A Few Anxiety Symptoms Or Many

Written by Jim Folk
Last updated March 27, 2021

Is My Anxiety Different Because I Have So Many Symptoms?

Question:

I’ve been dealing with anxiety for a long time. I have a lot of the symptoms you list at your website. Many of my friends have anxiety, too, but they only have one or two symptoms. Is my anxiety different because I have so many symptoms, or do some people just get some symptoms whereas others get many? In other words, is it common for anxiety sufferers to get many symptoms or just one or two?

Answer

Apprehensive behavior creates anxiety, anxiety activates the stress response, and the stress response stresses the body. A body that’s under stress can exhibit symptoms.

Consequently, anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress. We call them anxiety symptoms because overly apprehensive behavior is the main source of the stress that creates symptoms.

Since each body is somewhat chemically unique, each body can respond somewhat uniquely to stress.

For example, some people experience only one or two anxiety symptoms while others experience many or all of the symptoms we mention in the Anxiety Symptoms section of our website.

Again, it will all depend on how each body reacts to stress.

Moreover, the level of stress can also make a difference. For example, as the body’s level of stress increases, so can the type, number, intensity, duration, and frequency of symptoms increase.

The more anxious you are, the greater the likelihood your symptoms will increase.

Both the uniqueness of how each body reacts to stress and the degree of anxiety can play a role in the number of symptoms a person can experience.

As for your second question, it’s more common for a person to experience many anxiety symptoms than it is to experience just one or two.

For example, in an online poll we conducted, of those who experienced anxiety disorder:

  • 1.2 percent experienced no symptoms
  • 1.7 percent experienced only one symptom
  • 12 percent experienced only a few symptoms
  • 85.1 percent experienced many or all symptoms

As you can see, the category for experiencing many to all anxiety symptoms is the most common. The results of this poll echo those of our personal and professional experiences with anxiety disorder.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Frequently Asked Questions page.

anxietycentre.com: Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including the frequent question: Is My Anxiety Different Because I Have So Many Symptoms?