Symptoms of anxiety

Fear and anxiety are normal biological responses that play a major role in keeping us safe. Anxiety disorders may develop when anxiety and fear become excessive and the responses involved are out of proportion to the actual risk. Anxiety disorders differ from the normal experience of anxiety as the associated worry and fear, lasting six months or more, do not go away and can get worse over time.

Most anxiety disorders tend to develop during childhood and can persist into adulthood when they are not treated. The chronic, irrational and excessive feelings of panic, fear and uneasiness cause these people much distress and can significantly impair the ability to function in their daily lives.

Anxiety disorders affect millions of people in the U.S. and frequently co-occur with other anxiety disorders, depression, mood disorders, substance use problems and other mental health difficulties. The most common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder (SAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Symptoms of an anxiety disorder will vary according to what type of disorder a person is dealing with.

Specific symptoms according to the type of anxiety disorder include the following:

    • GAD – GAD causes excessive worrying, restlessness, irritability and more
    • Phobias – A phobia causes intense fear of a specific object or situation such as spiders or enclosed spaces
    • Panic disorder – This causes panic attacks which create symptoms including an irregular heartbeat, nausea, muscle tension etc
    • OCD – OCD will cause a person to engage in certain actions or thoughts to assuage the anxiety caused by obsessive thoughts
    • PTSD – PTSD involves symptoms of re-experiencing traumatic events, paranoia and more

While the symptoms of each disorder vary, the most common symptoms of anxiety disorders include intense nervousness, fear and worry about a specific object or situation. Anxiety disorders differ in the types of objects or situations that are feared or avoided.

Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety disorders include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Palpitations or rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea or abdominal discomfort
  • Feeling faint, dizzy or lightheaded
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle tension
  • Trembling
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chills or sweating
  • Sense of things being unreal or depersonalization
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Feelings of imminent danger or doom

Finding help

Anxiety disorders of any type can worsen if help is not found. The sooner a person dealing with anxiety problems finds treatment the better off they will normally be. If you or your loved one is struggling with anxiety and would like to learn more about how to get help you can contact Anxiety Disorder Treatment Arizona for further assistance.