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What Are the Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?
Anxiety and panic disorders affect over 4 million adult Americans each year, and most people experience a combination of physical and emotional symptoms. In some people, the physical symptoms can be so severe that they lead to constant panic attacks and other problems. Physical symptoms can occur suddenly, or be a part of the person’s lifestyle if the anxiety disorder has been prevalent for an extended period of time.
Almost all anxiety disorders are associated with a specific set of physical symptoms, so identifying these symptoms and experiences is necessary when considering treatment.
In many cases, the mental health professional will ask the sufferer to keep track of when they experience these symptoms, and how severe they are. This can help to identify exactly what may be causing the negative experiences, and help the doctor create an effective treatment plan.
According to WebMD.com, many people experience depression and other problems that can cause additional physical symptoms.
Some of the most common physical symptoms associated with anxiety disorders include:
1. Stomach upset or nausea. Many people who have an anxiety disorder feel nauseous after a meal, or at various intervals throughout the day. This gastrointestinal disturbance is often associated with the central nervous system being out of balance.
2. Headaches or migraines. Constant tension and worry can take its toll physically in the form of headaches or migraines. People suffering from anxiety disorders often experience frequent headaches or intense migraines that can be crippling.
3. Shortness of breath. The fear response that is triggered during a panic or anxiety attack often causes a shortness of breath because the body is pushed into “fight or flight” mode. This can cause chest pains and heart problems, and can also make it difficult to focus or concentrate.
4. Insomnia. Many people suffering from anxiety disorders cannot get to sleep easily, or find it difficult to rest. Insomnia is a common side effect of many anxiety disorders, and may be corrected with lifestyle changes, herbal supplements or medication.
5. Diarrhea or constipation. Anxiety disorders can cause several problems in the digestive system, and may trigger periods of diarrhea or constipation. People who suffer from extreme levels of anxiety often need to modify their diets to ensure they are eating the right types of foods. This can mean eating a steady diet of easily-digestible, well-balanced meals.
6. Excessive sweating. Heart palpitations and an elevated heart rate are linked to increased central nervous system activity, and this often triggers excessive sweating. People with anxiety disorders often experience bouts of excessive sweating, even when they are not facing any type of fearful situation or problem.
7. Muscle tension or twitches. Some people who suffer from anxiety disorders experience muscle tension, twitches or tremors because of an imbalance in the central nervous system. Muscle twitches themselves can cause anxiety when they occur in public, and can make the sufferer feel even more out of control.
There are several physical symptoms associated with anxiety disorders, and recognizing them is the first step towards finding an effective treatment. Most people can overcome their anxiety problems with a combination of therapy, natural treatments, lifestyle changes and/or medication.
How to Tell If You Have Anxiety Attack Symptoms
Anxiety attacks and panic disorders affect an estimated 2.4 million Americans according to WebMD.com, and women are more likely to experience them than men.
An anxiety attack can be described as an elevated sense of unease and a sudden acute episode of feeling overwhelmed and panicky.
Anxiety attacks can occur on a regular basis, or randomly in people of all ages. Here are some ways to recognize anxiety symptoms:
1. Difficulty speaking and concentrating. The person experiencing an anxiety attack or extreme anxiety typically has difficulty getting focused and speaking properly. They may stumble upon their words, stutter, and feel like they can’t get their thoughts under control.
2. Chest pains or tightness. Someone who has a tendency of having anxiety attacks usually stops breathing properly. This can cause severe chest pains or tightness, difficulty swallowing, and from limited oxygen intake.
3. Excessive energy. People who are “always on the go” may not realize they are experiencing anxiety symptoms. They may feel like they can’t relax or will experience long periods of restlessness or agitation. This is a common anxiety symptom that many people overlook.
4. Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. Most people who are about to have a full-blown anxiety attack will start to breathe in a shallow manner, limiting their oxygen intake. This can cause numbness in the hands and feet, especially if they are sitting in a constricted position.
5. Heart palpitations or a racing heart. People who are about to have an anxiety attack often feel like their “heart is about to beat out of their chest.” Increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure are common anxiety symptoms.
6. Extreme cravings for sugar and sweets. For those who experience anxiety symptoms on a regular basis, eating high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods serve the purpose of calming them down.
This can become a problem if too much food is eaten at one sitting, and can end up making the person feel worse. Food can only numb anxiety symptoms temporarily; as soon as the “high” wears off, the anxiety attack or anxiety problems will return, and may get worse.
7. Extreme fatigue. Constant stress on the mind and body from an anxiety attack or anxiety problems can leave the person feeling worn out and extremely fatigued. Anxiety triggers several chemical reactions in the body that directly affect the central nervous system. This can leave the person feeling drained of energy, and unable to get enough rest to recover.
Anxiety symptoms vary from person to person, and may be more pronounced in some people than in others. The intensity and effects of an anxiety attack can occur based on the person’s chemical makeup, frequency of other attacks, and other factors.
Recognizing these symptoms as they happen can help to understand what is triggering an anxiety attack or general feelings of anxiety, and what needs to be done to correct the problem.
Even though anxiety can cause many physical, emotional and social problems, most anxiety problems can be corrected with lifestyle changes, dietary supplements or medical intervention.
Watch this video – Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Diagnosis and Treatment
By Barry McDonagh, who is an international panic disorder coach. He created the Panic Away program to help people around the world deal with their anxiety and avoid panic attacks – a subject that he is personally attuned to because he himself found that he was prone to these issues since he was young. His hatred of his powerless lead him down the path of finding natural ways to treat himself without having to depend on expensive medications.
His informative site on all issues related to panic and anxiety attacks can be found here: Getting the Best Anxiety Treatment – How to Identify Anxiety Disorders Symptoms?
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