Anxiety Symptoms

Posted on March 5, 2011

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time – in new social situations or before some type of performance-based activity like stage fright.  But, when anxiety becomes so intense that it interferes with a person’s ability to function in daily life, it could be due to an anxiety disorder.

Contrary to popular belief, anxiety disorders are very common.  Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in American women and are the second in American men.  In the U.S., forty million adults, approximately 15% of the population, suffer with an anxiety disorder.  Nearly a quarter of adults in America will suffer from an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety ranges along a continuum, from mild to severe.  Normal, healthy anxiety involves worry and/or feelings of anxiousness in response to stressors in proportion to a situation.  When anxiety exceeds the normal range, it can manifest as a number of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Specific phobias
  • Social anxiety/ Agoraphobia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

People don’t always experience anxiety in the same way or feel it in the same parts of the body.  Different anxiety disorders are associated with different symptoms and severities.  Some of the ways people experience anxiety include:

  • Muscle tension and headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Shortness of breath and heart palpitations
  • Shaking and sweating
  • Choking
  • Nausea and other forms of gastrointestinal distress
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Sense of detachment
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Fear of going crazy or death

Much of this information comes from “The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook” by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D.  This workbook is an excellent resource for anyone experiencing significant anxiety.

Written By: Autumn Schulze, MA, LMFT

 

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==