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Anxiety symptoms and what they mean

Everyone experiences anxiety differently. There are lots of symptoms, but that doesn’t mean you have to have them all to get diagnosed.

Some people know their anxiety is triggered by a specific fear, while plenty more find that they’re anxious for no apparent reason.

It’s important to take action if you notice symptoms of anxiety. Leaving them untreated can mean they get worse and lead to further health problems.

Our doctors can provide caring, confidential advice to help you manage your symptoms and stop them from disrupting your everyday routine.

Psychological symptoms of Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety can directly affect the way you think and behave. You may not even be aware of this happening.

Psychological symptoms to look out for include:

  • Feeling worried, tense or fearful for no obvious reason
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Bad mood
  • A sense of dread

Physical symptoms of Anxiety

Like many mental health conditions, anxiety can also affect you physically.

Before or during an anxiety attack, you may notice:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Low sex drive
  • Muscle tension or tightness
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Chest pain, a tight throat or trouble breathing
  • Stomach or digestive problems
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia

Anxiety Attacks

When a number of these symptoms arrive at once, it can result in an anxiety or panic attack. While you’re in no immediate danger, the loss of control can be very worrying and frightening.

Many people feel as though they’re going to pass out, throw up, have a heart attack, or even die. The stress and fear of these attacks can often be as damaging as the attacks themselves. This feeling is known as phobophobia - the fear of your phobia itself.

In these situations, it can help to focus as much as possible on your breathing. Our doctors can help you practise these techniques and build a coping strategy that’s unique to you, which you can use whenever you feel an anxiety attack may be imminent.

How can anxiety symptoms affect your life?

Anxiety can have a huge impact on your personal and professional life.

Socially, you might find yourself avoiding situations where your symptoms could become apparent to family and friends, or shying away from new relationships.

At work, you might find yourself unable to take on more responsibility or pursue promotion opportunities, or you might have to take a lot of sick days.

Your anxiety can also be a symptom of something else, rather than simply a condition in itself. In fact, some studies suggest that failing to treat anxiety quickly can cause further mental health issues down the line, including depression.

Getting the help you need

Anxiety can be difficult to talk about, but our doctors are here to provide the emotional and practical support you need.

They’ll listen to your symptoms and form a diagnosis based on what you tell them. They can then recommend the best treatment to take care of your symptoms, or refer you to a mental health specialist.