The Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

The Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
26/09/2019

It’s normal to experience feelings of anxiety from time to time. But what if these feelings are persistent and ongoing, or start to interfere with our everyday lives? To understand the difference between everyday feelings of anxiousness as opposed to anxiety disorder, we need to understand the signs and symptoms of anxiety.

We all experience anxiety in various forms. In fact, these feelings can often help us focus more clearly on our goals and strive to do our best when we have presentations or performances. This fear of failure is often what drives us to success.

Because we all experience anxiety, however, it can be difficult to see the difference between everyday feelings of anxiousness and those that are more serious. The symptoms of anxiety aren’t always obvious and they’re not always physical. Add to this the fact that different kinds of anxiety produce slightly different symptoms, and it can be difficult to recognise, even in the people we know and love.

So, what are the signs of anxiety?

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Each type of anxiety has its own distinctive features, but there are common anxiety symptoms that are present throughout each type of anxiety.

Anxiety symptoms include:

Behavioural: Social withdrawal, avoidance, procrastination and difficulty making decisions, even about everyday things.

Physical: Restlessness, irritability, increased heart rate, fatigue, difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, muscle tension, grinding teeth, upset stomach, difficulty breathing or rapid breathing, excessive thirst, twitching, vertigo, dizziness, and panic attacks.

Psychological:  Excessive worrying, poor concentration, irrational fears, feeling generally tense and edgy, and a sense of impending doom or danger.   Often these feelings are disproportionate to the actual events or the situation occurring. For instance, you may be excessively worrying about an issue that others may deem unimportant, such as being overly concerned with something embarrassing you said or did, or anxious about a situation that may or may not even come to pass.

To learn more about anxiety and how to start implementing treatment, download our guide here –

Diagnosing Anxiety

To be diagnosed with anxiety, a combination of the above symptoms is usually present on an ongoing basis, for a period of a few months or more. You may feel as if these symptoms are interfering with your everyday life.

If you do have a number of anxiety symptoms, particularly on an ongoing basis, it’s important to seek help from a doctor. Even if you don’t have anxiety, this could be a sign of another underlying health issue.

What Causes Anxiety?

Anxiety is often caused by (or exacerbated by) ongoing external triggers, such as significant life events. These could include:

  • Job or career changes
  • Relocation
  • Pregnancy or giving birth
  • Divorce or breaking up with a significant other
  • Death of a loved one
  • Relationship or family issues
  • Abuse
  • Trauma or a major life event

Personality factors (for instance, always needing to be a perfectionist), the use of or withdrawal from illicit substances, and long-term physical conditions may also worsen anxiety conditions.

When to Seek Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder, particularly for extended periods of time, it’s important to seek help from a qualified mental health practitioner. If you don’t, left untreated, these symptoms could lead to feelings of isolation over long periods of time, and the longer you leave anxiety untreated, the harder it will be to bounce back to a point where anxiety doesn’t rule your life.

Even if you haven’t been experiencing anxiety for long, if it is getting in the way of you being able to live your life as normal and complete tasks in your home or work life, we advise you seek help.

Anxiety symptoms can often be managed with a combination of medication and the implementation of healthy habits such as exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and incorporating mindfulness into our daily lives.

For more severe anxiety, while these practices can help ease symptoms, an extensive treatment plan is often required. There is a range of treatments and programs available for anxiety which can be combined to help you feel better as soon as possible.

To find out more about treatment, read our article on treatment for anxiety.

To learn more about anxiety and how to start implementing treatment, download our guide here –

or contact us today for more information.

Emanuele Latino

Program Director & Psychologist

Emanuele Latino

Emanuele has a compassionate approach to clients’ struggles, in order to promote awareness and initiate together with the transformative process. His treatment approaches range from Gestalt, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Dialectical and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, EMDR, ACT, Neuropsychotherapy, Sensorymotor Psychotherapy and Cape Cod Model for Couple Therapy.

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