Anxiety disorders are one of those conditions that many people suffer from, but don't fully understand. A lot of people tend to think that anxiety is just a feeling that will pass, and is not a real condition. But for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, it really isn't that simple.
If you believe that anxiety is first and foremost a mental illness, it may surprise you to learn that there are actually several physical symptoms that coincide with the condition. It isn't only emotional, it affects the whole body, sometimes mimicking the symptoms of other illnesses.
Anxiety may present itself in ways that make a person think they are suffering from asthma, vertigo, or even a heart attack.
The physical symptoms can be chronic, recurring and often terrifying. It's often things you wouldn't even think about at first, but if you know what to look out for you might be able to treat the condition before it gets too bad.
The thought that anxiety is just an excessive fear or worry is really not all it is. The body is putting the fight-or-flight responses into overdrive, which leads to a wide range of physical issues that are sometimes hard to pin point. What kind of symptoms are they suffering from?
The physical symptoms often show up in weird ways. A patient may end up visiting the doctor frequently for seemingly unrelated issues, but never finding any cause.
It can take a long time to uncover an anxiety disorder, especially when it presents itself in unusual ways.
Common physical symptoms that people experience include shortness of breath, a pounding heart and sweating, but there are others are often ignored because they seem less likely to be associated with anxiety.
If you are feeling as though you are suffering from dizzy spells, or getting headaches often, there is a chance that you are having anxiety problems. Muscle tension is also a huge side effect, which can actually lead to neck and back pain.
It's hard to diagnose because you often have to rule out everything else before you can come to a definitive conclusion. You wouldn't want to be treated for anxiety if you actually had a heart condition, but often they present in similar ways.
It can also affect your gastrointestinal system, where it be an upset stomach, acid reflux, or something more serious, like diarrhea. Frequent urination is also a symptom of anxiety that you may not realize, but like all the rest it's hard to realize that it's connected to your mental well being.
To summarize, the physical symptoms of anxiety you should watch out for are:
- Shortness of breath
- Pounding heart
- Muscle Tension
- Neck and Back Pain
- Upset Stomach
- Acid Reflux
- Frequent Urination
Dr. Emanual Maidenberg, a professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences, said that sometimes the fear of the symptoms can actually increase them. "The very thought and anticipation of the symptoms can produce anxiety. The feeling itself becomes the threat."