The symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks

Anxiety is a complex and individual experience, and it can manifest in various ways. Below, we’ve outlined the common physical and mental effects of anxiety. Keep in mind that your personal experience with anxiety may involve other symptoms not listed here.

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What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety is a complex and individual experience, and it can manifest in various ways. Below, we’ve outlined the common physical and mental effects of anxiety. Keep in mind that your personal experience with anxiety may involve other symptoms not listed here.

Effects of anxiety on your body

This can include:

  • Stomach Sensations: You might experience a churning feeling in your stomach.
  • Dizziness: Feeling light-headed or dizzy is common.
  • Pins and Needles: Sensations of pins and needles in your extremities can occur.
  • Restlessness: Many individuals feel restless and find it challenging to sit still.
  • Aches and Pains: Anxiety can lead to headaches, backaches, or other bodily aches.
  • Rapid Breathing: Breathing may become faster and shallower.
  • Heartbeat Changes: You may notice a fast, thumping, or irregular heartbeat.
  • Sweating: Anxiety can cause sweating or hot flushes.
  • Sleep Problems: Insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns are common.
  • Teeth Grinding: Some people may grind their teeth, especially at night.
  • Nausea: Nausea or feeling sick can be a symptom.
  • Bathroom Habits: Anxiety can affect your frequency of using the toilet.
  • Changes in Sex Drive: Your sexual desire may fluctuate.

Effects of anxiety on your mind

These can include:

  • Tension and Nervousness: You may constantly feel tense, nervous, or unable to relax.
  • Sense of Dread: Some individuals experience a persistent sense of dread or fear of the worst.
  • Time Perception: Your perception of time may become distorted, feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down.
  • Feeling Watched: Anxiety can make you feel as though others are noticing your anxiety and watching you.
  • Worrying Constantly: You might find it difficult to stop worrying, fearing that ceasing to worry will bring about negative consequences.
  • Anxiety About Anxiety: Sometimes, individuals worry specifically about their anxiety, such as when panic attacks might strike.
  • Seeking Reassurance: You may seek reassurance from others or worry that people are angry or upset with you.
  • Reality Concerns: Anxiety can make you fear losing touch with reality.
  • Low Mood and Depression: Anxiety often coexists with low mood and depression.
  • Rumination: You may engage in rumination, repeatedly thinking about negative experiences or situations.
  • Depersonalisation: This is a form of dissociation where you feel disconnected from your mind or body, almost like watching yourself in a movie.
  • Derealisation: Another form of dissociation, derealisation involves feeling disconnected from the world around you, as if it’s not real.

Additional effects of anxiety

Anxiety can affect you for a long time and might come and go. It can make everyday things hard, like:

  • Taking care of yourself.
  • Keeping a job.
  • Making and keeping friends.
  • Trying new activities.
  • Enjoying your free time.

If you have an anxiety disorder and you drive, you might need to tell the DVLA).

Anxiety and it’s impact on physical health

Sometimes, being anxious a lot might increase your chances of getting certain long-term health problems. These can include things like diabetes, stomach ulcers, and heart issues. However, scientists aren’t completely sure how strong this link is or who is most likely to be affected.

Also, if you already have a physical illness or disability, it can make you feel more stressed and anxious. This can create a cycle where your anxiety and health problems make each other worse.

It can be hard to tell if what you’re feeling is only because of anxiety or if it’s a sign of a different health problem. If you have any physical symptoms, it’s really important to talk to your doctor. They can help figure out what’s causing these symptoms.

Get support

Talk with a trained professional about your thoughts and feelings with out free counselling and private counselling service for people over the age of 18.

Counselling Private Counselling