If you have any of the physical symptoms of anxiety listed below, please don't suffer any longer -- seek help immediately. Your first step is to get properly diagnosed. Only a professional can diagnose anxiety.
Don't feel ashamed, many people experience these anxiety symptoms. Anxiety disorder and panic attacks are very common disorders. Your doctor will understand. Make a list of your symptoms to take with you to the doctor so that you don't forget any of them. Be sure to talk openly and freely with your doctor so you can get the help you deserve.
Don't leave it untreated
Many people with anxiety disorders do not seek treatment for their symptoms. They don't think their anxiety can be treated. In addition, they may fear what others might think of them if they seek treatment. As a result, many will suffer with an anxiety disorder, and the symptoms that come with it, when they don't have to. This can go untreated for long periods of time.
Often mistaken for serious physical problems, symptoms of a panic attack, or anxiety symptoms, can be hard to accept. Effective treatment of anxiety disorders requires careful diagnosis and safe treatment. Your health care provider can, with proven techniques, bring a change in a matter of weeks or less. Individuals with anxiety disorders can get significant relief from their physical symptoms.
Symptoms for diagnosis of anxiety disorder
The American Psychiatric Association's criteria states that 4 or more of the following physical symptoms of anxiety must be intensely and suddenly present, and reach their peak within ten minutes for diagnosis of panic disorder/anxiety.
- Palpitations (Heart Beating Hard and/or Fast or Pounding)
- Heartbeat sensations that involve a regular or irregular pounding of the heart. It is a conscious, unpleasant awareness of one's own heartbeat, or a sensation of skipped or stopped beats. Palpitations can be felt in the chest, throat, or neck. Palpitations may be felt accompanying emotions such as excitement or fright. Everyone experiences palpitations at some time in life. Pounding of the heart, brought on by strenuous exercise or strong emotions, is rarely associated with serious disease.
- Sweating - Perspiration
- In most cases, sweating is perfectly natural, especially when exercising, or hot, or if something has happened to cause an emotional response (being angry, embarrassed, nervous, afraid, or anxious).
- Trembling or Shaking
- Trembling or shaking can be associated with fatigue, stress, anxiety, anger, or rage. However, a constant tremor that is not associated with altered emotional states may be a sign of disease or a abnormal condition and should be evaluated.
- Shortness of Breath - Breathlessness - Difficulty Breathing
- A sensation of difficult or uncomfortable breathing, or a feeling of not getting enough air. If the brain, muscles, or other body organs do not receive enough oxygen, a sense of breathlessness may occur. Sometimes emotional distress, such as anxiety, can lead to difficulty breathing.
- Difficulty Swallowing
- The sensation that food is stuck in the throat or upper abdomen. This may be felt high in the neck or lower down, behind the breastbone (sternum). Sometimes emotional distress, such as anxiety, can lead to difficulty swallowing.
- Sharp Pains in the Chest or Chest Discomfort
- When faced with unexpected chest pain, it is normal for people to fear the worst because chest pain is a symptom to which many people think "heart attack." Nevertheless, chest pain can have many causes unrelated to the heart. Sometimes being caused by a panic-anxiety attack.
- Abdominal Pain - Stomach Pain
- Abdominal pain is a nonspecific symptom that may be associated with a multitude of conditions such as anxiety or strong emotions.
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Nausea and vomiting are controlled by the central nervous system. Nausea is controlled by a part of the nervous system that controls involuntary bodily functions. Vomiting is a reflex controlled by a vomiting center in the brain. Vomiting can be stimulated by various triggers, such as smell, taste, anxiety, pain, motion, changes in the body caused by inflammation, poor blood flow, or irritation.
- Dizziness - Lightheadedness - Faintness
- Dizziness is a feeling of faintness or light-headedness, making it difficult to maintain balance while standing or sitting. A persistent light-headed feeling without other symptoms is often due to anxiety, rather than a brain tumor or other hidden disease. If it is severe, some anti-anxiety medications can help treat light-headedness and dizziness. Sometimes headaches and migraines can also occur.
- Hot or Cold Flashes
- A short lasting feeling of "warm or cool" sensations in the upper body. Sometimes emotional distress, such as anxiety, can lead to hot or cold flashes.
- Fears of Losing Control, Dying, or "Going Crazy"
- Click here to read more about Fears of Losing Control, Dying, or Going Crazy.
Photo by John Nyboer