What are the Signs of Anxiety?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff
Body tremors and rapid heartbeat are commonly associated with anxiety.
Body tremors and rapid heartbeat are commonly associated with anxiety.

Anxiety can be exhibited in many ways, but some of the most common signs of anxiety are rapid heartbeat, sweating, and body tremors. Other signs of anxiety often include dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. Anxiety is an emotion that is triggered when people find themselves in uncomfortable situations, or when they believe they are in danger. It is considered an important element of human survival. Sometimes anxiety stems from fears that are only imagined, but the symptoms are typically the same.

Phobias are linked to certain triggers, like the fear of heights.
Phobias are linked to certain triggers, like the fear of heights.

Signs of anxiety are believed to be triggered by chemical changes in the body that occur when a person is frightened or anxious. Blood flow normally goes to the front of the human brain, where rational thought is processed, however, when people find themselves in uncomfortable situations, the blood flow changes and goes to the middle of the brain. This part of the brain controls human survival impulses. A neural response is triggered, which then goes to either the left or right brain, depending on the type of anxiety being confronted.

An inability to sleep at night might be caused by anxiety.
An inability to sleep at night might be caused by anxiety.

Signs of anxiety frequently vary with each individual, and the severity often conforms to the type of danger the person is confronting. Some studies show, however, that signs of anxiety usually begin with an increase in heart rate. Rapid pulse and shortness of breath are the two most commonly reported symptoms of anxiety. This seems to hold true regardless of whether the threat is real or imagined.

Signs of anxiety frequently vary with each individual.
Signs of anxiety frequently vary with each individual.

Some people suffer mild or severe anxiety in situations that realistically do not warrant the response. This is referred to as an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, but they fall into some major groups, including phobias, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Some people suffer from what is called general anxiety disorder, a type of anxiety that usually has no definitive cause. Generalized anxiety is often more difficult to treat and diagnose, as compared to phobias, for instance, where the cause is typically easy to define.

People suffering from anxiety may have a difficult time finding motivation.
People suffering from anxiety may have a difficult time finding motivation.

Treatment for people who are exhibiting signs of anxiety disorders can vary, but typically will include therapy and counseling combined with anti-anxiety medications. Psychological therapy generally attempts to pinpoint the cause of anxiety. Once that has been determined, the focus turns to finding a way to help the patients overcome their fears.

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications sometimes help with different types of anxiety disorders. Some of the more commonly prescribed are Paxil, Prozac, and Buspar. These drugs sometimes help to change chemical imbalances in the brain, which could contribute to irrational anxiety.

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    • Body tremors and rapid heartbeat are commonly associated with anxiety.
      Body tremors and rapid heartbeat are commonly associated with anxiety.
    • Phobias are linked to certain triggers, like the fear of heights.
      Phobias are linked to certain triggers, like the fear of heights.
    • An inability to sleep at night might be caused by anxiety.
      An inability to sleep at night might be caused by anxiety.
    • Signs of anxiety frequently vary with each individual.
      Signs of anxiety frequently vary with each individual.
    • People suffering from anxiety may have a difficult time finding motivation.
      People suffering from anxiety may have a difficult time finding motivation.
    • Anxiety often causes people to be quick to anger.
      Anxiety often causes people to be quick to anger.
    • Disorientation can occur suddenly in someone who is dealing with a high amount of anxiety.
      Disorientation can occur suddenly in someone who is dealing with a high amount of anxiety.
    • Signs of anxiety frequently vary with each individual.
      Signs of anxiety frequently vary with each individual.
    • Burnout is a common sign of work anxiety.
      Burnout is a common sign of work anxiety.
    • A person with social anxiety may feel uncomfortable in an intimate group setting.
      A person with social anxiety may feel uncomfortable in an intimate group setting.