11 Signs You May Have an Anxiety Disorder

A Guide to Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety SymptomsThe symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person, but there are a handful that are common among many anxiety warriors. Although it is normal for everyone to experience anxiety at some point in their lives, if your symptoms are persistent and unrelenting, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress, but when your anxiousness begins to affect your performance at work, school, or in relationships, it becomes an issue. The symptoms of anxiety can be separated into four distinct categories: physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Many of the physical symptoms of anxiety are so common that these physical symptoms often precede an actual diagnosis.

There are a number of physical symptoms associated with anxiety, which vary from person to person. The three listed here are very common across a number of anxiety disorders.

Heart Palpitations

An increased heart rate or a rapid, irregular heartbeat is an extremely common symptom of anxiety.

Although common, many people fear that a racing heart is a sign of a heart attack. This is why this symptom also leads many people to the emergency room.

Sensing that there is something wrong with your heart can also make anxiety worse, causing more symptoms to develop. If you do begin to feel heart palpitations that you suspect are as a result of anxiety, it is best to start working on calming techniques until you are settled again.

Throughout your experience with anxiety, take note of your common symptoms. It can ease your mind to know that what you’re feeling is normal.

Shortness of Breath

Whether you’re hyperventilating or feeling tightness in your chest and throat, making it difficult to breathe, there are many people who associate shortness of breath with anxiety.

What makes this symptom scary for many individuals is the inability to catch your breath, despite your lack of physical activity. You can predict that you’ll begin to breathe harder when running, but if you develop the same sensation while sitting on the couch, this symptom can be troubling.

Excessive Sweating

Do you notice that your internal body temperature rises if you get scared? Being in a constant state of worry can cause similar side effects.

Many people who have anxiety disorders experience excessive sweating, resulting from their feelings of panic. Stress will, unfortunately, cause most people to sweat.

If you have difficulty controlling your feelings of worry, you may also notice an inability to prevent stress sweat. Unfortunately, excessive sweating may lead to embarrassment, causing more unwanted feelings of stress and shame.

Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety

The emotional symptoms of anxiety are some of the more widely recognizable symptoms of the disorder. Most anxious individuals experience the symptoms below.

Stress and Worry

Feelings of constant worry and stress are so synonymous with anxiety that some use these terms interchangeably. Although everyone experiences periods of stress in the course of their lives, those with anxiety disorders deal with it on a near-constant basis.

Anxiety is often defined by persistent and excessive worry about even ordinary issues, which is often out of proportion to the actual circumstance.

Panic and Panic Attacks

Panic may be a symptom of anxiety in itself or may be experienced in the form of a panic attack. Feelings of panic are challenging to control and are often disproportionate to any present danger.

Certain phobias or triggers can quickly induce panic or panic attacks – defined by sudden feelings of intense fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes – making it hard to prevent.

Due to how unpleasant these feelings can be, many individuals will isolate themselves from the triggers that induce panic.

Next page: The behavioral and cognitive symptoms of anxiety, and tips for coping with anxiety symptoms. 

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