People with anxiety disorders present a variety of physical symptoms in addition to non-physical symptoms that characterize the disorders such as excessive, unrealistic worrying. Many of these symptoms are similar to those exhibited by a person suffering general illness, heart attack, or stroke, and this tends to further increase anxiety. The following is a list of physical symptoms associated with GAD:
- Churning stomach
- Heart palpitations
- Numbness or "pins and needles" in arms, hands or legs
- Easily tired
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Frequent urination
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Being easily startled
Those suffering from panic disorders may experience similar physical symptoms to those with GAD. They also may experience chest pains, a sense of choking, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
Post-traumatic stress disorders have a range of symptoms that are unique to this form of anxiety. Frequent symptomatic behaviors include:
- Flashbacks or nightmares of re-experiencing the trauma
- Avoidance of people, places, and things that are associated with the original event
- Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
- Closely watching surroundings (hypervigilance)
- Irritability and diminished feelings or aspirations for the future
The video below, produced by eHow, takes a look at the common symptoms of anxiety disorders.
On the next page we look at the available treatments for anxiety, including self-treatment.