Common and Not-So-Common Symptoms of Anxiety
Emma tends to feel anxious in socialde situations. Her heart begins to race, her palms sweat, and sometimes it seems like her heart might actually beat out of her chest. Emma usually seeks to avoid parties because she spends so much time dreading how social events will go.
Nadine thinks there is something wrong with her heart. Lately, when she is walking or even just sitting at her desk, Nadine experiences heart palpitations. Her heart flutters rapidly and her chest feels tight. Nadine knows how deadly heart disease can be, and is terrified there is something physically wrong with her; however, Nadine’s doctor says she’s fine.
While Emma and Nadine might seem to be suffering from two separate conditions, it’s possible that both women are dealing with anxiety. Anxiety has many physical effects. Some symptoms are commonly recognized as anxiety-related, while some less common symptoms can appear in your life for years before you trace them back to their roots.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
There are several different types of anxiety disorders that can affect you, and each enters your life in its own way. Dealing with anxiety and its symptoms isn’t easy; anxiety hurts. If you recognize some of these symptoms as feelings you’ve experienced, it is okay—anxiety can get better.
- Shortness of breath – Anxiety can cause you to hold your breath or breathe more rapidly. You might not notice changes in your breathing because your worries occupy your mind. Shallow or rapid breathing can actually increase your anxiety; simply monitoring your breath can sometimes help you feel a little better.
- Muscle tension – When you feel anxious, so does your body. If you’re feeling tight around the shoulders or back, or if you feel achy all over, it could be that your anxiety has your body on high alert.
- Indigestion – If you often have stomach aches or irritable bowels, and they tend to occur in situations that make you feel anxious, your digestive symptoms could be anxiety related.
- Intense worry – Persistent worry about relatively normal situations is the primary psychological symptom of anxiety. In the struggle with anxiety, it sometimes feels like your worries are controlling you.
- Emotional changes – Anxiety has many emotional symptoms; you might feel irritated, on edge, or have trouble concentrating on things you used to enjoy. If anxiety is preventing you from living the life you want, it’s understandable to feel down.
- Weight fluctuation – weight gain or weight loss can be signs of anxiety. Dealing with high amounts of stress might nudge you to seek comfort from overeating, or maybe food triggers anxiety for you and you avoid it.
- Sleep disruptions – Anxiety can keep you up at night or cause you to oversleep. Maybe you have trouble falling asleep or find it difficult to stay asleep through the night. Anxiety can cause you to forfeit sleep, dreading your anxiety triggers throughout the night.
Anxiety has hundreds of symptoms. It looks different depending on your personality, your circumstances, and other personal factors. In addition to the symptoms described above, there are other, less common signs that anxiety might have an unwanted hold over your life. Anxiety can cause twitches or tremors, auditory and visual hallucinations, tingling all over your body, and feelings like you might lose control.
Chronic stress is painful, complex, and deeply affecting; the havoc it can cause in your life isn’t your fault. Many people struggle to manage anxiety every day. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, talking to someone can help you sort out what you might be going through.
Anxiety Treatment Options
Therapy and medication are the most common anxiety treatment options. Typically, identifying the root of your anxiety, expressing your feelings, learning skills to manage worries and negative thinking, relaxation techniques, reducing caffeine and physical exercise can all reduce anxiety.
Contact one of our counselors in Houston for help overcoming anxiety. Our therapists are available for face to face sessions as online therapy sessions in limited areas.
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