“All of us at anxietycentre.com have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 30 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President, anxietycentre.com

Anxiety Symptoms, Signs, Disorders, Types, Causes, Treatment

Jim Folk author
Written by: Jim Folk.
Medically reviewed by: Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Updated: July 3, 2019

Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety Disorder Signs & Symptoms

Anxiety disorders – Anxiety & Panic Attacks, GAD, SAD, OCD, PTSD, etc. – can produce 100s of symptoms, including crying, trembling, pins, needles, numbness, tingling, dizziness, racing heart, chest pain, and breathlessness. See our anxiety symptoms list for more detailed information about each anxiety symptom.

Everyone is anxious from time to time. This is normal. Anxiety disorder occurs when fear and anxiety or their symptoms interfere with a normal lifestyle.

Select any of our on-page Table Of Contents options for more information.

Anxiety Disorder Signs and Symptoms

There are 100s of anxiety symptoms and signs including,

  • Crying.
  • Trembling.
  • Pins and needles.
  • Numbness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Racing heart.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Crying.
  • Headaches.
  • Neck tension.
  • Stomach upset, nervous stomach.
  • Pulsing in the ear.
  • Burning skin.
  • Electric shock feeling.
  • Shooting pains in the face.
  • Weakness in legs.
  • Feeling like you are going crazy.
  • Feeling like you might pass out.
  • Inability to rest.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Tight band around the head.
  • Tight band around the rib cage.
  • Tight stomach.
  • A warm sensation that begins in the stomach.
  • Strong feeling of impending doom and foreboding.

This list is not exhaustive. Click the link for a comprehensive list of anxiety signs and symptoms with descriptions, explanations, and what to do for each symptom.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety definition from psychology:

The American Psychological Association defines anxiety as:
Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.

People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns. They may avoid certain situations out of worry. They may also have physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or a rapid heartbeat.[1]

Anxiety defined in general terms:

In general terms, anxiety is defined as:

  • A feeling of worry, unease, apprehension, or nervousness about an imminent event or future situation with an uncertain outcome.
  • Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear or danger or misfortune.[2]
  • A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.

Anxiety occurs when we behave (think and act) in an apprehensive manner, such as worrying about a future situation or circumstance.

Worry can be defined as:

  • mental distress or agitation resulting from concern usually for something impending or anticipated.[3]

Worry can be thought of as “negatively anticipating” a future situation or circumstance because it could cause harm or unpleasantness.

Fearing that something harmful or unpleasant could happen is what drives worry. Since worry is a behavior that creates anxiety, fear (or being afraid) is at the root of anxiety.

As such, anxiety is a state of uneasiness caused by a particular style of behavior, such as worry.

You can take our free online anxiety test to see if you have issues with anxiety.

What is anxiety disorder?

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. This is normal. Anxiety turns into a disorder when it and its symptoms and feelings interfere with a normal lifestyle.

“Disorder” can be defined as: a condition that disrupts normal functioning (physical, mental, lifestyle, etc.).

If anxiety is interfering with your normal lifestyle, preventing you from doing things you normally would, or causing problems in your life, it can be considered a “disorder.”

You can take our free online anxiety disorder test to see if you have anxiety disorder, and if so, to what degree.

What are anxiety disorder symptoms?

The moment we believe we could be in danger, the body activates the stress response, also known as the fight or flight response. This survival reaction immediately stimulates the body into action.[4][5]

anxiety symptoms the stress response illustration

The stress response is our ally when in danger. Because of the many changes the stress response brings about, stress responses stress the body. A body that is stressed can exhibit symptoms of stress.

Therefore, anxiety disorder symptoms are symptoms of stress. They are called anxiety symptoms because apprehensive behavior is the main source of the stress that stresses the body and produces symptoms.

Two main sources of anxiety symptoms

There are two main sources of anxiety symptoms:

1. The stress response

Anxiety activates the fight or flight response causing immediate stress response changes that cause symptoms. These symptoms are referred to as “anxiety symptoms” because anxiety is the main cause of the stress response and resulting symptoms.

Visit our “Stress Response” page for more information.

2. Hyperstimulation

Overly apprehensive behavior can cause the frequent activation of the stress response. Frequent activation of the stress response can cause the body to become chronically stressed, which we call stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are stimulants.

In effect, overly apprehensive behavior chronically stresses the body, which in turn, causes chronic symptoms.

Hyperstimulation can cause symptoms that are characterized as persistent and occurring “out-of-the-blue” even though you might not be feeling anxious at that moment.  Visit our “Stress-response hyperstimulation” page for more information.

Because each body is somewhat chemically unique, the type, number, intensity, duration, and frequency of anxiety symptoms will vary from person to person. For example, one person might have one or just a few mild anxiety symptoms whereas another person might have all of them and to severe degrees. The severity of anxiety disorder will also have a bearing on the type, number, frequency, intensity, and duration of symptoms. Higher degrees of anxiety disorder severity often produce higher degrees of severity and number of anxiety symptoms.

We have included a comprehensive list of anxiety signs and symptoms, including physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, and emotional symptoms farther down this web page. Recovery Support members can visit our “Anxiety Symptoms” section (chapter 9) for a more in depth list of anxiety symptoms, including descriptions, causes, remedies, and how many people experience them.

Some medications can cause side effects that are similar to symptoms of anxiety. If you suspect some of your symptoms are side effects of medication, discuss your medication with your doctor and pharmacist.

Are anxiety disorder symptoms different from anxiety symptoms?

No. Anxiety disorder symptoms and anxiety symptoms are the same. The only difference between the two would be, as anxiety and its persistence increases, so will the number, type, intensity, frequency, and duration of anxiety symptoms increase. Otherwise, they are one and the same.

Anxiety symptoms in women

The majority of anxiety symptoms in men and women are similar, but there are some anxiety symptom differences.[6][7]

For example, stress hormones affect other hormones. Consequently, women can experience a wide range of symptoms around the female menstruation cycle. Many women experience an increase in the number and severity of anxiety symptoms due to the hormonal fluctuations during their monthly cycle.

Women can also experience an increase in symptoms due to the biological changes of pregnancy, postpartum recovery, and menopause.

Women also tend to be more emotionally-centered than men, so their anxiety symptoms can seem more numerous and daunting because of how hormones affect emotions and how women are more emotionally-centered.

Furthermore, women are more emotionally expressive than men and share their experiences with others more than men. When under stress, women tend to reach out to others for support, which can ease the burden of stress. For many women, sharing their experiences with anxiety and how they feel is therapeutic whereas sharing is stressful for many men.

Moreover, women also experience anxiety over different things than men. For instance, women have a tendency to be anxious about relationships whereas men are less likely. Women are more concerned about their appearance and how they interact with other women than are men. There are numerous differences between the things women and men concern themselves about.

Also, women secrete higher levels of oxytocin than men. Oxytocin helps to reduce the adverse effects of stress hormones.

As for the number of women and men who suffer with anxiety disorder, research has found anxiety disorder is more prevalent in women – almost twice as many women experience anxiety disorder than men. However, our experience working with anxiety disorder sufferers has shown the difference between men and women with anxiety disorder is less than two percent (51 percent of women versus 49 percent of men). A reason for this difference is that men generally don’t talk about their anxiety issues or come forward with them as often as women. Part of the subculture of men is to keep things inside and manage on their own whereas women are more open about their struggle with anxiety disorder.

So even though anxiety can produce similar symptoms for women and men, there are some subtle differences between them overall.

Anxiety symptoms in men

As mentioned, the majority of anxiety symptoms in men and women are similar, but there are some anxiety symptom differences, as well as how anxiety is expressed and experienced.[6][7]

For instance, since hormones affect each other, stress hormones also affect male hormones, such as a reduction in testosterone resulting in reduced sex drive.

Men also have a tendency to bottle up emotions and the consequences of stress so they aren’t as expressive as women. Men also don’t share their struggles as often as women. Both factors can increase stress on the body and mind.

Men also tend to be anxious about different things than women. Finances, supporting the family, the responsibility of children, career matters, being successful, and so on are common fears among men whereas they are less likely in women.

Also, men secrete less oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress’s impact. Consequently, stress takes a greater toll on men than women.

Also as mentioned, research has found anxiety disorder is more prevalent in women – almost twice as many women experience anxiety disorder than men. However, our experience working with anxiety disorder sufferers has shown the difference between men and women with anxiety disorder is less than two percent (51 percent of women versus 49 percent of men). A reason for this difference is that men generally don’t talk about their anxiety issues or come forward with them as often as women. Part of the subculture of men is to keep things inside and manage on their own whereas women are more open about their struggle with anxiety disorder.

For additional information about the many anxiety signs and symptoms, see our anxiety symptoms list below.

Anxiety symptoms in children

Yes, children can have anxiety issues.[8] I (Jim Folk) remember having strong anxiety and panic attacks at the age of 7. At that time, I just felt “sick in the stomach” and an overwhelming sense of doom, which my parents labeled as the stomach flu. But as my anxiety grew worse over time and peaked at age 23, it became clear my “stomach flu” episodes were anxiety.

According to a national survey in 2010, 32 percent of adolescents in the United States have an anxiety disorder.[9] Sadly, "The majority of children with anxiety never receive treatment," says Golda Ginsburg, PhD, a psychologist and professor at the University of Connecticut Health.

Research shows that girls tend to be more susceptible to anxiety than boys.[8] Among children, separation anxiety, social anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder are the most common.[10]

Since young children can’t clearly articulate what they are feeling, anxiety symptoms often appear as:

  • Stomachaches
  • Headaches
  • Crying episodes
  • Shyness
  • Overly fearful of normal activities
  • Rashes
  • Overly emotional
  • Overly nervous
  • Avoidance of places and activities
  • Overly concerned about normal activities
  • Overly concerned about people
  • Anxiety associated with going to school
  • Anxiety associated with making and keeping friends
  • Evidence of low self-esteem
  • Perfectionism
  • Frustration
  • Clinging to parents when in social situations
  • Heightened phobias about the dark, dogs, spiders, bees, wasps, ants, snakes, etc.
  • Irrational and excessive fear
  • Feeling persistent tension
  • Behavioral problems at school
  • Poor concentration problems
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Chronic fatigue

In addition to the above symptoms, children can also experience any of the symptoms on our anxiety signs and symptoms list.

While there are a number of factors, anxious parents seem to be the most common cause of childhood anxiety.[10] Research shows that children who grow up with anxious parents have a higher likelihood of developing anxiety disorder than those who don't.

High anxiety symptoms

High anxiety symptoms often refers to anxiety symptoms that are strong in severity and numerous in number. For instance, a person who has many anxiety symptoms and to severe degrees of intensity could be said to have high anxiety symptoms. Others might refer to high anxiety symptoms when the number of their symptoms increases and becomes stronger in intensity.

Generally, the more anxious and stressed the person is, the more symptoms he or she can experience. Therefore, if you are experiencing high anxiety symptoms  – lots of symptoms that are severe in intensity – that means your anxiety and the resulting stress is elevated (since being anxious stresses the body). Fortunately, we can reverse the number and intensity of anxiety symptoms by reducing anxious behavior and the body’s overall level of stress. As anxiety and stress diminish, so will the number and intensity of anxiety symptoms – unless the body has become hyperstimulated, which means it might take much longer for anxiety symptoms to diminish in number and intensity.

Recovery Support members can read more about the challenges of recovering from hyperstimulation in chapter 4, 5, 6, and 14.

Since anxiety-caused stress can affect the body in many ways, any anxiety symptom or symptom-set (a group of symptoms that can be experienced at one time) can increase when anxiety and stress increase.

Types of anxiety disorders and symptoms

There are different subtypes within the Anxiety Disorder classification. Below are the seven most common types of anxiety disorder.

Panic Disorder (PD)

Panic attacks are episodes of high degree anxiety, feelings, and symptoms.[11][12] Panic attacks often occur suddenly and 'out of the blue.' Sometimes the cause of a panic attack is obvious, such as when you feel in immediate danger. But at other times, panic attacks can seem to occur “out of the blue” and for no apparent reason.

Panic attacks and their symptoms can last from a few moments to hours. During the attack, you can feel a strong sense of fear and foreboding. It can also be accompanied by an urge to escape, strong sensations and symptoms, a feeling that you could lose control, and for many, that they might even die.[13][14]

The feelings, sensations, and symptoms that accompany a panic attack can be so strong that just the thought of having another attack creates the strong feelings of anxiety and panic.

There is no question that panic attacks can be strong physiological, psychological, and emotional experiences, which is why many people fear them. Additionally, panic attacks can create many symptoms and feelings that many panic disorder sufferers come to fear because of their seemingly overpowering nature.[15]

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), defines panic attacks as a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. In this case, the APA has determined a difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks.

The main differences are that an anxiety attack has mild symptoms, is short to long in duration, and the symptoms come on gradually. A panic attack, however, has intense symptoms, is short in duration, and symptoms come on suddenly. Overall, an anxiety attack is mild and a panic attack is severe.

This difference is important because a panic attack is a “clinical term” used to define symptoms and determine treatment options whereas anxiety attack is not. The difference can impact treatment by a mental health professional.

Panic Disorder (PD) symptoms can include:

  • Intense feeling of doom and gloom.
  • Racing heart.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Sweating.
  • Nervous stomach.
  • Trembling.
  • Feeling like you are about to lose control.
  • Feeling like you are about to go crazy.
  • Feeling overwhelmed.
  • Sudden and strong urge to escape.
  • Heightened fear and apprehension.
  • Increased stimulation.
  • Pins and needles.
  • Throat tightness.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Weak in the knees.
  • Super sensitive senses and nerves.

Visit our anxiety and panic attacks symptoms page for additional information. You can also take our free online panic attack test to see if you have panic disorder, and if so, to what degree.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Everyone is anxious from time to time. Many of us have some aspects of life that we worry about more than others. For some, it’s speaking in public. For others, it’s taking an important exam, or having an important job interview. Yet, for others, it’s completing an important project, about health and medical matters, or about participating in an important sporting event.[16][17]

People who experience generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), however, worry about many things and more often than those who don’t experience general anxiety disorder. Furthermore, they also experience intense and unrelenting worry. While they know their worry is unhealthy, they feel powerless to stop their excessive worrying. They even find themselves worrying about minor things, such as being late for an engagement, being called upon to speak in a group, or getting their chores done on time.

Generalized anxiety disorder doesn't mean your anxiety is worse than other types of anxiety disorder, but that you worry about more things and more often than others.

Signs and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder:

  • a general feeling of uneasiness
  • persistently being on alert for danger
  • persistent worry
  • an overly cautious approach to life
  • a persistent feeling of being unsafe
  • overly reactive to things that you perceive could be threatening
  • many of the physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms of anxiety listed below

Visit our Generalized Anxiety Disorder page for additional information. You can also take our free online generalized anxiety test to see if you have generalized anxiety disorder, and if so, to what degree.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is described as having unwanted thoughts and actions that seem difficult to impossible to stop. While many people worry, those who experience obsessive compulsive disorder feel they can't stop worrying, or if they do, something bad will happen.[18][19][20]

The strong desire to feel safe from harm is at the root of obsessive compulsive disorder. To achieve that safety, those who experience obsessive compulsive disorder believe they have to be always on the lookout for danger, and then do whatever they can to avoid it.

This constant “surveilling for danger” is at the heart of obsessions, and finding external ways to “feel” safe is at the heart of OCD rituals. In a sense, people who experience OCD believe they have to perform certain actions until they “feel” safe from the perceived harm.

Common rituals include touching a certain object enough times, organizing things, washing things, counting something enough times, and doing things enough until the “feeling” of safety “feels” enough to end the worry.

People who experience OCD place great importance on “feeling safe.”

Common obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms and signs:

  • Relentless worry.
  • Underlying fear.
  • An underlying sense of danger.
  • Inability to self-soothe.
  • Nervousness.
  • Agitation.
  • Sleep issues.
  • And many of anxiety's physiological, psychological, and emotional symptoms.

And many more symptoms.

Visit our Obsessive Compulsive Disorder page for more information. You can also take our free online OCD test to see if you have obsessive compulsive disorder, and if so, to what degree.

Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Social Anxiety Disorder is described as being overly anxious in social situations. It's not that social anxiety disorder sufferers are afraid of people, but rather they fear what people might think of them and how those people might react. Fear of rejection and judgement is a major concern for the socially anxious.

This fear of being judged, humiliated, or rejected can be so extreme that it prevents them from doing everyday things, and especially when in social situations. The fear of eating in front of people or going places like the store or the gym can be so intense that it feels beyond their ability to manage.

About one in ten people suffer from social anxiety.  When not dealt with, social anxiety can minimize the person's potential and quality of life.

Socially anxious people generally struggle with self-esteem and self-worth issues. Social phobia is another term often used to describe social anxiety.

SAD symptoms:

  • Nervousness around people who are deemed to be important.
  • Overly concerned about what people think.
  • Overly concerned about how people might react.
  • Hyper sensitive to rejection.
  • Overly sensitive to criticism.
  • Overly critical of others.
  • And many of anxiety's physiological, psychological, and emotional symptoms.

There are many more symptoms.

Visit our Social Anxiety Disorder page for more information. You can also take our free online social anxiety test to see if you have social anxiety disorder, and if so, to what degree.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is characterized as having strong anxious and distressing reactions to a past traumatic event.[21][22] The memories, flashbacks, nightmares, and night terrors of the event can be so vivid that they provoke seemingly uncontrollable anxious reactions and symptoms. Many people who struggle with PTSD feel helpless to eliminate the negative memories, flashbacks, nightmares, and night terrors and the strong reactions and symptoms that accompany them.

Post traumatic Stress Disorder has been revised in the new DSM V and is under revision for the ICD-11.[23] New research includes cross-cultural factors and complex PTSD. These two additional considerations ought to be considered when you speak with your physician. In brief, complex PTSD is reoccurring exposure to a type of traumatic event repeatedly or cumulatively or over a period of time within a specific context or environment.[24]

Events that can lead to PTSD are war, natural disasters, physical conditions, man-made traumas in child and adolescents, terrorism, road accidents, sexual assault, and refugee status.
Cross-cultural considerations are necessary for an accurate diagnosis as well as differential diagnosis from prolonged grief and compassion fatigue. Both of these differential diagnoses can present the same symptomatology. Being a witness or having experienced secondary exposure to the traumatic event needs to be taken into consideration in the discussion of PTSD. Ask your physician for these considerations.

Some people say that having PTSD is similar to having panic attacks 24/7 and feeling there is nothing you can do to stop them.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms:

  • Reoccurring memories, flashbacks, and nightmares that seem unstoppable.
  • On going anxiety and worry.
  • Underlying fear and trepidation.
  • Persistently feeling unsafe and at risk.
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event.
  • Avoiding situations that are associated with reminders and the event itself.
  • Overly vigilant in uncertain situations.
  • Avoiding others.
  • Negative appraisals about yourself and negative outlook on the world.
  • A persistent internal struggle.
  • Feelings of persistent guilt and/or shame.
  • Risky/destructive behavior.
  • And many of anxiety's physiological, psychological, and emotional symptoms.

Plus many more symptoms.

For additional information, visit our Post Traumatic Stress Disorder page.


Everyone is afraid of something. Phobias, however, are extreme rational and irrational fears that seem unusually strong and encompassing.[25][26] A fear of heights, small spaces, dogs, germs, snakes, spiders, being in a situation that would be difficult to escape, and flying are examples of specific phobias.

Specific phobias are the most common types of anxiety disorder.

Common phobia symptoms across the majority of phobias:

  • Overly afraid of a person, object, situation, or circumstance.
  • Heightened sense of danger near your feared subject.
  • Persistent worry and/or concern about your feared subject.
  • A strong desire to avoid the feared person, object, situation, or circumstance.
  • Acknowledgement the fear is irrational, unreasonable, and exaggerated.
  • And many of anxiety's physiological, psychological, and emotional symptoms.

Phobias can include all of the physical symptoms we list below.

Visit our Phobias page for additional information.

Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD)

Stanford Children’s Health defines separation anxiety disorder as: excessive worry and fear about being apart from family members or individuals to whom a child is most attached.

Children who experience separation anxiety disorder are afraid of being separated or lost from their family or that something bad may happen to a family member if they become separated from them.

To be considered SAD, symptoms of anxiety or fear about being separated from their families have to last for at least four weeks.

Separation Anxiety Disorder symptoms include:

  • Outward anxiety or fear
  • Trembling
  • Crying
  • Upset stomach
  • Feeling sick
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Disoriented
  • Overly emotional

Symptoms can also include any of the anxiety symptoms in our comprehensive list.

Anxiety disorder risk factors

There are many theories about the risk factors for the development of anxiety disorder, including having a genetic predisposition, which is still assumed and remains unproven. But there are some risk factors that are well-known,[27] including experiencing abuse (physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, and spiritual), experiencing early life trauma, being raised by overly critical parents, being raised in an over-protective environment (where parents insulate their children from the realities of life), being raised by parents who over indulge their children (where parents give their children everything they want), and so on.

These types of environmental factors heavily influence how we think about ourselves, others, and the world around us, which shape our system of beliefs. Then, our system of beliefs shapes our behavior.

For more information, see our system of beliefs article. Recovery Support members can read our Underlying Factors section (chapter 7) for more in depth information about the many underlying factors that influence anxious behavior.

Anxiety Disorders Treatment

There are many anxiety treatment options. Research has found that the most effective treatment for anxiety disorder is the combination of good self-help information, support, and therapy.[28][29][30][31][32]

Moreover, research has found that therapy delivered at a distance via teletherapy or over the internet (ICBT) is as effective, if not more so, than in-person therapy.[33][34]. Distanced therapy (ICBT) has also been shown to be cost-effective.[35]

Therapy is particularly effective when delivered by therapists who have personally experienced and have successfully overcome anxiety disorder in their own lives. Having successfully overcome anxiety disorder means they understand your struggle, how anxiety disorder can impact a person's life, and what is required to overcome it. This personal experience is a valuable asset in the anxiety disorder recovery process, including the treatment of anxiety symptoms.[36]

Visit our Anxiety Therapy page for information about how our anxiety therapy option works and the many anxiety therapists available.

Did you know that treating anxiety symptoms is not all there is to addressing anxiety disorder? Here is more information about the Two Levels of Anxiety Disorder Recovery.

For overview information about anxiety, its symptoms, and its treatment, see our Anxiety 101 section.

Anxiety Symptoms Quick FAQs

Is crying a symptom of anxiety?

Yes, crying is a symptom of anxiety. Anxiety is one of the body’s most powerful emotions, which can have a dramatic effect on other emotions. As such, anxiety can cause a person to cry for what seems like no apparent reason. Many anxiety disorder sufferers cry because of anxiety. It is a common symptom.

What are symptoms of anxiety disorder?

Anxiety disorder can produce hundreds of symptoms, such as:

  • Crying.
  • Trembling.
  • Pins and needles.
  • Numbness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Racing heart.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.

And a great many more. Since anxiety affects all of the body’s systems, organs, glands, and nervous system, anxiety can have a profound effect on the body.

Explore our comprehensive list of anxiety symptoms below for more information about each anxiety symptom.

Anxiety Symptoms List:

Anxiety disorder, no matter the type, affects the body the same way. As a result, the following anxiety symptoms can occur with any type of anxiety disorder. The type, number, intensity, duration, and frequency of anxiety symptoms is generally determined by the degree of anxiety experienced.

Medical Advisory

We recommend all new, changing, persistent, and returning anxiety symptoms be discussed with your doctor as some medical conditions and medications can cause anxiety-like symptoms. If your doctor concludes your symptoms are solely anxiety-related, you can be confident there isn't a medical cause. Generally, doctors can easily determine the difference between anxiety symptoms and those caused by a medical condition.

Doctors aren't infallible, however. If you are uncertain about your doctor’s diagnosis, you can seek a second or more opinions. But if all opinions agree, you can be assured anxiety is the sole cause of your symptoms.

For information and explanations about anxiety disorders symptoms, click on any of the individual symptoms links below where available.

Body Symptoms:

Chest Symptoms:

Emotions (see mood - emotions, mood, and feelings)


Head Symptoms:

Hearing & Ear Symptoms:

Heart Symptoms:

You can find out if you are having a heart attack or anxiety attack (panic attack)

Mind and Thinking Symptoms:

Mood, Emotions, Feelings Symptoms;

Mouth, Voice, Stomach, and Digestive Symptoms:

Skin Symptoms:

Sleep Symptoms:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Frequent bad, bizarre, or crazy dreams
  • Hearing sounds in your head that jolt you awake
  • Insomnia, or waking up ill in the middle of the night
  • Jolting awake
  • Waking up in a panic attack
  • You feel worse in the mornings

Sight, Vision, Eyes Symptoms:

Touch Symptoms:

Other anxiety symptoms are often described as: Being like a hypochondriac, muscle twinges, worry all the time, tingles, gagging, tightness in the chest, tongue twitches, shaky, breath lump, heart beat problems, head tingles, itchy tingling in arms and legs, and so many more.

In addition, you might also find yourself worrying compulsively about:

  • Having a heart attack
  • Having a serious undetected illness
  • Dying prematurely
  • Going insane or losing your mind
  • Suddenly snapping
  • Losing it
  • Uncontrollably harming yourself or someone you love
  • Losing control of your thoughts and actions
  • Being embarrassed or making a fool out of yourself
  • Losing control
  • Fainting in public
  • Not breathing properly
  • Losing control of reality
  • Choking or suffocating
  • Being alone

These are some of the more common signs, symptoms, and indications of anxiety. This symptoms list is not exhaustive.

If you would like more in depth information about all anxiety symptoms, including those symptoms that aren't listed or explained above - the Symptoms section (Chapter 9) in the Recovery Support area of our website includes every anxiety symptom, including complete descriptions, explanations, remedies, and the percentage of people who experience it. Many of our members have told us that our Anxiety Symptoms section in the Recovery Support area is the most comprehensive symptoms resource available anywhere today. Click here for more information about our Recovery Support area, including membership options.

For more information about our Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counselling progam.


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36. DISCLAIMER: Because each body is somewhat chemically unique, and because each person will have a unique mix of symptoms and underlying factors, recovery results may vary. Variances can occur for many reasons, including due to the severity of the condition, the ability of the person to apply the recovery concepts, and the commitment to making behavioral change. Consequently, individual results may vary.

Anxiety symptoms can range in type, number, intensity, frequency, and duration with each person having a unique set of anxiety disorder signs and symptoms.