- Mental Health
Symptoms of anxiety - How anxiety symptoms can affect your body
You know there's something wrong with you, but you don't quite know what it could be. You already went to the doctor and she wasn't able to find anything physically wrong with you, but you know that your life is spiraling out of control because this secret enemy is eating you inside. Anxiety is eating you inside. Anxiety is giving you so many symptoms that you're almost sure you must have some kind of deadly disease.
Yes, anxiety can cause a vast number of symptoms. You may be suffering from anxiety and don't even know it, but your body never lies.
Let's look at some of these symptoms and see if you can identify any of them in your own life.
Main symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety can attack your body in many different ways, and your body will react by giving you symptoms to alert you that something is wrong. Mainly, anxiety symptoms can be divided in three main categories:
Have you ever experienced an anxiety attack?
Physical anxiety symptoms
Physical symptoms of anxiety are those that you can feel and that can make you think that you have some kind of deadly disease. Examples of these symptoms are:
- muscle spasms
- Difficulty breathing
Different types of Anxiety Attacks
Spontaneous - Appear without any type of warning. They can even happen while sleeping and without any apparent reason. Because they appear so suddenly, sometimes this types of anxiety attack can be confused with a heart attack.
Specific - They happen for a specific reason. The sufferer will be fine as long as the specific fear is absent and will always suffer an anxiety attack as long as the anxiety-inducing object or situation is present
Situational - The anxiety attacks can happen during specific situations, but will not occur all the time. The probabilities of experiencing an anxiety attack during a specific situation increase, but does not mean that you will definitely experience an episode.
Cognitive symptoms of anxiety
The cognitive symptoms of anxiety are those that mainly mess with your head. Some of these symptoms are:
- Lack of focus or concentration
- Feeling overwhelmed by minor things
- Mood changes
- Memory problems
- Constantly feeling threatened or anticipating future dangers
- Anhedonia - inability to experience pleasures from activities that you found enjoyable in the past
- Unable to think clearly
- Loss of objectivity
- Inferiority feelings
Anxiety attack symptoms
When you're experiencing an anxiety attack you can feel as if you were paralyzed, almost as if you were frozen. Your body will also start experiencing symptoms such as palpitations, excessive sweating, hot flashes, difficulty breathing, extreme fear or panic, dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, chest pains, tingling and numbness in different parts of your body.
Some people can also experience what feels to be an out of body experience.
Behavioral symptoms of anxiety
These symptoms are the ones that make you act and behavior in a weird or unusual way. These are symptoms that are noticed by others. Examples of these kind of symptoms are:
- Avoidance behaviors
- Anger outbursts
- Following of rituals motivated by obsessions
- Always having a worried face or a scowl
But don't think those are all the symptoms you can expect from anxiety. Let's look at a more complete list. If you have 5 or more of these symptoms, chances are anxiety is eating inside. However, never rule out the possibility of these symptoms being causes by something else. Always check with your physicians to check any worrysome problems.
Physical Anxiety symptoms by category
- Sighs - you find yourself sighing more often, even sometimes without noticing.
- Feeling pressure on your thorax - You feel as if someone were hugging you super tight.
- Hyperventilation - You breathing becomes shallow and rapid
- Dyspnea - You find yourself short of breath or having difficulty breathing.
- Tachycardia - rapid of irregular cardiac rhythm
- Palpitations - heart beating rapidly and strongly. You can almost feel your heart jumping out of your chest.
- Arrhythmia - any deviation from regular cardiac rhythm
- High or low Blood Pressure
- Pallor or blushing - Anxiety can make you look either like a ghost or like a shy, school girl being asked on a date.
- Chest pressure - you feel like you have an elephant sitting on your chest.
- Feeling like the food gets stuck in your throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Borborygmus - Rumbling or gurgling sound coming for your stomach due to the movement of gas in the intestines.
- Bloating - Even if you don't eat (or regardless of what you eat) your stomach always looks like your 5 months pregnant.
- Weight loss or weight gain - Anxiety can change the way our body processes fat and extra calories
- Increased or decreased appetite
- Aerophagia - Swallowing of air that can lead to bloating or gases.
Muscular anxiety symptoms
- Muscle contractions
- Muscle pains
- Muscle stiffness
- Bruxism - Teeth grinding or clenching
Anxiety symptoms on the autonomic nervous system
The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating the many function of nutrition, development and reproduction.
- Dryness of mouth, mucous glands and/or lacrimals
- Sensation of fainting
- Vertigo or dizziness
- "Chicken skin" bumps (Keratosis pilaris)
- Excessive sweating or salivation - Yes, anxiety can even make you drool!
These symptoms are the ones that are caused by your head. Like many would say, these symptoms are "all psychological" due to anxiety.
- Asthenia - Abnormal physical weakness or lack of energy
- Stuttering - You know what I'm ta-ta-talking about.
- Not able to relax
- Frequent crying or feeling like you want to cry
- Amenorrhea - Absence of menstruation in women of reproductive age
- Menorrhagia - Abnormally prolonged and/or heavy periods
- Frequent and/or painful urination
- Decreased libido
- Anorgasmia - inability to achieve orgasm even when properly stimulated
- Premature ejaculation
As you can see, anxiety can have many symptoms. The bad news is that if these symptoms aren't treated, they can get worse
Don't let anxiety ruin your life. Treat it as soon as possible!