worry may even start to hamper your work performance or the quality of your relationships.
For what it's worth, though, anxiety sufferers are not alone. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 40 million adults are affected by an anxiety disorder in the United States alone. It is by no means uncommon, and help is definitely available for those who want to decrease their overall level of anxiety. The first step, though, is developing an awareness of your symptoms. Here are some common signs you may have an anxiety disorder, and should consult a doctor for a professional diagnosis.