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Symptoms of anxiety


1st Jan 2015 Wellbeing

Symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety can happen during periods of stress, such as death or divorce, although it is possible to feel anxious without knowing the reason.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a reaction to a threat or danger that is vague or even unknown. You feel worried, but you are not quite sure why. 

Anxiety attacks are most likely to occur after a period of unusual stress, such as a death or divorce. The best way to handle them is to see them for what they are: frightening but harmless emotional states. Remind yourself that you're not in any danger; it is only a panic attack, and it will soon end. Stay as calm as you can, try to regulate your breath, and let the attack run its course. To help keep you calm, there are various treatments for dealing with anxiety that you can try.


What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety can manifest itself via any number of symptoms, including sweating, tummy churning, rapid heart beat, shivering, irritability, poor concentration, shallow breathing and unwanted thoughts or behaviour.

Unlike general worry, anxiety attacks come on suddenly and with overwhelming force. The heart begins to race, the blood pressure rises, it becomes a struggle to breathe and you may feel dizzy or faint. The symptoms can even be confused with those of a heart attack. But there are various ways to relieve your anxious feelings.

It is worth speaking to your GP about anxiety symptoms, as they sometimes occur as a side effect to medication you are taking, and the symptoms can mimic those of serious conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and heart attack.



Prolonged, severe anxiety can take a serious toll on your physical health. Seek help if you're anxious for most of the time, can't sleep or concentrate, turn to alcohol, drugs or food to quell your anxiety, or feel as if you might harm yourself or others. It is worth noting that anxiety symptoms can mimic those of serious conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and heart attack, or occur as a side effect of some medications. So it is advisable to discuss your symptoms with a doctor.


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