• Neil Colvin

Symptoms Of Anxiety

Updated: Oct 28


A lady with anxiety sitting on the edge of a chair.
With anxiety looming, it can be hard to relax.

Physical symptoms of an anxiety disorder may easily be confused with other health conditions, such as heart disease or hyperthyroidism. Anxiety disorders caused by medical conditions involve symptoms of severe anxiety or panic directly caused by a physical health issue. Researchers are not sure why anxiety and conditions such as this happen together, but an explanation may be that stress from dealing with chronic illnesses can lead to mood disorders. When feelings of great fear and distress become overwhelming and interfere with our ability to perform daily activities, anxiety disorders can be a reason. An anxiety disorder goes beyond just regular nerves and mild fears that you might occasionally experience. Typically, an anxiety disorder involves repeated episodes of intense feelings of anxiety and fear or dread, reaching a peak in minutes (panic attacks). This disorder is characterized by panic attacks and sudden feelings of dread, which sometimes occur repeatedly and without warning. In panic disorders, however, the panic attacks repeatedly come back, and a person develops a strong fear of having another attack. Fear of a specific item or situation is so severe that a person can suffer physical symptoms as well as panic attacks. People who have phobias understand their fears are irrational, but thinking about or facing a fearful object or situation may trigger panic attacks or extreme anxiety. People with phobias might have fears of spiders, flying, going to crowded places, or being in social situations (known as social anxiety). Fears can involve dogs, blood, storms, spiders, or other objects or situations, but in all cases, the worry is excessive and intrusive. Some people have excessive, irrational worries and anxieties that become persistent and distressing, and interfere with their everyday lives. People with anxiety disorders can experience Excessive In the Absence of Stress, have symptoms that are more severe, and/or have multiple symptoms appearing together.


A teenager talking with his therapist and relaxing.
Trust builds with each session.

An anxiety disorder can also be diagnosed if you experience common feelings of fear or anxiety that disrupt daily functioning and that last for at least six months. When a child does not grow out of fears and worries that are common for younger children, or if fears and worries are so great they interfere with school, family, or playing activities, he or she may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Although fears and worries are typical for children, constant or extreme forms of fear and sadness can result from anxiety or depression. A person suffering from phobias may recognize a fear as illogical or extreme, yet still not be able to control feelings of anxiety surrounding a trigger. These feelings of anxiety and panic disrupt everyday activities, are hard to control, are out of proportion to actual danger, and may persist for long periods. For some people, these feelings of anxiety are more than merely passing worries or an intense workday. We all get anxious sometimes, but if the feelings are really intense or they are lasting a very long time, then the anxiety can become a mental health issue. If your anxiety is constant, intense, difficult to control, or disproportional to your circumstances, this could be the sign of a mental health issue. In some cases, anxiety can stem from a primary health issue, and it can be a first sign of physical, not mental, disease. Sometimes, it can be hard to know if your symptoms are entirely due to anxiety, or they could be due to another disorder. Thera-fi, can help you identify and work through whatever the case may be but you have to commit to it and put the work in yourself. You literally invest in yourself which makes you feel better and project a better you to others. Some people who are anxious might seem to be doing well on the outside, but they may still experience some of the symptoms listed above. It is not always easy to recognize when anxiety is why you are feeling or acting differently. It's normal to experience anxiety when our safety, health, or well-being are threatened; sometimes, though, anxiety can be overwhelming and destructive, and it may occur without an identifiable cause. When an individual experiences excessive levels of anxiety on a regular basis, this can develop into a medical condition. Anxiety becomes a disorder when it is irrational, excessive, and when it impairs the persons ability to function in everyday life. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is when a person has unwanted, intrusive, persistent, or repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, or sensations (whakaaro) that produce distressing anxiety. Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder where you are afraid of, and frequently avoid, places or situations which may trigger panic attacks, make you feel trapped, powerless, or ashamed. Social anxiety disorder (social phobia) involves heightened levels of anxiety, fear, and avoidance in social situations because of feelings of embarrassment, self-consciousness, and worry that others will judge or see you negatively. Substance-induced anxiety disorders are characterized by symptoms of intense anxiety or panic, which are the direct result of misusing drugs, taking medications, being exposed to toxic substances, or withdrawing from drugs. Anxiety disorders are a category of mental health diagnoses that cause excessive nervousness, fear, anxiety, and worrying. These disorders change the way an individual processes emotions and acts, while also producing physical symptoms. Because symptoms involve mostly thoughts and feelings, they are sometimes called internalizing disorders. Anxiety symptoms may also include difficulty sleeping, and also have physical symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, or stomachaches.

A parent holding their teenager's hands while the teenager tells them traumatic information.
Often, the psychological issues have physical effects.

Symptoms typically include irritability, worry, flashbacks, repeated nightmares, and avoiding situations that may re-enact memories of an incident. Panic disorder is an intense feeling of anxiety, coupled with physical symptoms and overwhelming feelings you would experience if you were in a major risk, such as an elevated heart rate, fainting, sweating, shaking limbs, nausea, chest pain, breathing discomfort, and feeling out of control. Panic Disorder Panic disorders produce sudden, repeated episodes of severe anxiety, fear, or terror that peak within minutes. Some people have an isolated single attack, and others will have long-term panic; in both cases, anxiety is usually high in between attacks, as there is no way to know when the next attack is going to happen. Feelings of impending doom can result in worrying that these will occur again, or avoidance of situations where they occurred. The key in all of this is to seek professional help as soon as possible so that you don't continue down a path that compounds issues over time.



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