Anxiety and Irritability

Learn how to better manage feelings of anxiety and irritability.

We have all been there. Sometimes all of the demands on our time can truly bring us to the point of complete breakdown. Stress levels are off the chart, you have trouble sleeping, and you have zero patience.

When is this state of being just a passing mood or something more worrisome? The early signs of an anxiety disorder often look like the classic symptoms of being stressed out—or burned out. It is when these symptoms get worse, and persist, that you have to think about seeing a mental health expert.

Learning the difference between mental burnout and an anxiety disorder is key. To do that let’s learn what stress or burnout looks like.

 What is Burnout?

There are all types of burnout—parenting burnout, school burnout, and job burnout for starters. Any time we begin to feel overwhelmed in some aspect of our lives we are prone to mental burnout. It is the brain’s way of saying, “Enough!”

There are lots of reasons why someone becomes burned out. We may not have the best coping skills, or we may be disorganized. We may have trouble saying ‘no,’ which results in taking on more than we can manage. Some people just have low thresholds for stress tolerance. It appears there are a lot of ways we can find ourselves in burnout mode.

Signs of burnout include:

  • Getting easily fatigued.
  • Irritability
  • Lack of patience.
  • Feeling unworthy.
  • Feeling anxious.
  • Mood swings.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Stomach problems or headaches.
  • Feeling detached emotionally.
  • Negative attitude.
  • Lower productivity.
  • Weight loss or gain.
  • Apathy.

Note that many of these symptoms are also signs of anxiety, however certain key traits of anxiety are not included, such as irrational fear.

What is Anxiety

More people struggle with anxiety than any other mental health issue. We live in anxious times and that factors in to about 40 million adults now dealing with anxiety disorders. It should be noted, though, that stress alone is not a risk factor for developing an anxiety disorder. There are many other factors that contribute, such as genetics, environmental factors, biology, and brain chemistry.

Each type of anxiety disorder will have its own specific features and symptoms, but common symptom include:

  • Excessive and irrational worry or fear.
  • Feelings of dread.
  • Always feeling on alert for danger.
  • Racing heart.
  • Shaking
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Hyperventilating
  • Shortness of breath or holding your breath.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Feeling jumpy or restless
  • Sleep issues.
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Trouble concentrating, mental confusion.
  • Headaches

There are different types of anxiety disorder. These include panic disorder, phobia, social anxiety, GAD, and OCD. Also, trauma disorders like PTSD are often included with anxiety disorders.

The central trait of all anxiety disorders is feeling like you have no control over the situation, person, or place that is causing the intense fear response.

6 Tips for Better Managing Anxiety and Irritability

There are some helpful tips you can use to help control feelings of irritability and stress. Consider these:

  1. Learn some techniques to help you relax. Simple methods, like deep breathing and mindfulness, can help relax your body and mind. These can be practiced at any time and are very helpful in gaining a sense of calm in a short time.
  2. Get a pet. There is much data that show how owning a pet can reduce stress levels. A pet can be a source of comfort and joy, which leads to improved mental health.
  3. Relaxing Music. With all the heavy news blasting us from all directions, why not reduce your news intake and increase music instead. Soothing music playing in the background at home or in your car can truly keep you in a calm place.
  4. Blog or journal. For some people, writing is a great outlet for getting rid of stress. By putting your feelings into writing you release them from your mind.
  5. Find a new hobby or passion. When our fears or emotions are pent up or stuck we feel stressed. Creative outlets are a great way to express your feelings in a soothing and positive way.
  6. Use essential oils. These oils have potent calming properties and can be applied on your skin, inhaled, or added to a warm bath. Try lavender, rose, bergamot, or chamomile oils.

Find Help for an Anxiety Disorder

If it turns out you are dealing with an anxiety disorder, it is crucial to get the treatment you need to help manage the symptoms. This will include a three-pronged approach:

  • Psychotherapy: One-on-one therapy sessions allow you a chance to explore and process the sources of the stressful feelings. Therapy offers a safe space to talk about the things that are factors in the anxiety. The therapist will often rely on CBT to help you learn new coping skills.
  • Medications: There are several drugs that can help relieve symptoms of anxiety. These can include antidepressants, benzos, and some drugs used off-label. Sometimes you will need to trial two or more drugs before finding the one that offers the most relief with the fewest side effects.
  • Lifestyle changes: A lack of sleep is one of the biggest culprits for causing us to feel irritated and stressed throughout our day. No one functions well without decent sleep. It affects our mood and disrupts our workday. Also, it has been found that adding daily exercise can also help reduce anxiety. Being active helps improve both sleep and your mood.

If you are struggling with the signs of anxiety, do not hesitate to reach out for help. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable.

Elevation Behavioral Health is Treats Anxiety Disorder

Elevation Behavioral Health is a private upscale mental health center set in a gorgeous hillside locale. EBH offers a warm, inviting escape from the stressors in your daily life so you can focus on wellness. For more details about our mental health program, please contact us today at (888) 561-0868.

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