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10 Common Symptoms of Anxiety

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Everyone feels anxious every once in a while – on a first date, speaking in public, going to the doctor, etc. However, extreme anxiety can interfere with your daily life. Anxiety is considered a mental health disorder that makes you worry, stress, and fear beyond reason. Anxiety disorders can include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Anxiety is a very common condition, with more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year in the United States. Anxiety is treated through counseling or medications, such as antidepressants.

Symptom 1: Difficulty Sleeping

Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you suffer from fatigue or insomnia? Anxiety can keep you up at night worrying about anything and everything.

Insomnia and waking up during the night is common for those with anxiety. Try to stay on a regular schedule, avoid taking naps, and tune out by turning off your phone, tablet, and other devices to get a good night's sleep. 

Symptom 2: Sweating

Do you sweat uncontrollably and excessively during stressful situations? So much so that it becomes embarrassing?

According to a post on Patient.info, “A few years ago (at the age of 21) I started developing quite heavy sweats that were triggered by anxiety. Whenever I even get the slightest hint of anxiety, and it really doesn't have to be a lot, my whole body burns up and I start sweating profusely. The severity of the anxiety dictates the severity of the hot flush/sweat. I saw an endocrinologist who tested my FSH, cortisol, thyroid and a couple of other things and my cortisol came back a little high (310). My cortisol levels were then-re tested 6 months later but were deemed 'okay' the second time around and I was discharged with an advisory to see a dermatologist to help with the sweating. These sweats have never improved, and my condition and health has worsened. I now suffer with depression, mood swings, zero tolerance to stress, teeth grinding constantly, dizziness, hot flushes, dehydration, and a low heat tolerance. Thinking back a few years ago, I was a very positive, confident, and laid-back person who very rarely sweated even in hot conditions and now I am almost the complete opposite of that person. I'm currently really struggling with depression and I generally don’t enjoy life. I am desperate to hopefully find answers to my condition so any opinions or information you can share with me would be greatly appreciated.”

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Symptom 3: Fear

Are you constantly living in fear? Uneasy? Have an unrelenting feeling of impending doom?

Fortunately, there are techniques and therapies that can help. Talk to your doctor about options.

Symptom 4: Calmness

Are you unable to stay calm? Are you often restless? Agitated? Annoyed? Feel keyed up? Need to be constantly moving – even when you are standing or sitting?

When you have anxiety, you are usually unable to remain calm.

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Symptom 5: Dry Mouth

Do you have cotton mouth? So dry that your lips become cracked? Anxiety can prevent your salivary glands from producing enough saliva, making your mouth dry.

According to a post on HealingWell.com, “Since this most recent bout of anxiety/depression started I have had dry mouth. A ‘yucky’ taste in my mouth and a dry feeling that leaves me needing to sip water throughout the day. Is this common? Could something else be going on? Or do many of you get this?”

Symptom 6: Hypervigilance or Irritability

Do you feel like you are always on guard? Irritable? Angry? Such feelings are common with anxiety.

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According to a post on Myptsd.com, here’s how one person deals with hypervigilence and irritability: “This has been my struggle the past few weeks as well. Here are a few things that work for me: 1. Take a break. Walk away, have some water, breathe. Even 20 seconds is better than nothing. 2. I keep a smooth rock in my pocket to run my thumb along or squeeze to relieve stress, to ground me to the present, even just to interrupt the direction I was heading in mentally. 3. I talk to myself. In my head if need be, but out loud if possible. Remind myself (if it's true) that I'm safe, that I'm just experiencing symptoms of this PTSD. And where possible I will admit to those around me at least that I'm ‘feeling off’ or possibly more detail if I can.”

Symptom 7:  Racing/Unwanted Thoughts

Are you a glass half empty type of person? Always thinking about the worst-case scenario? Is your stress out of proportion to events? Do you obsessively think about certain things?

With anxiety, you may have unwanted thoughts about your health, loved ones, etc.

Symptom 8: Excessive Worrying

Worried about what could happen? Are you always worrying? Unable to not worry about the littlest things and what you cannot control?

Worrying is normal and healthy. But when it becomes extreme and excessive, you are probably suffering from anxiety.

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Symptom 9: Nausea

Do you feel sick to your stomach? Feel a n urge to vomit? Anxiety can lead to nausea and vomiting.

According to a post on Beyondblue.org, “Hi, I'm 21 years old and I've suffered from anxiety from the around the age of eight. During this time my anxiety continues to change my symptoms, as my resilience builds against current symptoms. Because of this, each time I'm faced with the question - is this anxiety, or am I actually ill this time? As of the past month or so I've been feeling extremely nauseous from time to time, and I've also been light headed and feeling panicked. I made the mistake of googling 'what causes nausea?', and this has now increased my nausea and vertigo severely because of the possible illnesses that could be the root of my symptoms. I was previously unaware that anxiety could actually cause nausea or vertigo, so I suppose a large portion of me is worried that I am suffering an actual illness. It seems when I start to feel nauseous, it gets worse, because it consumes my each and every thought. It has now gotten to the stage where I don't want to leave my bed, and I'm struggling to eat anything at all, in fear it will make me sick. My question is: has anybody else experienced this? and if so, how did you get over the nausea or the feeling as though you're about to faint?”

Symptom 10: Palpitations

Is your heart pounding? Racing? Heart palpitations are common with anxiety.

According to HealthCentral.com, “Heart palpitations are a common symptom of anxiety. Palpitations are often described as an unusual awareness of the heartbeat or feeling your heart pounding or racing. While palpitations are rarely serious, if you are experiencing these, it is a good idea to get checked by your doctor as sometimes palpitations can signal arrhythmia, tachycardia, bradycardia or atrial fibrillation.”

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