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The Symptoms of Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders


Many people with anxiety-related problems suffer from low self-esteem and regard it as a symptom of these problems. Actually it is much more than this. Self-doubt over the way we think, look or act can play a large part in the development and growth of increased anxiety in the first place. Many of the anxiety disorder symptoms listed below reflect low self-esteem, self-doubt and feeling insecure.

Too much anxiety can lead to a number of problems over time. These can range from persistent worrying and feelings of apprehension (often increasing to cause anxiety and panic attacks) to phobias where the anxiety and panic become associated with objects or situations in which we feel vulnerable. Other problems may also involve obsessions and compulsions, forms of depression and even physical illness.


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Anxiety Symptoms


The following list is an example of some of the symptoms associated with anxiety. They involve our body, mind and behaviour.


Physical Symptoms:

point Palpitations (Rapid / strong / irregular heartbeat).
point Fast and shallow breathing.
point Trembling and shaking.
point Legs feel like jelly.
point Excessive sweating.
point Blushing.
point Dry throat and difficulty swallowing.
point Dizziness and feeling light-headed.
point Tightness across the chest.
point Nausea.
point Needing the toilet.
point Generally feeling 'on-edge'.     whygo

Anxiety symptoms and preparing for action

Other problems associated with these symptoms may include: constant headaches, insomnia, and various muscle pains due to increased and prolonged tension.



Mental Symptoms:

point Feelings of apprehension and dread.
point Being 'mildly scared' for much of the time.
point Trouble concentrating.
point Starting to worry more.
point Irritability.
point Anger.
point Increased self-consciousness.
point Thoughts about illness.
point Restlessness.


Anxiety-Driven Behaviours:

Anxious behaviour depends on personal beliefs about what is stressful and vary from person to person. However there are some common ones which include:-

point Making excuses to avoid going out or doing things.
point Hurrying out of places or situations where we feel anxious.
point Only going to quiet places where there aren't many people.
point Not saying anything in front of others.
point Sitting near doors and exits or at the back.
point Walking to avoid buses; crossing the street to avoid people.
point Having a drink or taking a tablet before doing something stressful.


Over time, unresolved anxiety can lead to severe problems and disorders with a whole range of complicated symptoms.



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Help for Anxiety Disorders and Depression

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More Resources:
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Help For:-

Anxiety

Depression

Generalized Anxiety
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Nervousness

Obsessive Compulsive
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Panic Disorder

Phobias

Social Anxiety
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Anxiety Disorder Symptoms


These symptoms develop from the sub-conscious reasons we find to explain our anxiety/panic and the ways we try to deal with it. They can be numerous, encompassing our thoughts, feelings and actions, and may be related directly to anxiety at any given moment (as in the lists above), due to prolonged anxiety and tension (long-term problems), or connected to the way we feel about ourselves (psychological).

Many of the psychological symptoms below can be present whichever 'disorder' exists and since they are connected to heightened anxiety, even people without anxiety problems can experience these symptoms to some degree at times in their lives, more so in times of stress.


LONG-TERM PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS. These can include:-

point Headaches.
point Digestion problems.
point Bowel problems.
point Allergy-type problems.
point Fatigue.
point Constant colds.
point Skin problems.

Many of the above may be due, in part, to the suppression of the body's immune system by chemicals released into the bloodstream when anxious.
(Please note that any recurring physical symptoms such as pains or function problems (eg. digestion, bowel) need to be checked out by a medical doctor as they could be the signs of underlying physical disease).


LONG-TERM BEHAVIOURAL SYMPTOMS. Some examples are:-

point Extreme anxiety and panic around other people.
Having to do things in front of others can cause us to become panic-stricken.
(Social phobia / social anxiety disorder).

point Excessive Worrying
Persistant and uncontrollable worrying about people / events / situations.
(GAD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder).

point Avoidance behaviour
Avoiding things and situations that make us feel afraid. (Phobias).

point Obsessions and compulsions
Here, anxiety takes the form of often horrible uncontrollable thoughts (obsessions). Compulsions are our attempts to control these thoughts by trying to prevent any threat or danger. Often harmful to ourselves, compulsions do provide some sense of relief. (OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

point Hypochondria
Constantly visiting the doctor. Where every ache and pain becomes associated with being a serious illness.

point Depression
Often involves feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and the belief that events are beyond our control and everything we try to do will fail.

point Sexual problems
Fears over losing control and being judged on performance can maintain these problems.

point Others include:- Aggression, sleep disorders and eating disorders.


PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS. These can be expressed in the way we think, feel and behave, and may include:-

point Perfectionism
Needing to be the strongest, the most beautiful, the cleverest, the most handsome, have the best body, to do the best, to be the best etc.

point Constantly making comparisons
Always comparing ourselves with others and coming up short.

point Excessive self-consciousness
Constantly watching ourselves.

point Child-like thoughts and behaviours
Desperately needing the love and approval of parents and others.

point Fantasising
Common fantasies include: 'one day being rich and famous or great, loved by all'.

point Excessive Tidiness
This represents attempts to bring form and order to our world, to gain a sense of being in control.

point Symmetry
Here, what is done by (happens to) one side of the body must be done by (happen to) the other side. This is also related to order and control.

point Ending sentences with questions
We do this to shift the attention away from us to the other person.

point Mild paranoia
Involves constant feelings of 'being picked on' and that 'others are treated better'.

point Obsessed with body image
Believing our body, or parts of it, are 'not good enough'.

point Poor posture
Standing shoulders down, feet inwards and arms in front of body, trying to be small, almost apologetic for being there.

point Others include:-
Persistent negative thoughts and images, constantly looking back for reasons and answers, and feelings of having no control over our mind or body.


A diagnosis of an anxiety disorder often refers to the main set of symptoms. Yet many people experience a whole range of symptoms associated with various anxiety disorders, adding weight to the belief that these problems are all related.


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Whichever anxiety disorder exists, the number of symptoms, the extent to which they occur, the situations in which they appear and the way they interact with each other is as complex as the individual and the life events experienced.

They can support and confirm each other and strengthen until they become part of the make up of an individual. It's not surprising that with anxiety-related problems we tend to use such phrases as “It's just the way I am” and “It's just part of me”.


However, such behaviours do make up JUST PART of a person.


Someone who is sad is also at times happy. One who is weak, is occasionally strong. The scared can be brave and unconfident people can sometimes feel confident! What we need to do is reduce the bad feelings and increase the good ones. No matter how small they exist at the moment ~ THEY DO EXIST.


Robert H. Schuller


Although you may not appreciate it at the moment, you do have special qualities that other people don't have. Many that actually come from struggling with feelings of self-doubt and anxiety.

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And you have the potential to become a much stronger, wiser person than one who hasn't experienced anxiety problems.


So is it really possible to become totally free from these problems? Yes it is. The next section gives a brief insight into what it takes...

›› The Answer


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Help for Anxiety and Depression
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