Common Symptoms of Anxiety
There are a number of different anxiety disorders, each with a distinct collection of symptoms. However, the most common symptoms often include:
excessive / persistent worry
shaking / trembling
increased or irregular heartbeat
muscle pain / tension
feeling on edge
inability to relax
being easily startled
back pain / irritable bowel syndrome (I.B.S)
restlessness and fatigue
avoidance of certain situations
It is important to recognise that any of these symptoms listed above can be experienced by any ‘normal and healthy’ person at some point in their life. If you have experienced any or all of the above list [at some point in your life] it does not necessarily mean that you definitely have an anxiety disorder. For example, if you go through a period when you find it hard to sleep, it doesn’t automatically mean that you have an anxiety disorder.
To understand the difference between ‘normal’ anxiety and an actual anxiety disorder, here are some differences:
Concerns over if you will be able to pay the bills, get the promotion or job you want, experience a relationship break-up or another important life event.
A case of nervousness or sweating prior to doing an exam, a public presentation or some other specific and significant life event.
Appropriate levels of apprehension and/or fear of a dangerous object, place, person or situation.
A reasonable level of emotional response after a significant or traumatic life event, which passes after a few minutes or hours (max.).
Low level occasional feelings of nervousness surrounding certain social situations, which does not stop you from doing the activity.
Persistent and irrational compulsion to worry about almost anything and everything, to the point that it causes such high levels of stress and interferes with everyday life.
Unexpected sudden panic or intense fear for no reason and/or living with the constant worry you will be overcome by anxiety in the future.
Irrational fear or avoidance of an object, place, person or situation that poses little genuine threat or danger.
An inappropriately high level of emotional reaction after a significant or traumatic life event, which takes days or weeks to pass.
Avoidance of a number of social situations due to a significant fear of being judged, embarrassed or being overwhelmed by anxiety.