What are the effects of anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal response to stress or danger and is often called the ‘flight or fight’ response. This process involves adrenalin being quickly pumped through the body enabling it to cope with whatever catastrophe may come its way. The problems arise when this response is out of proportion to the actual danger of the situation, or indeed is generated when there is no danger present.

The physical symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Dry mouth
  • Butterflies in stomach
  • Nausea
  • Urge to pass urine/empty bowels
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Pins and needles
  • Shallow vision - it's all blurry
  • Headache
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness

The psychological symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Inner tension
  • Agitation
  • Fear of losing control
  • Dread that something catastrophic is going to happen (such as blackout, seizure, heart attack or death)
  • Irritability
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thoughts
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Ritualistic behaviours e.g. rechecking the door is locked

The list above comes from Anxiety Uk but there are many other symptoms that could be experienced as part of anxiety. You may have your own ones that you would add to the list. If affects us differently, at different times.