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Getting to Know Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety: a student who is about to take an important exam, a teenager preparing herself for her turn in the ice-skating competition, a fresh graduate waiting in the line for his first job interview, a man before a wedding proposal, a father outside the delivery room.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word ‘anxiety’ as “fear or nervousness about what might happen.” Everyone feels pressured, stressed, or afraid of the future sometimes.

Anxiety is normal, a good thing, even. In fact, it is the body’s natural response to challenging, threatening, and dangerous situations. Its function is to help the person stay alert, keep focused, and motivate analytical thinking useful in problem solving.


Vincent Van Gogh (upload.wikimedia.org)

The problem occurs when this anxiety becomes so big and so constant that it already affects the daily life of a person. When it becomes overwhelming and it starts to eat the person whole, it is no longer ‘normal anxiety’, but an anxiety disorder.

Then again, anxiety is normal, so to confirm if it is just normal or already a disorder, draw on the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder is a psychological illness, yes, but it does not mean that it is all about emotions and feelings. The brain controls the body so anything that it experiences is reflected in the physical body.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

These are recognized through high frequency of the following:

  • Extremely fast heartbeat and trouble breathing,
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Upset stomach
  • Hardening of muscles because of too much tension
  • Body twitches
  • Headache, and nausea or dizziness.

These physical symptoms of an anxiety attack are often mistaken as symptoms of other non-psychological illnesses but it could easily be confirmed as anxiety once the medical doctor asks the patients about his feelings.

Apart from the physical side but there are also the emotional aspects to deal with…

Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety

One of the key emotional symptoms of anxiety is intense paranoia, and the constant feeling that something bad is going to happen.

People with anxiety disorder are also very conscious about signs of danger, interpreting even the smallest of things or events as a warning or indication of threat.

Other emotional symptoms of anxiety include difficulty in concentrating or handling social situations, feeling persistently agitated, irritable and restless, and feeling down because of always thinking about the worst that could happen.

Constant Relentless Stress

Interestingly, like other psychological disorders, anxiety is affected by a lot of other different factors – both intrapersonal and interpersonal. Because of differences in backgrounds and contexts, anxiety symptoms vary among individuals.

As an example, one person suffering from anxiety may be exhibiting the disorder by being in a constant state of fear and worrying, and another by having the difficulty to control one’s thoughts and actions.

However, among all the symptoms of anxiety, having relentless fear or worry in light situations or in events where most people would not feel the same, is a constant in all cases.

It should be noted that these physical and emotional symptoms go side by side in a person with anxiety. Seeking avenues to overcome anxiety is essential, however, to ensure health and safety, immediate consultation with a physician is advised.


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