Skip to Main Content

Anxiety: Why you might struggle to calm down

Educational Resources

Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health disorder in the United States today. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, it may be difficult to “calm down” in stressful situations. And if this happens to you far too often, you are not alone.

There is help for people suffering from an anxiety disorder that interferes with their daily life. If you feel like your mental health is spiraling out of control, you can find hope from the team at Rosecrance on your journey to recovery. 

Please read further to learn why you feel like you can’t calm down during an onset of anxiety, and how you can seek treatment today.

How anxiety disorders develop

Studies show that anxiety may develop from genetic or environmental factors. You may be more likely to have an anxiety disorder if your family members have a history of mental health disorders.

However, anxiety may also develop as a result of a traumatic event. The brain may attempt to protect the body from harm and prevent such an event from reoccurring by activating a “fight-or-flight” response during a stressful situation.

Anxiety and “fight-or-flight” mode

Recurring anxiety can add even more stress to your daily life. So why does it feel as if you can’t calm down? When someone experiences fear in a dangerous situation, the body reacts in a way commonly referred to as the “fight-or-flight” response. This is a survival mechanism, as your body must decide whether to consume energy fighting off danger, or fleeing from it.

With anxiety, your nervous system triggers the fight-or-flight instinct even when it may not seem to be necessary. In other words, your brain reacts to seemingly small anxieties in the same way it would react to an extremely dangerous situation.

You may be having a panic attack

Feelings of anxiety are bad enough. So why can’t you calm down, even after an initial fight-or-flight response? If symptoms of anxiety disorders continue and manifest into physical symptoms, you may be having a panic attack. Symptoms of a panic attack include:

  • Sweating
  • Tense muscles
  • Hyperventilating and shortness of breath
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Shivering or shaking
  • A feeling of doom

If you frequently experience panic attacks, you might have panic disorder, a type of anxiety disorder. People with panic disorder may frequently worry about the next attack and avoid places or situations that may result in these physical symptoms.

Living with anxiety disorder and panic attacks

Many people convince themselves that an anxiety disorder is no big deal, or that they can avoid stressful situations to deal with it on their own. Because anxiety is so common, people may believe that talking to friends or family members is enough to keep things under control.

But it’s important to find the right tools to help you deal with an anxiety disorder or panic attack. Treatment may involve medication, but most importantly, you’ll learn tools for self-management that can prevent panic attacks or feelings of severe anxiety.

Seek help for anxiety disorders from the team at Rosecrance. Our mission is to empower adults and adolescents to take control over their mental health and to provide a roadmap for the path to recovery.

Get help now; call Rosecrance at (888) 928-5278

Get Help Now (866) 330-8729