Everyone knows what fear is. It’s a form of human reaction and a part of our life. They say that those who learned to be afraid learned the most important thing. Fear is concrete. Between the outer manifestations of real fear, existential fear (fear of existence), and neurotic fear, there are no clear boundaries. Unlike fear, anxiety arises in anticipation of an uncertain danger, an unfavorable development of events. By definition, anxiety is a distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. Anxiety is usually called the disease of our time. So, what are anxiety symptoms?
It was found that the level of anxiety among people varies from 14 to 39%. Most often this phenomenon is observed in people experiencing the effects of psychotrauma. Depressive mood changes reduce the threshold of tolerance of extreme environmental factors. As a result, this can lead to the development of anxiety.
But not always anxiety is a pathological condition. Very often, it is an ordinary reaction of a person to everyday reality, to the surrounding world. Ordinary anxiety can be caused by an overestimated level of claims or insufficient moral justification of motives.
Anxiety also develops when two or more goals, either filled with vital meaning or not having the status of a vital task, are a contradiction.
Psychological Symptoms of Anxiety
Psychological anxiety symptoms revealed in conversations with people suffering from anxiety are associated with a sense of foreboding, with difficulty in concentrating attention, with sensitivity to noise. However, a common sign is a feeling of worry.
Overnervousness, constriction, restlessness, timidity, vulnerability, and shyness are those behavioral changes that become noticeable in people with anxiety disorders.
People inclined to anxiety disorders, as a rule, complain about heart palpitations and headaches, dyspnea and chest pains, a feeling of instability and tingling or numbness of fingers rather than about a feeling of anxiety.
Ordinary anxiety is easily resolved; this is the case when it is possible and necessary to turn to friends or relatives, and they will dispel doubts. Anxiety, which is accompanied by insomnia (a violation of falling asleep), irritability, the inability to get rid of disturbing thoughts, expressed by vegetative and other symptoms, requires professional treatment in the appropriate clinic.
Anxiety Symptoms and Causes
Psychologists and psychotherapists believe that the cause of anxiety can be frequent stresses, previous illnesses or chronic fatigue. Progressive diseases of internal organs can also manifest themselves like this. A person always feels that they are in danger, but cannot understand what is happening to them.
Anxiety symptoms: often patients feel pain in the abdomen or chest, “there is a lump” in the throat, breathing is difficult, there is a cough, dizziness, and unreasonable fear. A person may be afraid of dying from an ordinary, completely curable disease, in a catastrophe, becoming a victim of a crime, etc.
In large cities, such disorders occur much more often than, for example, in rural areas. This is not surprising when you recall how people live and work today. This is often such a lifestyle that a person cannot stop and even think about why they react to a situation in this or that way. There are also a lot of diseases nowadays. Still, people worry not only because of their health problems. Anxiety may take place because of various reasons.
Anxiety and a sense of danger are not always pathological states. Every person is familiar with a feeling of anxiety on the threshold of some situation or problem that is difficult to solve. However, when the problem is solved and the danger disappears, the sense of anxiety should disappear as well.
The cause of pathological anxiety is not real dangers or problems. It simply arises “out of nothing”, when a person gives vent to their imagination – and the latter, as a rule, painfully draws negative pictures in all the details. In such a situation, a person feels helpless, irritated, tired emotionally and physically. As a result, health can worsen very quickly. The problem is that many people do not know how to get out of this “vicious circle”.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, a person can feel the constant tension. What’s more, memory and concentration of attention worsen, brain activity decreases. A person becomes impatient, frightened, fussy, and irritated. In women, anxiety symptoms manifest themselves as a frequent change of mood and tearfulness for any reason. There may be insomnia, nightmares. Muscles of the back and neck ache, heartbeat becomes faster, palms become wet. A person has a fever or chills. Some people are even prone to vomiting and diarrhea, even though there is generally no infection or other cause for an intestinal disorder.
A lot of anxiety symptoms are accepted by specialists for real diseases. For example, a patient with pathological anxiety may have all the signs of bronchial asthma, throat or heart disease, and then people are treated for a long time but the treatment does not work.
Anxiety can develop into a phobia. Then a person begins to fear the most common things and phenomena: open spaces, crowds of people, buses, dogs, insects, heights or darkness – all this hinders life. Some are afraid to even go to a cafe because they cannot eat and drink surrounded by other people. They have a hard time, literally and figuratively.
Anxiety and troubling thoughts often affect the ability to concentrate on one task. If a person begins to worry, it’s hard to get distracted from it.
Often one does not understand the causes of anxiety, which can consolidate this feeling and create a sense of insanity.
Anxiety Symptoms Include:
Inability to cope with stress; restlessness; fast fatigability; difficulty concentrating; irritability; muscular tension; shivering; headaches; sleep disorders, including problems with falling asleep and restless sleep; fearfulness; cold, wet hands; nausea; diarrhea; feeling of a lump in the throat; symptoms of depression.
People who are anxious can also experience panic attacks or sudden attacks of anxiety and fear. This can be the fear of an imminent disaster, such as death, madness or fainting; the person feels trapped.
Physical symptoms of a panic attack:
- an intense feeling of doom and gloom;
- nervous stomach;
- the loss of control;
- feeling like you are about to go crazy;
- feeling overwhelmed;
- a sudden and strong urge to escape;
- heightened fear and apprehension;
- increased stimulation;
- pins and needles;
- throat tightness;
- muscle weakness;
- weakness in the knees;
Panic attacks usually last 10-20 minutes. At the same time, for a person who experiences them, they can seem endless. After an attack, the person feels anxiety, exhaustion, and devastation.
People suffering from panic attacks can also experience anxiety associated with their expectation.
What Are Anxiety Symptoms?
Behaving in an overly apprehensive manner creates the physiological, psychological, and emotional state of anxiety. Anxiety activates the stress response which affects the body. As a result, your body becomes overly stressed and can exhibit the symptoms of stress. So anxiety symptoms are actually the symptoms of stress.
Each individual is unique. It means that the type, number, intensity, duration, and frequency of anxiety symptoms will vary from person to person. For example, one person might have just one mild or a few anxiety symptoms, whereas another person might have all anxiety symptoms of great severity. All combinations and variations are common.
While anxiety symptoms vary from person to person, in general, the body reacts in a very specific way to anxiety. When you feel anxious, your body goes on high alert, looking for possible danger and activating your fight responses. As a result, some common anxiety symptoms include:
nervousness, restlessness, or being tense
inability to cope with stress
feelings of danger, panic, or dread
rapid heart rate
rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
increased or heavy sweating
trembling or muscle twitching
weakness and lethargy
difficulty focusing or thinking clearly about anything other than the thing that makes you worry
digestive or gastrointestinal problems, such as gas, constipation, or diarrhea
a strong desire to avoid the things that trigger your anxiety
obsessions about certain ideas, the signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
performing certain actions over and over again
anxiety surrounding a particular life event or experience that has occurred in the past, especially indicative of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).