The signs and symptoms of anxiety can differ, based on the specific disorder a person has. However, all anxiety disorders are linked together by common symptoms that include excessive, irrational fear and dread. Because these are also possible signs of other conditions, people who believe they have anxiety should see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
There are several types of anxiety disorders, for example:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Social phobia (or social anxiety disorder)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Specific phobias.
Each disorder has its own symptoms, but they are all bound together by the common anxiety symptoms of excessive, irrational fear and dread.
Depending on the type of anxiety, a person can experience several possible symptoms, including:
- Feeling shaky, jittery, or nervous
- Feeling tense, fearful, or apprehensive
- Avoiding certain places or activities because of fear
- A pounding or racing heart
- Trouble catching your breath when nervous
- Unjustified sweating or trembling
- A knot in your stomach
- A lump in your throat
- Finding yourself pacing
- Being afraid to close your eyes at night for fear that you may die in your sleep
- Fear of losing control or going crazy
- Fear of dying.
Common symptoms of anxiety for those with generalized anxiety disorder include chronic and exaggerated worry, tension, and irritability that appear to have no cause or that are more intense than the situation warrants. Physical signs often accompany these psychological symptoms, such as:
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Muscle tension
- Unexplained sweating.