Anxiety Symptoms Explained

The symptoms we experience with anxiety are real symptoms but they are not due to a real physical illness.

When the body is very anxious the Nervous system gives a signal for the body to release adrenalin.  This in itself can cause some distressing physical symptoms.  Some of the body is more sensitive to adrenalin that others and that is why we all may have different symptoms.

Also the body activates the fight and flight response to get us ready to face danger, to either run or fight, a very primitive reaction to danger.  This means that the body is working extremely hard.  Our heart will speed up to pump blood to the areas we most need it.  The breathing gets faster to supply more oxygen to the muscles that are needed.  The muscles tense in preparation for important action.  The digestion slows down so blood may be directed to the muscles and brain.  We need to be strong and alert when in danger.  These are just a few examples of what happens to the body and will cause some of the symptoms.

All anxiety symptoms can be explained by the powerful hormone adrenalin in the system, breathing wrong and the body preparing for the fight and flight response.

Although symptoms are unpleasant they will not harm us.

Listed below are some of the more common symptoms.

  • Unshakable feelings of dread, apprehension, and irrational fears
  • Heart palpitations
  • Difficulty breathing or Hyperventilating
  • Dizziness and feeling faint
  • Chest pains and other symptoms similar to those of a heart attack
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia
  • Chills and perhaps hot flashes
  • Dry mouth
  • Sense of impending doom
  • Stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea and other intestinal symptoms
  • Clamminess
  • Muscle tension, aches and pains
  • Exhaustion
  • Pins and needles
  • Irritability
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry mouth


This can be a very frightening experience.  When we are anxious we over breathe and we take too much air through the chest area than it can cope with. The balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide is disturbed and carbon dioxide levels fall.  This isn’t dangerous and when you calm down your breathing will return to normal. This is a normal reaction to sudden danger or excitement and the signs are easy to pick up.  However when we become short of carbon dioxide we can experience some very distressing symptoms.

What happens to the body:-

  • Breathing and heart rates speed up
  • Adrenalin is released into the bloodstream
  • The nervous system is on ‘red alert’
  • Muscles tense up

If over breathing becomes a regular occurrence it can cause panic attacks and may develop into avoidance behaviours, in an attempt to control the symptoms, by controlling their environment.

Depersonalization, Derealization, Feelings of Unreality

This is quite frightening but again it can’t harm you. It can give a feeling of being spacey, not real or the earth is not real.  People may feel not part of what is going on and people’s voices can seem far away.  People often feel they are going mad.  Anxiety is called neurosis and is not a mental illness nor can become one.

When the nervous system is on alert and the anxiety is high the nervous system becomes over stimulated.  It can give us very odd feelings and emotions.  It can affect certain body chemistries which alters the mental state.  This won’t harm anyone.

When the nervous system is over stimulated it can alter feelings, thoughts and sensations because it is interconnected to the brain.

When we experience high levels of anxiety the brain decides there is too much going on and goes into a self protection mode and shuts down a bit to have a break.

The breathing technique we teach is a way to calm the body down and restore normal breathing.  The great thing is with practice it can be done anywhere without other people being aware.

Jenny says “I have changed my life by changing the way I breathe.  I can’t believe by breathing wrong it could make me feel so ill.  I believed I had a serious illness.  But after trying this breathing technique many of my symptoms disappeared and my anxiety came down”.

53 Responses to “Anxiety Symptoms Explained”

  1. I don’t quite understand why you say that this is not a physical illness. You even list physical responses when you describe the illness:
    What happens to the body:-

    Breathing and heart rates speed up
    Adrenaline is released into the bloodstream
    The nervous system is on ‘red alert’
    Muscles tense up

    In my opinion, those are very much physical action and it’s an illness because it occurs at times where it may not be warranted. This is a physical illness. The only reason I care about whether it’s classified as physical or mental, is due to the stigma of this and other brain disorders. When those who doubt that mental illness is real, they often say that there is no physical evidence and that the sufferer has complete control of it. It is only due to personal weakness that they have issues. So, why diminish the very physical aspects of the illness when they are, indeed, physical and as such can help in the fight against the stigmatization of various mental illnesses?

    • Hi Tim,

      We list the physical psychosomatic symptoms of the illness. That means very real physical symptoms that are triggered and caused by an emotional state. Often these are extensions of normal reacting to normal situations we can experience that have become miss recognised by our mind and cause our body to react in ways that are appropriate to being attacked or threatened.

      While the stigma can be of concern to people, reclassifying anxiety to avoid it, is not controlling or removing the stigma that has caused the misconception. The doubt and misconception of weakness you mention which is caused by the stigma is more properly solved by education and teaching the people who advocate those views their mistake and how their views can be considered vulgar.

  2. Jocasta Miranda Durrant September 24, 2015 at 8:41 pm Reply

    About 9 months ago my husband was told he had prostate cancer which was a real shock for us both. He has had all the treatment now and been discharged from the hospital. But has to go for regular blood tests and see the doctor. The treatment was a success the doctor told him recently. I coped ok all through his treatment I was a little anxious but mostly I could cope with the illness. Now his treatment etc has finished I have been getting sleepless nights feeling anxious and very down at times. I feel very weepy and light headed and I can’t seem to think in a positive way. I know I have anxiety as I have experienced it some years ago and the symptoms where the same. I don’t really want to take anti-depressants if I can help it. Now that my husband’s treatment is over and we are now pass the worst of it I can’t understand why I don’t feel more up-beat.

  3. I experienced the same problem Jocasta Durrant it will pass mine did. My partner had cancer treatment. I think that the stress levels built up with me but I ever thought they had I coped ok and when it was all over the treatment my partner had I got quite bad anxiety attacks but glad to say it has left me now I tried an herbal remedy Kalms which did help me to relax.

  4. Thank you for this post because it has reassured me that I’m not going mad, nor am I going to go mad. The symptoms I have are very real, but by understanding that there are many physical reasons for the symptoms, all caused by my body trying to deal with the “threat” it perceives is happening, it calms me down and makes me realise that there is hopefully a light at the end of the tunnel

  5. Just reading ‘Anxiety Symptoms Explained’ has helped me. Thank you.

  6. I have general anxiety disorder and feel terrible psychically mostly all the time especially when I first wake up in the mornings or after afternoon nap. I don’t nap every day just occasionally. I am seeing a physiologist every 5weeks but it’s not helping. I also have Health Anxiety (hypocondria). I just feel absolutely alone and frightened and blooming terrible. Thanks for “listening “if you are still there. Bless you all and I wish you well X Lily

  7. I remember as a child always being nervous and sensitive to certain situations. Now it seems like the anxiety i used to feel as a child is stuck with me. I honestly think anxiety is a mental illness because everyday i am suicidal by not being able to cope with simple life events. Such as social anxiety, i come off as bubbly to people and humerous but in the midst of it all i get severe symptoms of anxiety that i would control if i could. The symptoms would be hot and cold flashes, muscle tension in my neck and shoulders, shortness of breath, shakiness and twitching.

  8. Hi, reading these symptoms has helped me to identify in part where I fit in all of this. I am in my late twenties and as of last year have experienced heart palpitations, feeling faint, diarrhoea, sickness, dizziness, and sometimes that ‘impending sense of doom’. It is nice to hear that I may not be ‘truly’ physically ill, but it damn feels like it sometimes. I don’t have any particular trigger – I think over the years lots of things have built up and I perhaps had a crash last year… who knows? Has anyone ever experienced this, or had an issue with being in a busy city? I have a huge desire to escape and need to be around nature! Yet feel mad for saying this around my city loving friends- I just don’t feel it’s good for my soul and am planning to leave London, after 7 years here of stressful jobs. Sorry to hear others are suffering and hope things improve soon.

    • Hbee – I know exactly what your going through, I ‘crashed’ last year and it was horrendous but has eased but now come back, luckily for me I live in the country and it certainly helps me. My anxiety had no set triggers and can just come out of the blue. Have you tried mindfulness at all?

  9. Hbee i feel the same. Also feel the need to escape. Its odd but feels like the roght choice. I moved from london to scotland nearly 3 years ago and its the best move i ever made. Not one complaint and this helped make me feel more at home. London was way to busy for me. I too had all the symptoms you are describing but was able to beat it. All the best. Steve.

  10. I think I have suffered all my life. I remember having panic attacks at 15. Now 43 I have just come through the most horrific year of my life. I can’t explain how on high alert my body was. How shut down parts of me became. The beating heart, sense of dread, digestive problems so bad I ended up having my gall bladder removed but think it was more due to anxiety.
    I’m getting better and can o ly suggest what helps me. Firstly stop. Just stand still listen to the world? What can you hear and smell. Then breathe. fill your lungs slowly then let it go slowly. Excercise i walk up hills to het rid of excess adrenaline and most of all its ok to feel this way. Hope this helps. Xx

    • Agree- grounding exercises can be really helpful when dealing with anxiety and panic attacks. For me, contact and gentle movement can help when I notice I am dissociating/freezing. It’s my way of being able to ‘defrost’ as my therapist says :p xx

  11. Sat here and cried tonight after finding your website, I have many, but not all the symptoms listed and I can relate to many people’s stories. It seems like everyday I don’t “feel right, or well” I have been on depressants, then came off them, was supposed to go back on, but they made me feel unwell, which just fuelled my whirling mind. I’m very tired now, but scared of going to bed, stupid I know, but I will lie awake waiting for the slightest pain anywhere and thus will start me off.
    I gave tried drinking more recently, beer, wine, this is ok on the night, after I’ve told myself that nothing is wrong and I should go out, but then the next day, the slightest hang over… Boom…panic for the whole day, even though I know why I feel rough.
    I have been to the doctors on many occasions, had many tests, bloods etc, all well and good, but like one article says, I still think they have missed something.
    I just want to be “right” again, be my old bubbly self and not what I am now, scared most of the time, that something will happen that I can’t control.
    I still go to work, but hide all my feelings and symptoms by being bubbly, when inside I’m far from it…..
    Sorry for rambling, but once I started to type could not stop
    Thank you, will try and learn the breathing stuff and muscle relaxing, supposed to be going on holiday in two weeks, Spain, I’m dreading it so much.

    • Terrible feeling. I’m exactly the same as you. Sitting here now panicking about nothing. Worried stiff about nothing. Shaking & all nervy. HELP PLZ.

  12. Pete, like you, when I get nerves twitching in my legs or numbness in my left hand and right foot, I try desperately to tell myself that it’s anxiety, and not something horrible. At the moment, it is severely affecting my life. What’s worse for me (I’m self employed) is that my work has dropped away to nothing (it does that) so I’m not able to take my mind off it by working. I last went through this 15 years ago, and it lasted for a year. I saw a psycho-analyst then, but she didn’t help. I slowly drifted out of it, but it comes back in mini episodes. This one is the worst since 15 years ago, and started in early February with a warming sensation in my left hand. I worried what it might be…and it all started from there. The times when it’s really bad, even my teeth chatter and even my bum cheeks tense up! It would be funny…if it wasn’t blighting my otherwise good life. My wife is a help, but I keep a lot of it from her as she worries anyway.

    Pete, I hope you have a good holiday in Spain. You never know, relaxing on a sun lounger just might be good.

    I have delayed seeing my GP because I don’t want to go on happy pills. I tried drinking more wine than usual, but it doesn’t help at all. I wish it did. None of my family are aware of what I’m going through, and they would be shocked if they did, as I put on a false front. I get tearful and annoyed at the way my brain is acting. I constantly think I must have some horrible disease. Maybe I should get myself checked out, but I fear the results, and would probably still think they were wrong anyway!

    I’m going to try breathing exercises first, as I know I shallow breathe. Fortunately, I sleep ok, apart from waking up with nerves twitching. Here’s hoping we all sort ourselves out.

  13. Hi
    I thought this happened to other people.
    Then on Friday 24 June Brexit day boom.
    I had all of the feelings in your article my breathing felt that shallow I thought I was slipping away.
    I ended up in hospital (they were great but I felt stupid after a couple of hours)
    Reading your article I am so reassured and it is very well written and clear.
    It is Tuesday 28th June I had panic attacks all Monday and most of the today.
    I know I will be ok but wow
    anxiety is a powerful remainder that we are only here once ,try and relax,breathe and calm down.
    P.s I am a financial adviser ouch!

    • Have had the exact same situation.

      It was a hot June day where I live. Had coffee for breakfast and a few sips of energy drink at the gym. After leaving the gym, I felt like I could not cool down. It was so hot outside in the car and at home.

      Soon I was starting to panic and went to the nearby creek to walk along the trail. Tried my best to calm myself but kept feeling weaker and weaker. My head was getting hot and filled feelings of dread and anxiety.

      Eventually drove to my work and asked a coworker to take me to the hospital. It was my second time in the ER in less than two year. It was embarrassing but also a huge relief. They gave me Xanax and Valium and by the evening they sent me home. There was nothing wrong except for dehydration.

      Now I know it was a panic attack with the overbreathing symptoms that prevented me from relaxing, making the anxiety worse.

      I’m not free from panic attacks but I’m cutting back on caffeine and nicotine and trying sleep therapy. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I have been suffering from anxiety for about 30 years on and off, today I was out shopping and suddenly I thought I dont feel right, Couldn’t wait till I got back to my car, I looked in my mirror and thought I looked very pale, drove home and now im sitting here with most of the symptoms above. My logical thoughts are telling me its anxiety but my illogical thoughts are telling me something is wrong with me and that im going to die. Keep telling myself I’ve felt like this before and all was ok but it’s not easy. I just wish I could be normal.

    • Hi Christine, I totally relate to your symptoms which were very similar to mine.I seriously thought i was going to have a hear attack,stiff chest,clammy hands feeling faint etc.Ive been off work for 4 weeks now due to an overwhelming sense of exhaustion.I am now waiting on test results and will come back on here once they come through.


  15. I had horrible anxiety problems some years back and nopanic was my saviour. Always been the anxious type, but for some time now those horrible symptoms have returned. Palpitations which are so scary and lightheaded feelings. What triggers these unwelcome visitors is sometimes too mind boggling, but I have just been away on a weeks holiday and the first night I woke up telling myself I wanted to be in my own home. Wham, that’s just the wrong thing to do,but I suppose my home is my safety net. So, the whole week anxious and palpitations shared my holiday. I must now sort myself out and my first thought was joining back on here, we are amongst people who understand.

  16. I’ve had it bad for 3 weeks after exams. I’m gad and ocd. Depersonalization is a tough one. Haven’t had it much and the ocd latched on with the what if I’m not real, or she isn’t, or going nuts, what if etc..the helpline has been great. Just to hear its normal helps. I get terrible shakes and attacks in the morning, normally OK and have been good for a while, but meltdown with stress has been bad

  17. Am just reading everyone’s comments and feeling relief that we have some support and can be there for each other. I had quite bad panic attacks followed by anxiety for a few years but recovered well and had very few problems. However recently my anxiety has returned and attacks. Am trying whatever I can and so glad I found this organisation. Am joining up and looking forward to taking control again. Jackie x

  18. Have just come across nopanic and have been reading all the comments, it always amazes me how many other people suffer with anxiety and panic. I have suffered with anxiety for about 26 years but more recently was on sick leave with work related stress which increased my anxiety. Even though I have returned to work I still have bouts of anxiety and since going back to work have suffered with headaches every day which my doctor now tells me I am suffering from subliminal stress. I have attended a 6 session Cognitive Behaviour Therapy course which I wasn’t overly impressed with, this was from a referral from my doctor. I also paid to undertake mindfulness and meditation sessions which have been great. I am now really into meditation and have downloaded many different ones from YouTube and practice at least once a day if not twice. I would recommend these sessions. In the meantime I battle on with the anxiety but accept it and feel more able to control it with the breathing exercises. Hope this can help others.

  19. Hey everyone. Omg I’m in tears reading this. I’ve suffered panics as long as I can remember. I got my husband to take me to hospital yesterday cause I felt worse than ever!! I was convinced I was gonna die. I’m so scared most of the time. Life feels so hard. I drink to ease the panics but it doesn’t help the medication. When I went to hospital yesterday they gave me this number. I rang today. First no answer so I thought oh maybe it’s not a real helpline? My husband urged me to continue. I did. I spoke to this most wonderful man called Keith today Sunday 04/09. He was so calm and understanding. I felt I had a friend. He made me cry he was so wonderful. I am do grateful to have found you guys xxx

  20. I suffered anxiety a few years ago and took antidepressants, saw a Cognitive behaviour therapist (who was useless) then went to some group CBT sessions which, despite my initial reservations, really helped. Spending time with other people who were all going through the same sort of thing but suffering more than me in most cases really helped me to find a way through it. Despite their problems they were concerned about me as well and understood – it was a big help and NoPanic helped then too (a friend recommended it).

    Now the anxiety seems to be back. I’m 52 and menopausal, and the symptoms can be really awful. They’re causing me to feel ill, which in turn makes me stressed and causes palpitations, plus work is really busy, all of which is causing severe anxiety. My colleagues are sympathetic but don’t really understand. I’m tearful, unable to motivate myself to do anything, and feel like I’m going to die, but I will have to bury it all away so that I don’t worry those around me. Sound familiar?!

    It’s very cathartic writing things down. Am going to look up mindfulness (haven’t heard of that before), remind myself about breathing techniques, and also try to remember that I got through it before and can do again. So can all of you. I hope you each find someone you can talk to who will support you. Make use of your doctor, partner, friend … believe me they would be horrified to discover how much you’ve been suffering on your own and will help if they can. Share and tell them what they can do for you. It seems we have such inner strength to hide our problems – if only we could re-deploy that power into beating this terrible condition.

  21. Hi All,
    I’m 50 and have struggled with unexplained dizziness for the last 19 years. I’ve been on a long journey trying to live my life around the anxiety which has developed as a result but a horrendous divorce and now my Mother has been diagnosed with terminal cancer means that life again is a challenge. I’ve just returned to work one day a week after 9 months on sick leave but struggling and still need to find a way of working more to survive.
    I have a fantastic group of friends but I know they don’t understand the way I constantly feel. Light headedness is almost a permanent state and since the divorce I now have chest tightness, and a feeling as though adrenaline is constantly being released form the top of my stomach. I’ve been put on anti depressants but don’t tolerate them well and they make me feel very agitated and sleepy.
    For all those sensitive people out there suffering the same, we can manage this and life goes on. Cherish the special people in your life, try to get outside every day and walk for Britain (my little dog is my saviour). Willing everyone on.

  22. Like a few other people on here, I too am currently in tears at reading and recognising the symptoms of anxiety. They seem to have crept up on me and keep worsening over the past few years.

    I genuinely think I’m going nuts because they take me by surprise and leave me totally floored with an inability to do anything meaningful in my time off work other than keep the house relatively clean and tidy (although that in itself is a huge struggle at times and I really only do it so that my partner has somewhere nice to call home) and absorb myself with word games on my phone to help maintain an element of focus.

    And then in the evening the wine comes out – a short-term release from the maelstrom of dread and paranoia swirling around my head.

    And yet to anyone who meets me during work, I’m pretty bubbly and full of optimism and enthusiasm for helping others .

    • Thankyou thank you! You have just voiced exactly what my life is like. I have felt so alone and confused but now it is making sense.

  23. Hi
    Just been reading the various posts that other people have left. I understand and completely relate to their experiences.
    Briefly , anxiety has been my companion since my mid 20s , when I thought I had cancer. It became worse until I took seroxat in my early 40s , it then became less intrusive and around 2009 onwards I cut right back on the medication and life was great. Then I developed deafness and intrusive tinnitus , got through it but found it hard to cope . Tinnitus is 24/7 and I spiralled back into anxiety and depression , right now on 60 ml of seroxat and seeing a cbt therapist .
    It is hard and I would just like to say , please keep going everyone , a lot of the feelings I am learning to accept and get on with it . The worst thing is repetitive songs for me that repeat in my head and cause great stress !! I know it’s anxiety that keeps them going and hope that I can accept them and know if I do they will dissapear . They have before and will do again. A good read is ‘At last a life ‘ by Paul David . Helps me anyway.

    Cheers everyone


    • Hi
      I couldn’t believe it when I read your comments about the songs in your head. I have them constantly. This morning it was Duran Duran please please tell me now. Bloody hated it then hate it even more now.

  24. I have always been a bit of an overthinker and a worrier, but recently experienced a physical anxiety attack and it didnt seem to pass for about a week. I can honestly say it was the worst week of my life, purely because there is nothing more terrifying than questioning your sanity.
    It started in a restaurant, out with friends having a lovely time and all of a sudden I couldnt breathe. Not in a nervous situation at all. My whole body was trembling, my skin crawling and my tongue felt like it had a pulse. My left arm felt very weak and numb, and this seemed to go on for days.
    I was a shell of a human being, couldn’t eat, sleep and seemed to research my symptoms hundreds of times a day and convinced myself I had a fatal illness.
    I went to the doctor, had an ECG and multiple blood tests and they confirmed everything was normal.
    There is no doubt I was in physical pain, and I am now terrified of this happening again.
    I am a happy, rational person. I have just got married and I am buying a house, I have a great life and I am very lucky…. so why did this happen to me!?
    I do find talking about it helps, and I feel awful for not taking this seriously when others have mentioned it in the past.
    I am thinking of reading some self help books but I don’t know where to start!

  25. Hi Christine

    You are normal, anxiety is the worse thing I have ever known. I found out my daughter has Cancer she is 30 and she has finished her Chemo and is waiting for the scan and results. My anxiety is so bad that I wish I wasn’t me. Today I woke up and that feeling of dread followed by burning head to toe and thinking of ways not to show it to my Children who are grown up and live with me. I have always had anxiey and I thought I had learned to deal with it but it has come back with a vengence. However there is hope and breathing techniques that can help. I also see a counsellor to help. Hope this helps btw Antidepressants can help alot they helped me before.

  26. Hi, I am a 16 year old girl and after recently changing schools I have seemed to have had, what it feels like to be, the worst few months of my life. It started off with one panic attack after school, thinking I was having a heart attack or was going to die, I demanded my mum to take me to hospital and after checking me out, found nothing wrong. But now it has just got worse, I seem to have them every week and also have a constant state of dreadful physical symptoms such as faintness, nausea, tingling skin and just a general feeling of being unwell. What I find most distressing is sudden episodes (normally before a panic attack) where I feel this insane surge of derealisation (dream-like) and impending doom, and this is honestly the most terrifying feeling, I honestly have no hope and when I get to my worst points I feel as though I can’t cope. Some days I can be absolutely fine and be in a great mood but other days it seems there is nothing I can do to make myself feel alright, it is utter agony. I am trying to get a therapist but it seems to take very long, it’s just comforting to know I am not the only one.

  27. Since October 2016 I have been suffering with a whole array of varied and scary symptoms which have also been diagnosed as panic disorder and anxiety. One night I could not breathe, had shooting pains across my chest and down my left arm and pains across my shoulders-took myself off to A&E and had ECG, chest xray, blood tests etc all came back fine-doctor put me on Propranolol which I have taken since but nothing has changed in terms of pain, panic or emotions in fact if anything it’s worse and I haven’t had one day of feeling ‘normal’ since October. The only comfort I have had is buying those wheat bags you microwave and putting them on my shoulders, neck, lower back, left arm (wherever pain is most that day) and it does help to ease some of the pain and panic (albeit for a short while!). Over Christmas has been day after day of smiling through pain and emotions so as not to ruin anyone’s fun with my issues. Really want my life back and forums like this help to feel I’m not alone at this awful time (nor going mad!). I’ve given up my job which was initial cause of stress so why won’t my brain and body catch up?

  28. Hi 🙂

    Looking at the symptom checker has really helped me over the past few days and seeing these comments made me realise how great it is that there is support out there.

    I’ve struggled with generalised anxiety for a long time now, and also have had a lot of symptoms of hypochondria and pure O OCD (although these haven’t been diagnosed).

    Seeing this had helped me so much over the past few days…. Googling my symptoms has led me to quite a few panic attacks over the past month or so, and if its not my health its everything else that I worry about… I’ve felt trapped in my own thoughts constantly for a long time and this has saved me, so thank you 🙂

  29. Wow! This is crazy. I have never felt like this in my life. I am so happy, bubbly but a bit of an over thinker.
    The first time this happened to me was a week ago, I called an ambulance with all the symptoms above. Now a week later I have them still but now with just a numb face. I have been to the hospital A and E department nearly every day. In which they just given me tablets beta blockers, and now diazepam.
    I’m petrified I am going to die. I’m only 18 and I really need some help and advice!!
    I’m honestly so worried all the time

  30. Had most of the symptoms above, but have constant internal dialogue of ” do you want to live, yes, do you want to die, no.” Been admitted to psych ward twice as its made me suicidal these symptoms and feelings I cannot shake. Has anyone else suffered similar?

    • I have suffered similar… However I now have medication and have seen a psychiatrist which seems to have really helped 🙂 The thing that helped me most was trying to think that the thoughts were not my own; they’re just an illness (although it’s not quite as simple as that).

      I hope you feel better soon x

  31. Hey!! I am from India. Not necessarily the main India-part but along the Indo-China border. There’s not much exposure here and help or service isn’t always there in terms of medical services.
    I am now 20 yrs old, female and have been suffering from anxiety disorder since 2012. It’s so difficult to deal with, atleast for me. Whenever I am in an unfamiliar surrounding or people, the feeling creeps in and at times I can’t even think properly and even freeze down the neck. I have read many articles, self help blogs but nothing seems to help. I have often read and heard the fact that you should not focus so much into it but even when I try, it doesn’t help, it just gets me. It has affected my academics and social life. I can’t even go out of my room for days at times or even go out alone. Anxiety has really affected my confidence and as a young woman, I really want to be self-empowered and confident and smart; I expect myself to be like that but withe the anxiety disorder, the panic etc, all things as simple as going for a driving test seems impossible.

  32. So glad i have read these comments after having yet another panic attack today for no reason !! Its my head that worries me like tingling pressure rushes through my body and when gets to my head im so scared .im shaking feel sick and just need to get home does anyone else get these feelings in there head ?

  33. At last, after years of Dr Google, a rational web site (ironically I suppose). Anxiety hit me in France in 2012 when I suddenly felt a pain shoot out from around beneath my sternum. It couldn’t possibly be the crep with lots of sugar and lemon juice. No, it must be my heart! I’d never had such an instantaneous and complete meltdown. God knows how I got through the rest of the holiday. Needless to say several GP visits blood tests, and an MRI followed. All clear. 10mgs of amitriptilyne once before bed.
    Since then I’ve gone for long periods free of (health) anxiety but then bouts of constant doubt. It switches between brain, heart, stomach, prostate: whatever area is flagging up with ‘symptom’. I cannot then help googling despite my inner voice screaming DON’T! YOU’LL FIND SOMETHING! Which of course I do. I could weep.
    I’m ‘on heart’at the moment despite hitting the gym three times a week and hitting my maximum heart rate for most of the one hour session. I felt a missed beat as I came to rest which I believe is normal but fatally focused on it. This then extended to pulse checks outside the gym setting which lead to palpitations and now even an apprehension about GOING to the gym; my only saviour until now! Got to get through it but it’s getting unbearable now. I’ve broken down and will have to visit the GP. I need therapy I think to finally try and get back to a normal life. I fully understand everyone’s comments here. I’m reading The Chimp Paradox which explains a lot but I’m so stuck in this rut that no amount of self help books seem to be working. Oh well must keep going.

  34. Hey! I am from Bangladeshi. Not necessarily the main Bangladeshi-part but along the Indo-India border. There’s not much exposure here and help or service isn’t always there in terms of medical services.
    I am now 25 yrs old, female and have been suffering from anxiety attack symptoms disorder since 2010.

  35. Hi meme22. Yes the head tingling happens to me. Having a bout of that general head stuff at the moment. Pains, pressure, slight unreality, and spacey. No matter that I’ve had all the tests it’s still gets me! Exercise is the antidote for me especially swimming. Feels cleansing to mind and body just up and down the pool works wonders! Having some CBT and reading. Try Solve for Happy. Good book. Phil.

  36. I’m a 58 year old male who has a long term relationship with anxiety and depression. First struck me in my early 20’s when a panic attack led me down the path of believing I had a heart problem. Took me 2 years to recover from that event. Had my 2nd ‘meltdown’ at age of 50. Once again, became fixated on health concern, this time it was my blood pressure. Became depressed with the most awful problems with anxiety. Prescribed citalopram, and became ‘normal’ again about a year later. Since then I have felt really well, so much so that I embarked on a year long journey to wean myself of medication. 4 weeks medication free and BAM…..anxiety has returned with a vengeance. Been feeling pretty bad for the last 2 weeks. Last night was particularly bad. I feel so frustrated and angry with myself. Read loads of self help guides and recognise its all in my own mind, but as hard as I try to connect with that mindset, I simply cannot. I hate feeling like this, and am fearful that I won’t cope. I worry that as I am getting older, my resilience will not be so strong

  37. It’s the overthinking of what’s going on during a panic attack that just makes things worse. I’ve been told over again to distract myself when a panic attack happens. If only it was that easy. It’s so hard to focus on anything else in the middle of an attack. I know I should take my mind elsewhere and focus on something else, but it’s just not happening at the moment.
    The physical symptoms, nausea, heart pounding, sweating, just do not go away by me trying to concentrate on something else, so how do I stop those symptoms? I know if I ride out the panic they fade away eventually, but some days those symptoms are with me for hours upon hours. If anyone has an answer I’d love to hear it.

  38. Omg can’t believe there’s so many responses. If had this horrible illness for 4 years now constantly everyday. My wife just doesn’t listen anymore and keeps saying it’s only yes it’s only a panic attack if only she knew how it feels. But to me as many will understand its god what is happening now every twinge pain etc it’s Google for me which please try and not do as you will make yourself I’ll. Symptoms of mine are pains in head,stiff neck,sore neck,burning pain from shoulder right to my hand,burning sensations in my legs right into my toes and of course very tired as the body is fighting all these symptoms. I am self employed and really in dire straits now making up lies not to go to work etc my god I think I have buried more granny’s and grandads than humanly possible lol. I also have had every test done all came back negative but again what if they’ve missed something cause surely panic attacks and anxiety couldn’t possibly cause these sensations.had every anti-depressant available but can’t deal with side effects so on my last one called sertralne? Anyone tried this? So on day 3 trying to ride out these side effects as I know this is my last chance so hopefully things change as I can’t put myself wife or 2daughters through anymore and yes I have depersonalised myself away for this time also sorry for the long page but sick to the back teeth of this horrible illness thank yous for listening and hope we all get better!!

  39. Hello, I’m glad I’ve found this site I have been having tingling, burning sensations for a week now convincing myself I’m getting seriously ill and will have to leave my family behind. It’s driving me crazy I’ve had anxiety before but not this bad, I have started a new job and it’s very pressurised I hope it’s just anxiety down to that. I haven’t eaten properly for a week I have no appetite and food makes me feel sick. X

  40. Hi all,
    I totally feel everyone’s comments here.
    I dont normally comment but I had to mention some things that really helped me.
    Firstly cutting out caffeine had an amazing impact. I think if you are having these symptoms Caffeine can make them even worse.
    And as another poster said exercising.
    I’m not sure this ever goes away, but hopefully we can all get it well managed.

  41. I’m here because I am honestly scared for my life, I have been diagnosed with Health anxiety and have been dealing with this for almost 10 years on and off. but recently about 2 months ago after having a serious scare over one of the products I use at work I thought I was going to get cancer and die, after about 3 days of constantly thinking about it I woke up with a minor headache that started worrying me and before you know it it got worse and since then I have felt dizzy and lightheaded every day for the last 2 months and there isn’t one moment that I don’t think about Cancer or something bad, all I’ve gotten are blood tests that all came back negative for blood cancers or Diabetes. I am constantly tense and don’t even want to leave the house because I hate feeling pressure on my head and feeling like I’m walking on a boat I don’t know what to do anymore I hate being scared and I want to go back to my normal life and being able to walk straight without feeling weak. I am self employed and this anxiety has almost completely ruined my business because of my lack of motivation and lack of work and hours put in. I need help :'(

    • Hi Jose, I also had my 1st anxiety issues 9 years ago and recently its returned. I have been having serious health Anxiety issues for the last 2 weeks. Mine started with breathlessness and then a major panic attack the following day. I’ve constantly visited the Drs and all tests have come back clear. I’m also finding it hard to believe when I have so many symptoms. I’ve had dizziness, breathlessness, aches and pains, headaches, upset tummy and tingling everyday for the last 2 weeks. Its so hard to get through it but today is the best I’ve felt in a fortnight. For the last 3 days I’ve been doing breathing exercises through this app called Calm. It’s been a life saver for me. It’s about relaxing your mind and body. Just keep telling yourself it will pass I promise you. Let me know how you get on. Maybe we can help eachother x

  42. I was diagnosed with GAD 6years ago, at the age of 19. Cut a long story short I’ve ended up completely cutting myself off from making any life for myself. What I have come to realise is that every doubt = fear. The fear the causes the anxious cycle. This isn’t easy to adjust as it becomes automatic. One thing I can say is I have never stopped trying to find a way to combat the fear. If you eliminate the fear then the anxiety will automatically drop. We all live with anxiety but the issue is when it gets in the way of our daily lives. I started of with being anxious about losing my mind and being physically ill (dying) as I couldn’t not stop being sick and I couldn’t sleep. Doctor gave me anti depressants and referred me to CBT which helped me understand anxiety itself however to be completely honest it didn’t help me overcome it. I also experienced suicidal thoughts and thoughts about hurting loved ones which increased my anxiety. Honestly help is great and always there and I think if someone can guide you in the right direction then take it. The thing is there is only so much people can do before you have to do it yourself. I have currently started going for walks which is big for me considering I became agoraphobic. On the walks I record myself and make sure I add positive things in. What I have figured out over these many years of avoiding everything is it was/is always the fear of being physically anxious. Its hard to get to the core of it because the doubts come in so many different ways and you come up with so many different ideas. I have a long journey in front of me and a lot to learn, not just with my fear, anxiety but with myself to. All I can say from my personal experience is remember there are millions of people feeling the same as you do. You aren’t alone. There are so many different technics to try and it is down to us to take that leap. I believe people with anxiety and depression are the people there are most hardest on themselves, talk to themselves like they are talking to there worst enemy. Words like idiot, stupid etc just add fire to the doubts because we are telling ourselves this and except to feel good? Surround yourself with people that push you, this I found tricky because it is so easy to been drawn to comfort but it really does not help in anyway what so ever. I hope this helps anyone that reads it. I wish I had all the answers, could say I have recovered from it and tell you I feel great. Truth is it isn’t easy, it is hard but we have to make the effort otherwise we won’t be where we hope to be one day.

  43. You need to add vision problems to this list, I get a kind of tunnel vision. Apparently it’s the body’s way of improving focus on the thing it thinks you’re running away from. When my CBT therapist explained all this to me it was light a light bulb being switched on.

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