Most people feel anxious or scared sometimes, but if it’s affecting your life there are things you can try to help.

It’s not always easy to recognise when anxiety is the reason you’re feeling or acting differently, anxiety can cause many different symptoms. It might affect how you feel physically, mentally and how you behave.

Physical symptoms

  • Faster, irregular or more noticeable heartbeat
  • Feeling lightheaded and dizzy
  • Headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling hot
  • Shaking

Mental symptoms

  • Feeling tense or nervous
  • Being unable to relax
  • Worrying about the past or future
  • Feeling tearful
  • Not being able to sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fear of the worst happening
  • Intrusive traumatic memories
  • Obsessive thoughts

Changes in behaviour

  • Not being able to enjoy leisure time
  • Difficulty looking after yourself
  • Struggling to form or maintain relationships
  • Worried about new things
  • Avoiding places and situations that create anxiety
  • Compulsive behaviour, such as constantly checking things

Symptoms of a panic attack

If you experience sudden, intense anxiety of fear, it might be the symptoms of a panic attack. Symptoms may also include:

  • A racing heartbeat
  • Feeling faint, dizzy or lightheaded
  • Feeling that you’re losing control
  • Sweating, trembling or shaking
  • Shortness of breath or breathing very quickly
  • A tingling in your fingers or lips
  • Feeling sick (nausea)

A panic attack usually lasts 5 to 30 minutes and can be very frightening, but they are not dangerous and should not harm you.

You can find more information on the NHS Website

Information from the NHS website is licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

There is more information on the different types of anxiety disorders on the Mind website

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