“Life shrinks or expands
in proportion to one’s courage.”
Signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders
Because anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions rather than a single disorder, they can look very different from person to person. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning, while another gets panicky at the thought of mingling at a party. Someone else may struggle with a disabling fear of driving, or uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts. Yet another may live in a constant state of tension, worrying about anything and everything.
But despite their different forms, all anxiety disorders share one major symptom: persistent or severe fear or worry in situations where most people wouldn’t feel threatened.
Emotional symptoms of anxiety
In addition to the primary anxiety symptoms of irrational and excessive fear and worry, other common emotional symptoms include:
- Feelings of apprehension or dread
- Watching for signs of danger
- Anticipating the worst
- Trouble concentrating
- Feeling tense and jumpy
- Feeling like your mind's gone blank
Physical symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety involves a wide range of physical symptoms. Because of the numerous physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness. They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is discovered.
Common physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Pounding heart
- Stomach upset
- Frequent urination or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle tension or twitches
- Shaking or trembling
There are different types and causes of anxiety.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Victor Frankl
"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
"Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth." ~ Pema Chodron