11 Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders

Signs and Symptoms Everything You Need to Know About Anxiety

Many people are anxious at some time in their lives.
In fact, anxiety is a very normal reaction to stressful life events, such as moving, changing jobs or financial problems.
However, when anxiety symptoms become more important than the events that triggered them and begin to disrupt their life, they can be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders can be debilitating, but they can be managed with the help of a healthcare professional. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step.
Here are 11 common symptoms of an anxiety disorder, as well as natural anxiety reduction and the time to seek professional help.

1. Excessive Worrying

One of the most common symptoms of an anxiety disorder is excessive anxiety.

The anxiety associated with anxiety disorders is disproportionate with respect to the events that trigger it and usually occurs in response to normal and daily situations (1 reliable source).

To be considered a sign of generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety must occur almost daily for at least six months and be difficult to control (Source 2).

The disturbance must also be serious and intrusive, which makes it difficult to concentrate and perform daily tasks.

People under 65 have the highest risk of generalized anxiety disorder, especially single people, a lower socioeconomic status and many stressors in life (3Trusted Source).


Generalized anxiety disorder is excessive anxiety caused by problems in daily life, especially if it is severe enough to affect daily life and if it persists almost daily for at least six months.

2. Feeling Agitated

When a person feels anxious, part of his sympathetic nervous system begins to sink.

This triggers a cascade of effects throughout the body, such as a rapid pulse, sweaty hands, trembling hands and dry mouth (4).

These symptoms occur because your brain believes that you have perceived the danger and are preparing your body to respond to the threat.

Your body will empty the blood from your digestive system to your muscles in case you need to run or fight. It also increases your heart rate and your senses (Source 5).

Although these effects are useful in the case of a real threat, they can be debilitating if you are afraid of the head.

Some research even suggests that people with anxiety disorders cannot reduce their enthusiasm as quickly as people without anxiety disorders, which means they can feel the effects of anxiety for longer (6Trusted Source, 7 Trusted Source).


Rapid heartbeats, sweating, tremors and dry mouth are common symptoms of anxiety. People with anxiety disorders may experience this type of arousal for long periods of time.

3. Restlessness

Agitation is another common symptom of anxiety, especially in children and adolescents.

When a person experiences restlessness, he often describes it as a feeling of "end of life" or as an "uncomfortable urge to move."

A study of 128 children diagnosed with anxiety disorder found that 74% of them reported that agitation was one of their main symptoms of anxiety (8Trusted Source).

Although anxiety is not a problem for all anxious people, it is one of the warning signs that doctors often look for when they make a diagnosis.

If you feel restless most days for more than six months, this may be a sign of an anxiety disorder (Source 9Trusted).


Agitation alone is not enough to diagnose an anxiety disorder, but it can be a symptom, especially if it occurs frequently.

4. Fatigue

Getting tired easily is another potential symptom of generalized anxiety disorder.

This symptom may surprise some, since anxiety is usually associated with hyperactivity or enthusiasm.

For some, fatigue can follow an anxiety attack, while for others, fatigue can be chronic.

It is not known whether this fatigue is due to other common symptoms of anxiety, such as insomnia or muscle tension, or if it may be related to the hormonal effects of chronic anxiety (10 Source Source).

However, it is important to keep in mind that fatigue can also be a sign of depression or other health problems. Therefore, fatigue alone is not enough to diagnose an anxiety disorder (11 Trusted Source).


Fatigue can be a sign of an anxiety disorder if it is accompanied by excessive anxiety. However, it can also indicate other medical conditions.

5. Difficulty Concentrating

Many anxious people report that they have trouble concentrating.

A study of 157 children and adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder found that more than two thirds of patients had difficulty concentrating (source 12Trusted).

Another study of 175 adults with the same disorder found that almost 90% reported difficulty concentrating. The stronger their anguish, the more problems they had (13Source Confient).

Some studies show that anxiety can disrupt working memory, a type of memory responsible for keeping information short term. This can help explain the dramatic decrease in performance that people often encounter during periods of high anxiety (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

However, difficulty concentrating can also be a symptom of other medical conditions, such as attention deficit disorder or depression, and therefore, there is insufficient evidence to diagnose an anxiety disorder.


Difficulty concentrating can be a sign of anxiety disorder, and is a symptom reported in most people diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.

6. Irritability

Most people with anxiety disorders also have excessive irritability.

According to a recent study of more than 6,000 adults, more than 90% of people with generalized anxiety disorders reported feeling very irritable during periods when their anxiety disorder was worse (16 Source Source).

Compared to self-reported concerns, young and middle-aged adults with generalized anxiety disorder reported more than twice as irritable in their daily lives (17Trusted Source).

Since anxiety is associated with high levels of excitement and worry, it is not surprising that irritability is a common symptom.


Most people with generalized anxiety disorder report feeling very irritable, especially when their anxiety is at its peak.

7. Tense Muscles

Having tense muscles most days of the week is another common symptom of anxiety.
Tense muscles may be common, but we don't really understand why they are associated with anxiety.

It is possible that muscle tension increases the feeling of anxiety, but it is also possible that anxiety causes an increase in muscle tension or that a third factor causes both.
Interestingly, it has been shown that the treatment of muscle tension through muscle relaxation reduces the anxiety of people with generalized anxiety disorder. Some studies even show that it is as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).


Muscle tension is strongly related to anxiety, but the orientation of the relationship is not well understood. It has been shown that the treatment of muscle tension helps reduce anxiety symptoms.

8. Trouble Falling or Staying Asleep

Sleep disorders are strongly associated with anxiety disorders (source 20Trusted, source 21Trusted, source 22Trusted, source 23Trusted).

Waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble falling asleep are the two most frequent problems (24Trusted Source).

Some research suggests that insomnia during childhood may even be related to the development of anxiety in the future (25Trusted Source).

A study of nearly 1,000 children over 20 years of age found that childhood insomnia was associated with an increased risk of 60% developing an anxiety disorder at the age of 26 years (26 years). certified)).

Although insomnia and anxiety are closely related, it is unclear whether insomnia contributes to anxiety, if anxiety contributes to insomnia, or both (27 reliable sources, 28 responsible sources).

What is known is that when the underlying anxiety disorder is treated, insomnia often also improves (Source approved).


Sleep problems are very common in anxious people. Anxiety treatment can usually also help improve sleep quality.

9. Panic Attacks

A type of anxiety disorder called panic disorder is associated with recurring panic attacks.

Panic attacks produce an intense and overwhelming sense of fear that can be debilitating.

This extreme fear is usually accompanied by rapid heartbeats, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath, chest tightness, nausea and fear of dying or losing self-control (30 Source Source).

Panic attacks can occur in isolation, but if they occur frequently and unexpectedly, they can be a sign of panic disorder.

It is estimated that 22% of American adults will experience a panic attack at some time in their lives, but only about 3% will experience it often enough to meet the criteria of panic disorder (31 Source Source).


Panic attacks produce extremely intense feelings of fear accompanied by unpleasant physical symptoms. Recurring panic attacks can be a sign of panic disorder.

10. Avoiding Social Situations

You can show signs of social anxiety if you find yourself:

  • Feeling anxious or fearful of future social situations.
  • Concerned that others may judge or examine it
  • Afraid of being ashamed or humiliated in front of others
  • Avoid some social events due to these fears.
Social anxiety disorders are very common and affect approximately 12% of American adults at some time in their lives (32Trusted Source).

Social anxiety tends to develop early in life. In fact, approximately 50% of those affected are diagnosed before age 11, while 80% are diagnosed before age 20 (graphic source).

People with social anxiety may seem extremely shy and calm in groups or during new encounters. Although they don't seem anxious on the outside, they feel extreme fear and anxiety on the inside.

This distance can sometimes give the impression that people with social anxiety are presumed or distant, but this disorder is associated with low self-esteem, strong self-criticism and depression (Confidential source).


Fear and avoidance of social situations can be a sign of social anxiety disorder, one of the most diagnosed anxiety disorders.

11. Irrational Fears

Extreme fears related to specific things, such as spiders, confined spaces or heights, could be a sign of phobia.

A phobia is defined as extreme anxiety or fear of a specific object or situation. The sensation is severe enough to interfere with your ability to function normally.

Some common phobias include:

  • Animal phobias: fear of specific animals or insects

  • Phobias of the natural environment: fear of natural events such as hurricanes or floods.

  • Phobias related to a blood injection: fear of blood, injections, needles or wounds.

  • Phobias of the situation: fear of certain situations, such as an airplane or an elevator trip.

Agoraphobia is another phobia that involves fear of at least two of the following situations:

  • Use public transport
  • Be in open spaces
  • Be in confined spaces
  • Queuing or being in a crowd
  • Being alone outside the house
  • Phobias affect 12.5% ​​of Americans at some time in their lives.
 They tend to develop during childhood or adolescence and are more common among women than among men (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).


Irrational fears that disrupt daily functioning may be a sign of a specific phobia. There are many types of phobias, but they all involve avoidance behaviors and feelings of extreme

Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety

There are many natural ways to reduce anxiety and help you feel better, including:

Healthy eating: a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, high-quality meats, fish, nuts and whole grains can reduce the risk of developing anxiety disorders, but eating alone is probably not enough to treat them (37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source, 39 Source reliable, reliable source 40).
Consumption of probiotics and fermented foods: Probiotic intake and consumption of fermented foods have been associated with better mental health (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
Limit caffeine: Excessive caffeine consumption can worsen feelings of anxiety in some people, especially those with anxiety disorders (43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source).
Refrain from drinking alcohol: since anxiety disorders and alcohol abuse are closely related, avoid alcoholic beverages (45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source).
Stop smoking: Smoking is associated with an increased risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Quitting smoking is associated with better mental health (47 reliable sources, 48 ​​reliable sources).
Exercise regularly: regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of developing an anxiety disorder, but research is combined to help those who have already been diagnosed (49 reliable sources, 50 reliable sources, 51 reliable sources, 52 reliable sources ).
Meditation test: A type of meditation-based treatment, called stress-based stress reduction, has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms in people with anxiety disorders (53Trusted Source, 54Trusted Source, 55).
Practicing yoga: regular yoga has been shown to reduce symptoms in people with anxiety disorders, but high quality research is needed (56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source).


Nutrient-rich diets, withdrawal from psychoactive substances and the use of stress management techniques can help reduce anxiety symptoms.

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