Anxiety can overwhelm and consume a person and exhibit itself in various ways. The symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person and a single person can also experience multiple symptoms. This makes it a challenging condition to diagnose on time and correctly. Anxiety attacks can be a severely traumatic experience and also quite confusing to explain to others. Doctors too might incorrectly attribute these physical symptoms to associated illnesses and leave out anxiety in the diagnosis.1 So, let us look into some of the physical symptoms that are prevalent in people with anxiety disorder.
Physical Symptoms Common In Anxiety
1. Increased Heart Rate
People who experience panic or anxiety attacks always complain of a thumping in the heart or shortness of breath and chest pain. Many of you would have experienced your heart beating much faster when in panic. This is a very normal response of the body to resolve the situation as soon as possible. But for those with anxiety, these symptoms are a little too common and can be quite alarming and dangerous. As a result, they feel nauseated and might even fall down unconscious at times. Often, these symptoms are confused with that of a heart attack.2
Differentiating between stress-induced seizures and epileptic seizures can be challenging. In anxiety-related seizures, stress sends signals to the brain along with a sense of panic and anxiety. This induces epileptic fits, which can result in vomiting and headaches. Psychological stress is also an underlying factor in individuals diagnosed with anxiety.Stress management along with medication to control the seizures can be an effective course of treatment. Meditation and exercise also proved to be effective in the long run to control the stress factor. 3
Stress management along with medication to control the seizures can be an effective course of treatment. Meditation and exercise also proved to be effective in the long run to control the stress factor.4
Those with an anxiety disorder face difficulty falling asleep due to mood swings and a constant barrage of negative thoughts that surround them. Consequently, insomnia is a common symptom of anxiety disorder. Controlling both insomnia and anxiety is vital to bring down the mental stress levels.
Spending hours without sleeping and fluctuating between different mental states at the same time can be physically and mentally tiring. Such individuals tend to spend more energy to the point of exhaustion with the mind constantly thinking and getting confused as well. Exercise like yoga and meditation can bring down the stress levels and get your sleep routine back in order.5
4. Profuse Sweating And Cold Hands
When in panic, people with anxiety often find themselves profusely sweating and feel a quick chill going through the nerves. The cold feeling in the hands is a stress-induced response of the nervous system. When your body reacts to fear, the adrenaline rush causes the heart to beat faster. The arteries constrict and other parts of the body draw blood away from the hands and feet to attend to the panic situation. This is why your hands feel colder and the sweat glands get activated to shed out the heat that is built up in the body. These conditions can be resolved when the underlying source of anxiety is attended to with relevant medication and procedures.6
5. Reduced Libido
Anxiety can reduce sexual drive owing to the overwhelming nature of the disorder. The feelings of low self-esteem, loneliness, and self-pity don’t facilitate healthy relationships and positive sexual activity. Early diagnosis and a systematic, definite course of treatment can give relief from these symptoms and improve one’s quality of life in the long run.7
Anxiety disorder is very similar to any other diseases but differs in the fact that it is a problem of both the body and mind and the symptoms differ from person to person. An early diagnosis followed by the right treatment options such as antidepressants and practices like yoga, meditation, and exercises for the body and mind can improve the quality of life and reduce the symptoms.
|↑1||Leaman, Thomas L. “Healing the Anxiety Diseases.” Springer, 2013.|
|↑2||Emilien, Gerard, Durlach, Cecile, Lepola, Ulla and Dinan, Timothy. “Anxiety Disorders: Pathophysiology and Pharmacological Treatment.” Birkhäuser, 2012.|
|↑3, ↑4||Thompson, Siân A., John S. Duncan, and Shelagh JM Smith. “Partial seizures presenting as panic attacks.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 321, no. 7267 (2000): 1002.|
|↑5||Monti, Jaime M., and Daniel Monti. “Sleep disturbance in generalized anxiety disorder and its treatment.” Sleep medicine reviews 4, no. 3 (2000): 263-276.|
|↑6||Lum, L. C. “Hyperventilation and anxiety state.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 74, no. 1 (1981): 1.|
|↑7||Mathew, Roy J., and Maxine L. Weinman. “Sexual dysfunctions in depression.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 11, no. 4 (1982): 323-328.|