What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
There are many kinds of anxiety disorders – each manifesting itself with different symptoms and each triggered by a variety of causes. This article outlines a few common types of anxieties and their symptoms.
Panic Attack Symptoms
If you’ve ever found yourself standing in front of an audience, preparing to present a big speech, or anticipating an important interview and your mind suddenly goes completely blank, despite all your careful preparations, then you may be having the symptoms of a panic attack. Some of the symptoms of panic attacks include:
- Pounding heart
- Sweaty palms
- Chills down your spine
- Trembling knees
- Dry mouth
Traumatic events and emergencies also create anxiety. Whether you are in a hospital emergency room waiting for a doctor, or waiting by a phone for news about a loved one, this can create anxiety. You may find yourself pacing restlessly, feeling nervous, hyperactive, or tense and irritable. As the wait time grows longer, you may end up losing sleep or loss of appetite and end up exhausted and fatigued.
Victims of a major life trauma, a serious accident, or other tragedy may exhibit the symptoms described above over a prolonged period of time. These could lead to serious psychological and physiological problems. They may be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
People suffering from PTSD may experience a variety of symptoms including:
- Flashbacks or intense pain
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent urination
Emotionally, they may experience:
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on work
- Radical mood swings
- Bursting into tears for no apparent reasons
- Emotional numbness
- Phobia to certain places, people or situations
People with PTSD may lose interest in the activities they used to enjoy. They can feel lonely, even in a crowd. All of these symptoms can lead to clinical depression.
Children who suffer from separation anxiety may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Temper tantrums
- Cry endlessly
- Refusing to go to sleep or go to school
- Clinging to their parents or caregivers
Older children and teenagers who suffer from anxiety can be shy, overly irritable, and argumentative with their parents. They may have a hard time concentrating on school work. They can suffer from physical symptoms such as headaches, upset stomach, trembling/tense muscles or fatigue.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Another type of anxiety disorder is Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). OCD symptoms include a number of different categories:
- Washers (compusively washes hands)
- Checkers (repeatedly checks to see if the doors are locked or oven is off)
- Doubters (doubts if anything is ever done correctly or perfectly)
- Counters (obsessed with numbers, arrangements or colors)
- Hoarders (hoards useless things in the fear that something bad may happen if they throw them away)
Social Anxiety Disorders
People suffering from phobic or social anxiety disorders exclude other people from their lives or avoid social gatherings, certain objects, events, or places. This lets them avoid “triggers” – reminders that could cause their anxiety. These phobias cause them to become aloof and reclusive.
Women often experience symptoms of anxiety more often than men and are more likely to develop anxiety disorders. Some attribute this to their biological hormonal fluctuations such as menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause. Some physiological symptoms of anxiety include:
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Excessive worrying
- Sleep disorders
- Elevated blood pressure
- Mood swings
While all undergo stressful periods in their lives, there are times when the stress and the symptoms they manifest can become overwhelming and debilitating. When this happens, don’t ignore the anxiety. There are actions you can take to relieve both the symptoms and the causes of the stress.
This website is a guide to help you through this process.
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