Anxiety is a very common health problem, and many researchers believe at least 300 million people worldwide suffer from it. Anxiety can manifest itself in different ways, and it can be temporary or long-term. Each individual suffering with anxiety often has their own unique experience and combination of symptoms, although there are many which are common in most people.
The physical symptoms
While it’s easy to automatically think of anxiety as being an entirely mental health problem, there are many physical symptoms which can occur as a result of anxiety. These include:
- Increased heart rate: This is one of the most common symptoms of anxiety. You may feel a general increased heart rate, but more so during panic attacks or when you are going through a more intense period of anxiety.
- Stomach pains and digestive problems: Pains and aches in your stomach, problems digesting food, and feelings of nausea are often connected. They are common physical symptoms of anxiety to look out for.
- Headaches: Constant or increased feelings of anxiety and worry can lead to an increase or worsening of headaches. You may find that you get headaches seemingly without doing anything to induce them.
The mental symptoms
Alongside many physical effects, people suffering with anxiety disorders are likely to experience the following mental symptoms:
- Restlessness: This often comes from the constant feelings of worry and stress. You may feel unsettled and restless, or like you don’t know what to do next. It may be very difficult for people with anxiety to relax for extended periods of time.
- Lack of concentration: This is most obvious in people who generally have high levels of concentration. When they feel anxious or when they are going through more intense periods of anxiety, concentration levels may drop. This in turn can affect productivity and satisfaction levels.
- Irritability: Feeling irritable can be an effect of many health conditions, including anxiety. People will anxiety often feel more irritable than those without anxiety. These feelings of irritability can cause problems with family, friends, colleagues and other relationships.
People who experience anxiety are likely to have many of the symptoms listed above, in addition to other common and less common symptoms. If any of these effects sound familiar to you, then it’s possible you are suffering from anxiety. Speak to your doctor who will be able to refer you to a mental health specialist for a diagnosis and support.