February 20, 2012 Physical Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can happen to anyone, at any time. It doesn’t matter if you have never had anxiety problems before or if it is a regular part of your everyday life, when it happens, it can bring on physical symptoms. Often, individuals with general anxiety disorder are able to recognize the symptoms, after they have suffered from the condition for a long period of time. However, those that have never had anxiety issues can sometimes be alarmed by the physical symptoms that anxiety causes.
Anxiety is Not Just for General Anxiety Sufferers
What a lot of people fail to realize is that anxiety can happen to anyone under stress. It is actually a normal condition that helps to indicate to the body that harm or danger is near. And, while there may not always be bodily, life or death danger, the body can send life or death messages from the brain to the body when stress levels get too high.
Anxiety can occur after any number of issues. Sometimes, there aren’t even triggers that can be identified. Car accidents, death of a loved one, extreme fatigue, rape, or any other situation that can cause stress to the body can trigger anxiety reactions within the brain.
You Can’t Checklist the Symptoms
There really is no checklist of symptoms for anxiety. There are definitely symptoms that are more common than others. However, every person experiences anxiety differently. This means that symptoms can vary greatly from one person to the next. Additionally, severity of symptoms can vary greatly from one person to the next and from one situation to the next. This can make pinning down your anxiety rather difficult at times.
Panic Attack Symptoms
Panic attacks are a form of anxiety that can happen abruptly. There is rarely any warning that a panic attack is coming. They can happen to people who have never had problems with anxiety and they can happen frequently to people that suffer from general anxiety disorder.
Individuals that have never had problems with anxiety often wind up going to the emergency room when they experience their first anxiety attack. The symptoms can be extremely severe and very alarming. They can include tingling or numbness in the hands, chills, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, hot flashes, chest pains, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, upset stomach, lightheadedness, shaking, nervousness, terror, perceptual distortion, and a serious need to escape.
Generally, the symptoms of an anxiety attack last for at least ten minutes. Certain health conditions or medical conditions can actually trigger an anxiety attack. Other speculations point to certain food dyes and additives but there is no supporting evidence. Once you have had an anxiety attack, you are more likely to experience another than someone who has never had one. Additionally, if you continue to experience them on a regular basis, you may be diagnosed with general anxiety disorder.
Physical Symptoms of General Anxiety
Anxiety does not always make its presence known in the form of an anxiety attack. In fact, many people live with the symptoms of anxiety in their day-to-day life without even realizing it. Since anxiety’s purpose is to warn the body of stress or harm, ignoring the symptoms of anxiety can lead to other, more serious health conditions. Additionally, continuing to ignoring the symptoms can eventually lead to panic attacks.
Probably one of the most commonly felt – and commonly ignored- symptom of anxiety is muscle tension. This is often felt in the jaw and muscles in the back, shoulders, and neck. It can also be displayed through a clenched jaw or grinding teeth. Muscle relaxation therapy is often very effective at relieving the muscle tension felt. However, it is important to realize that the muscle tension is a symptom, not a condition. You must deal with the anxiety so that the muscle tension will subside.
Digestive problems are also a common anxiety symptom. This can occur in the form of constipation, diarrhea, nausea, a change in appetite, or general abdominal discomfort. This symptom can end up causing other problems within the body, especially if the problem persists for long periods of time.
Sleeping changes can also occur in individuals that are experiencing anxiety. In most cases, it happens in the form of insomnia. This is because the body is under too much stress to rest. However, others will experience extreme fatigue and sleeping more than usual. This is because the body is under constant stress and is worn out.
If you think that you are experiencing a problem with anxiety and it doesn’t seem to go away, it may be time to talk to your doctor. Without proper treatment, your body will continue to live under constant stress. This can take a serious toll on your body and is very dangerous.