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How Does Anxiety Feel Like

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Why Do We Feel Anxious

What Having Anxiety Feels Like

Most people have experienced anxiety at some point in the past. It’s a health topic that many people have encountered. In fact, anxiety is a normal response to keep ourselves safe from danger. It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious when you are struggling with financial troubles or getting laid off.

However, when living with anxiety over long periods of time and it does not abate, it can be a sign of an anxiety disorder.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Mental health is not as simple as just having better stress management skills. Sometimes, mental illnesses like anxiety disorders can manifest into physical health conditions, and it may also impact your sexual health as well.

Here are 5 examples of the effects of what anxiety feels like:

Could A Panic Attack Lead To An Asthma Attack

Panic attacks are very real and often as serious to some as the asthma attacks that are triggering them. Medically there is no physical link between the two but anyone who has experienced asthma attacks can affirm that the issue is indeed more common than most suspect.

How to calm yourself during an asthma attack?

Dont Panic. People who have lived with asthma for long periods of time can tell the difference between when their condition is being aggravated,such as when they enter a

  • Control Your Breathing and Your Environment.
  • Can you cure anxiety attacks?

    The safest possible way to cure anxiety and the most natural way to treat anxiety is with some type of therapy or exercise that does not involve any type of herbal or medicinal treatment in any way. Keep that in mind as you consider alternative options to prescription anxiety medications.

    Things Can Feel Great One Day And Terrible The Next

    All anxiety disorders exist on a spectrum, and people fall anywhere from experiencing very mild symptoms to utterly debilitating ones. That means symptoms ebb and flow. Typically, specific triggers cause some symptoms to escalate.

    For example, if someone struggles with social anxiety disorder, the anticipation of an upcoming presentation may cause their anxiety to skyrocket. Someone with post-traumatic stress disorder may feel unsafe for an entire day after experiencing a spontaneous flashback.

    Unfortunately, you cannot predict how anxiety manifests. That is because triggers evolve. Subsequently, many other factors can all impact your anxiety.

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    What Are Anxiety Symptoms

    Anxious behavior, such as worry, activates the stress response.

    The stress response secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream, where they travel to targeted locations to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that give the body an emergency boost of energy and resources to help us when we believe we could be in danger to either fight or flee.

    This survival reaction is often referred to as the stress response, fight or flight response, fight, flight, or freeze response , or the fight, flight, freeze, or faint response .

    Since these survival changes push the body beyond its balance point, stress responses stress the body. A body that becomes stressed can exhibit symptoms of stress.

    As such, anxiety stresses the body.

    Therefore, anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress. They are called anxiety symptoms because anxious behavior is the main source of the stress that stresses the body, and a body thats under stress can produce symptoms.

    For more information, visit our Stress Response article for the many changes caused by the stress response, or our Anxiety Symptoms article for a list and descriptions of common anxiety symptoms.

    With that in mind, here are the main reasons why we can have anxiety symptoms when we dont feel anxious:

    Side Effects Of Antidepressants

    What Anxiety Feels Like &  Why It Happens

    While antidepressants can provide significant benefits, they also come with side effects. When theyre working, they can improve your mood, help reduce your anxiety, and even help with increased energy and better sleep.2,12 Adverse side effects are usually mild, but can vary from person to person. If the side effects of these medications outweigh the benefits, then you should speak to your prescriber about possibly considering a different medication.

    When youre benefiting from antidepressants, you should feel:12

    • Sexual dysfunction

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    What Should I Do If I Am Having An Anxiety Attack

    If you think you might be having an anxiety attack, the first step to handling it is to recognize that you are having one. This is why knowing about triggers and symptoms of an attack is important in the long-run. Once you can identify that youre having an anxiety attack, you can carry out steps to help you cope with it.

    After recognizing that you are having an anxiety attack or are about to have one, you should take deep breaths. Deep breaths can help prevent hyperventilation and slow a racing heartbeat. Try to relax your muscles at this time and dont tense up too much. By taking deep breaths and allowing your muscles to be loose, you can encourage your body to be more relaxed and decrease the feeling of losing control.

    Because anxiety attacks happen in response to a certain situation or circumstance, removing yourself from that situation, if possible, can be helpful in moving past the symptoms of an attack. Symptoms usually subside once the stressor has been removed.

    Overall, the most important idea in helping yourself during an anxiety attack is to try a variety of techniques to keep yourself calm. Taking deep breaths is one of the most widely used relaxation techniques. It is also useful to take some time to understand how you respond to anxiety and develop ways to lower anxiety and promote calm.

    After an attack has passed, take some time to reflect on any circumstances or stressors you think could have been triggered.

    What Should You Do When Anxiety Attacks

    While some symptoms build up and persist over time, symptoms of anxiety can also “attack” often referred to as a panic attack.

    “A panic attack comes with intense symptoms that can often be mistaken for symptoms of a heart attack,” says Dr. Sawal. “Symptoms of a panic attack include a racing heartbeat, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath and chest pain.”

    If you know that what you’re experiencing is a panic attack, Dr. Sawal recommends the following:

    • Remove yourself from the source of your panic attack
    • Engage in deep breathing exercises and positive self-talk
    • Take steps to address why you are anxious to help prevent future panic attacks

    But, if you’re not sure that what you’re experiencing is a panic attack and you’re experiencing chest pain, it’s critical that you talk to your doctor.

    “Both anxiety and chest pain can be a sign of something more serious, and your doctor will need to confirm that your symptoms aren’t caused by an underlying medical condition,” adds Dr. Sawal.

    Read Also: Why Is My Anxiety So Bad In The Morning

    Compare It To An Experience Theyre Familiar With

    A lot of people whove never experienced anxiety imagine that it must be similar to what they felt before they gave a big presentation at work, or asked someone they really liked out on a date. And it might be a little like that, at times â but I feel like anxiety that you feel because you took a risk that might pay off later is different from the anxiety I experience on the regular. So I find that its helpful to explain anxiety in terms of a different kind of nerve-wracking experience that they may be familiar with.

    To me, anxiety feels like being in a big, creepy house alone at night . You hear a noise that wouldnt cause any real reaction if you heard it during the day at work â but hearing it alone in this big scary house makes your heart race and your body prepare for fight-or-flight. You become extra sensitive to everything else around you â sights, smells, whatever â because your body is trying to figure out if youre threatened. Ive found that explaining it in this way helps me better convey the emotionally-charged nature of my anxiety â and its trajectory, which is less rise to a peak and then experience relief at the end and more get freaked out over and over again by the weird creaking noises until you eventually fall asleep.

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    Heres What Anxiety Actually Feels Like

    #LetsTalkAboutIt: What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

    Everyone experiences worry from time to time, but for people who live with an anxiety disorder, those feelings are often so persistent and so loud, they can drown out everything else. But if youve ever struggled to explain what anxiety feels like to someone else, youre not alone. Because as awful and annoying as those symptoms can be, they can also be oddly hard to articulate.

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health , anxiety symptoms can range from things like feeling restless, worried, and irritable to having trouble breathing, sleeping, or concentrating. Symptoms of anxiety can also come in the physical form of stomach aches, headaches, chest pain, or other rogue pains. And, for some people, all of this can really mess with your day-to-day life, whether its screwing with your relationships or holding you back at work.

    To the outside world, the things that cross the mind of a person who deals with anxiety may not make a whole lot of rational sense. They might wonder why you just cant shake those feelings of dread even when everything in your life seems to be going well. Or maybe they cant wrap their heads around why you feel intense, debilitating symptoms before an exciting event. Even people who often experience anxiety can realize the flaws in their thinking, but that doesnt make it go away.

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    Why Do I Become Anxious

    Anxiety may be triggered by things such as a thought or feeling that frightens you or makes you feel threatened, powerless, worthless or like a failure. Sometimes anxiety may be associated with high demands or feelings of guilt or shame. Its common to feel strange and odd, and that theres something wrong with you.

    Anxiety can also be triggered if you are betrayed or abandoned. Running the risk of losing something that is important to you such as security, status or love may also cause you to become anxious.

    What Are The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorder

    This section provides an overview of the most common types of anxiety disorders.

    • Generalised anxiety disorder
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder

    Generalised anxiety disorder

    GAD is common. The main symptom of GAD is over worrying about different activities and events. This may feel out of your control. You feel anxious a lot of the time if you have GAD. You might feel on edge and alert to your surroundings.

    This can affect your day-to-day life. You might find that it affects your ability to work, travel places or leave the house. You might also get tired easily or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You might have physical symptoms, such as muscle tension and sweating.

    It is common to have other conditions such as depression or other anxiety disorders if you have GAD.

    GAD can be difficult to diagnose because it does not have some of the unique symptoms of other anxiety disorders. Your doctor is likely to say you have GAD if you have felt anxious for most days over six months and it has had a bad impact on areas of your life.

    Panic disorder

    You will have regular panic attacks with no particular trigger if you have panic disorder. They can happen suddenly and feel intense and frightening. You may also worry about having another panic attack.

    Panic disorder symptoms can include the following.

    You may also dissociate during a panic attack. Such as feeling detached from yourself.

    Social anxiety disorder

    Some common situations where you may experience anxiety are the following.

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    When To See A Healthcare Provider

    Its not unusual to occasionally experience episodes of mild anxiety. Most times, you can overcome these with relaxation or grounding techniques. However, if you find your anxiety becoming severe or persistent, it might be time to seek out some extra help with therapy and medication.

    Contact your healthcare provider if your anxiety starts interfering with living your everyday life . They can help you rule out any physical problems causing your symptoms and provide referrals to local mental health providers.

    When Do Physical Anxiety Symptoms Overlap With Panic Attack Symptoms

    What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

    Panic attacks are the hallmark sign of panic disorder, a type of anxiety that causes a person to feel unrelenting fear, often without warning or a clear reason why, per the APA. People who suffer from them say panic attacks can make you feel like youre dyingas if youre being held underwater or like you cant move or breathe. Its a truly frightening and debilitating experience.

    That terror is an integral part of having a panic attack. Beyond that, panic attacks symptoms typically include several of the following side effects :

    • Palpitations, a pounding heart, or an accelerated heart rate

    Recommended Reading: What Does A Ptsd Flashback Look Like

    Your Throat Feels Tight

    You might even have trouble swallowing. Anxiety can cause some people to feel tightness in their throat or even like something is stuck in there, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This is called globus sensation, and although the exact reason why this happens is unclear, it can definitely make anxiety even worse. You feel like you cant get enough air, says Dr. Potter.

    Effects Of Anxiety On Your Body

    These can include:

    • a churning feeling in your stomach
    • feeling light-headed or dizzy
    • feeling restless or unable to sit still
    • headaches, backache or other aches and pains
    • faster breathing
    • a fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat
    • sweating or hot flushes
    • grinding your teeth, especially at night
    • needing the toilet more or less often
    • changes in your sex drive

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    It Feels Like All Of Your Worries Are Swirling Around You

    Over the years, has felt different depending on what’s going on in my life and how stressed I am. Overall, anxiety feels like there’s a low hum in the background of your consciousness that never allows you to slow down your brain. It’s as if there’s a spinning wheel of worry in your mind that’s being constantly propulsed and tossing your thoughts around. You think about money, then your marriage, then your kids, then work, then your car, then money again, then your health, then your kids again…and on and on. Mike T., 33

    Cause Of Anxiety Attacks

    What Anxiety Feels Like | Living with an Anxiety Disorder

    Anxiety attacks are usually although not always caused by severe stress. The symptoms depend on the type of attack. The term anxiety attack is sometimes used interchangeably with the term panic attack, but may also refer to any periods of extreme anxiety beyond what a person normally experiences.

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    Anxiety Is A Healthy Human Emotion But The Experience Can Be Uncomfortable Anxiety Is Felt And Expressed Through Both Psychological And Physical Sensations

    Anxiety is a healthy human emotion, and most people can cope with short periods of it. However, for some people, short bouts of anxiety can develop into a persistent and disruptive problem, like an anxiety disorder. What does anxiety feel like to most people? The sensations of anxiety are common and easy to notice. However, every individual has a unique perspective and experience.

    How To Deal With An Anxiety Attack

    In the immediate moments when an attack is occurring, there are several steps a person can take to try to calm themselves down. These include:

    • Recognize an attack is occurring and trying to remember that the symptoms will pass
    • Breathe deeply to stop or calm hyperventilation and subsequently slow your heart rate
    • Relax muscles to release some of the feelings of tension from your body and help you regain control

    The person experiencing the attack may feel like they are going to die and request medical assistance. Severe anxiety attacks often result in trips to the emergency room, where the person experiencing the attack can get the help they need.

    In many cases, anxiety attacks occur in response to certain situations or perceived threats. Avoiding these triggers can help reduce the chance of having an attack, but may not be feasible if the trigger is present in your everyday life. If perceived anxiety attacks are brought on by certain triggers, there may be an underlying anxiety disorder that needs to be addressed. Therapy or medications can be very helpful in dealing with an anxiety disorder.

    There are things that can be done to avoid another anxiety attack. Some of them include:

    If you are experiencing anxiety attacks or panic attacks that are frequent and debilitating, and you have turned to substances to cope, The Recovery Village can help. To learn more about treatment for anxiety and addiction, to speak with a representative.

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    Your Worries Interfere With Your Day

    Ultimately, an anxiety disorder may become so severe that the basic business of living becomes compromised. People suffering from OCD may need hours to get out of the house in the morning because the pillows on the bed arent arranged properly. Schoolwork and job performance may suffer because perfectionism makes it impossible to complete a project or because social anxiety makes it impossible to talk to classmates or colleagues. Things become worse when emotional symptoms lead to physical ones such as headaches, loss of appetite and sleeplessness. The question I ask first is, Is your anxiety impairing your functioning?’ says Goldberg.

    Anxiety responds well to professional care. Treatment may include psychotropic medications like Zoloft or Prozac, which can at least lower the voltage of the pain. That may make it easier to embrace and practice the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy, in which people learn to talk back to their anxiety, reframe their fears to something less extreme, and practice self-soothing techniques like mindfulness or distraction or breathing. Slow, graduated exposure to the very things people fear also helps the brain break the link between the trigger situation and the terror that follows.

    No one can live a life untouched by anxiety. But with the right skills and the right help, no one needs to live one that is destroyed by it, either.

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