Anxiety Symptoms - why they are what they are

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There are many different anxiety symptoms.

The most common of these are listed below but there are possibly others. 

Anything which the body does when it acts on a danger signal can become a symptom of anxiety if the person has not responded to it as nature intended. The reasons for this will become clear as you come to understand how anxiety develops.

Common Anxiety Symptoms

  • Palpitations
  • Feeling Faint
  • Sweating or perspiring excessively
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Feeling as if you can't breathe
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling sick or nauseous
  • Suddenly needing to use the toilet or go to the bathroom
  • Feeling constantly on the alert for danger although you don't know why
  • Loss of confidence in yourself
  • Inability to concentrate or fully focus on things

This is not an exhaustive list. Symptoms of anxiety can vary from person to person. It all depends how the person is reacting to warnings from their own survival instinct. An anxiety sufferer may experience some of those listed here but not necessarily all of them.

Anxiety plays a part in many disorders

Despite the long list of symptoms which may or may not be present in any one person who suffers from anxiety, the way in which it develops follows the same pattern in every case. But first we are considering the various different anxiety symptoms and learning why each becomes a problem.

Broadly speaking there are two groups of disorders in which anxiety plays a major role:

1. Disorders in which anxiety only occurs now and then

Specific phobias are a case in point.

If you have a specific phobia such as a fear of spiders, you will only have a problem when you become aware of a spider either for real, in pictures, on TV etc.

The rest of the time your spider phobia is not a problem.

2. Disorders in which anxiety is more constant

 Such disorders include post traumatic stress disorder, acute anxiety state and generalized anxiety disorder.

The condition commonly known as a 'nervous breakdown' would also fall into this category.

In these conditions the sufferer feels anxious almost constantly and doesn't always know what exactly they are anxious about.

There is more detail about each particular anxiety disorder in the anxiety disorders section of this site. For now we are looking at symptoms of anxiety since these present in much the same way regardless of the actual disorder of which anxiety is a part.

The reason why anxiety symptoms become a problem is because we have learnt to respond inappropriately to warnings from our own brains. We don't do this deliberately.

In this section there is a separate page for each of these symptoms which attempts to explain why each one occurs. Usually the symptoms of anxiety are made worse because the sufferer gets frightened of having them.

At least if you understand why certain symptoms occur you may be less afraid of them and that in turn will reduce the symptoms.

When describing these symptoms I attempt to give advice as to what might help temporarily when you find yourself experiencing such symptoms and need to do something about them at the time.

Such advice is strictly a kind of first aid and should not be regarded as a way to overcome the probem permanently.

The only way to get rid of any anxiety symptom for good is to fully understand how it was learnt in the first place and then deliberately retrain your brain so it loses the bad habit.

To do that follow the steps described in detail in the section on overcoming anxiety the Feelgood Way.

Common Symptoms of Anxiety

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  1. Overcoming Anxiety
  2. Anxiety Symptoms