What symptoms do you experience with your anxiety?
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What are anxiety symptoms and signs?
Common symptoms and signs of anxiety can include
restlessness or feeling
becoming tired easily,
feeling as if the mind is
sleep problems (trouble falling
or staying asleep or having sleep that is not restful).
Anxiety that is
associated with specific (specific or simple phobia) or social fears (social
phobia) may also result in avoidance of certain situations or an elevation to
the level of panic symptoms. In addition to the more general symptoms of anxiety
previously described, worry that is associated with a traumatic event
(posttraumatic stress disorder) may also result in the following symptoms:
Avoidance of people, places, or situations that are reminiscent of the traumatic
Re-experiencing the trauma in repeated nightmares or flashbacks
Difficulty trusting others
Excessive attention to staying safe or keeping loved ones safe (for example, hypervigilance)
A tendency to startle easily
of a bleak or foreshortened future
When anxiety intensifies to the level of becoming a panic attack, signs and
symptoms can include
pain, chest tightness, feeling like one is having a heart attack;
breath or trouble breathing;
sweating of the palms;
nausea or other stomach
trembling or shaking;
feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint;
derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (feeling detached
fear of losing control or going insane;
numbness or tingling
chills or hot flashes;
feeling like one is choking;
a sense of
feeling like one is dying.
Anxiety symptoms and signs in
children and teenagers
The similarities and differences in symptoms of anxiety in adults compared to
children and adolescents depend on the specific condition that is causing the
anxiety. For example, symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are quite
similar in children and teens compared to adults except that children and teens
are less likely to recognize that their thoughts or behaviors are irrational.
That is also true of minors who suffer from social phobia or specific phobia.
In addition to some of the differences in the symptoms themselves, before
puberty, males seem to develop OCD more commonly than girls, and after puberty,
females seem to have OCD more often than males. In children and adolescents,
boys and girls seem to develop panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder
at equal rates. Disorders that tend to occur with OCD (co-morbid) are more
commonly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and tics in
prepubescent people, versus other anxiety disorders and depression in teens and
Symptoms of anxiety in children and teens tend
to be consistent with how they express feelings in general. For example, lacking
the higher ability to express feelings verbally compared to older children,
younger children tend to express anxiety by complaining of physical symptoms
like stomach upset or headaches. They are also more likely to cry, have tantrums,
or become clingy. Compared to anxiety symptoms in children, in teens, the
symptoms of anxiety will more closely approximate those in adults. However,
adolescents are more likely than adults to exhibit anxiety by becoming irritable
Children with an anxiety disorder tend to develop the illness in early
childhood, with symptoms being persistent, coming and going into adulthood.
Anxiety symptoms and signs in men and women
Studies indicate that men seem to experience different types of effects of
anxiety compared to women. Specifically, men tend to exhibit more psychological
symptoms of anxiety, like tension, irritability, and a sense of impending doom.
In contrast, women tend to develop more physical symptoms like chest pain,
palpitations, shortness of breath, and nausea. Further, it seems that women with
such physical symptoms of anxiety are more at risk for developing heart