How can I know when my stress has crossed a "threshold" into full blown anxiety?
Patricia Farrell, PhD: Well I think when you start having symptoms, such as you can't go to sleep at night because every time you put your head down on the pillow,you're constantly thinking of what you have to do, or what you didn't do, or what you did wrong.It's interfering with your ability to relate to others; it's causing irritable kinds of things, you're irritable where you never really would be irritable.You're finding that your short tempered, you can't handle things, you're having problems concentrating, you really feel like you can't remember some things, and that is kind of scaring you.
Patricia Farrell, PhD (cont.): You're having problems doing your job, meeting your deadlines.You never are at ease, you always feel as if there is something that has to be done, you're jumpy about things.you may have eating changes, you may, you know, some, it's very interesting, some people eat an awful lot when they are stressed and they gain weight, so we say to people,sometimes they don't know if they've gained weight, so we say is your clothing a little tighter now, and other people they lose their appetite entirely, they lose weight.
Patricia Farrell, PhD (cont.): So we look for weight changes, sleep changes, mood changes. We also look for things like stomachache, chronic headache, okay, feeling maybe very, very sweaty hands, things like that,inability to sit still and just enjoy being quiet for a little bit. You find that you can't do that. That's something that you're not allowed to give to yourself.Isn't that a terrible thing?