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Anxiety signs and symptoms

Anxiety encompasses a range of individual mental health disorders, which are typically characterised by symptoms such as excessive fear, apprehension and worry. Whilst it is normal for virtually all people to experience these emotions from time-to-time, individuals who struggle with anxiety disorders develop such severe symptoms that their ability to function is impaired, and they often feel forced to change their behaviours as a means of coping with the psychological stress that is associated with their anxiety disorder. Some people also go on to develop alcohol and drug addictions alongside their anxiety, as a result of their attempts to self-medicate and reduce their anxiety symptoms.

It is important to be able to recognise the signs and symptoms of anxiety, so that if your symptoms become so severe that they are impacting on your quality of life, you know that it’s time to seek professional psychological treatment in order to overcome your anxiety. At Manor Clinic, we are able to provide tried and tested anxiety treatment, alongside addiction treatment, allowing our patients to overcome their anxiety and substance misuse disorder, and return to a positive way of life.

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders?

The symptoms of anxiety disorders are unique to each individual and also depend on the type of anxiety disorder that you are struggling with. There are several physical, psychological and behavioural/social symptoms that are common to all types of anxiety, and may indicate that a debilitating anxiety disorder is present.

Physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • Feeling light-headed and dizzy
  • Muscle tension
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sensation of choking
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Frequent urination
  • Headaches and stomach aches
  • Weight loss or gain as a result of appetite changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Exhaustion

Psychological symptoms of anxiety:

  • Persistent worry, apprehension or dread – finding that you can’t stop worrying about something negative happening, resulting in this having a detrimental impact on your general enjoyment of life
  • Having fears that seem to be disproportionate to the actual threat posed by the situation
  • Problems with focus or concentration
  • Nightmares or night terrors
  • Racing thoughts
  • Paranoia
  • Stress
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability, impatience and anger
  • Frequently becoming upset and tearful for no apparent reason
  • Panic attacks
  • Depersonalisation (feeling a detachment from yourself and your identity)
  • Worrying that you are ‘going crazy’

Behavioural/social symptoms of anxiety:

  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Struggling to meet daily responsibilities
  • Feeling apprehensive about meeting new people
  • Finding it difficult to leave the house
  • Avoiding certain people, places, situations, or objects
  • Frequent absences from work or other obligations
  • Inability to function in day-to-day life or manage simple tasks

What are the long-term effects of anxiety disorders?

If it is left untreated, anxiety can result in a range of long-term negative problems and can continue to have a destructive impact on your quality of life, as well as your interpersonal relationships and performance at work. Some of the negative outcomes that are associated with chronic anxiety may include:

  • Diminished quality of life
  • Decline in physical health
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Strained or ruined relationships
  • Poor performance at work
  • Job loss and unemployment
  • Financial difficulties
  • Onset and exacerbation of co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Social isolation
  • Suicidal thoughts and impulses
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To discuss how the Manor Clinic team can help to support individuals and families dealing with an addiction or for further information on treatment and rehabilitation programmes, please call: 023 8046 4721 or click here to make an enquiry.

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