Tag Archives: mental health tips

12 Surprising Ways Anxiety Manifests Itself Physically (Part 2)

Anxiety and anxiety disorders like panic, social or generalized anxiety affect millions of Americans. Aside from causing nervousness, distress, mood changes and worry, anxiety can also cause physical symptoms that may mimic many physical health conditions. Even those of us who don’t have underlying anxiety disorders may still be dealing with a little too much anxiety or have the occasional panic attack. In our last post, we looked at how anxiety can cause palpitations, excess sweating, urination problems, chest pains, tachycardia and stomach problems. Let’s take a look at the next few physical symptoms it can cause:

  1. Shortness of breath can be caused by many different health conditions such as congestive heart failure or asthma, but sometimes severe anxiety can cause shortness of breath. This usually occurs when the person is not aware they have been breathing irregularly for some time because they are in a state of stress or anxiety. Maybe they are taking shallow breaths or breathing from their chest instead of deeper from the abdomen. This would lead to a feeling of not taking in enough air, which in turn may cause even more anxiety, creating a loop. If you have evaluated and medical causes of breath shortness have been ruled out, talk to your doctor about better managing your anxiety today.
  2. Lethargy or fatigue – Many things can cause fatigue such as medications, health problems, lifestyle habits or stress and anxiety. If your system is in a perpetual state of anxiety or stress, your cortisol levels are all out of whack. The body’s natural response to this roller coaster is to feel exhausted and worn out. If you are struggling with fatigue, it is best to get it checked out so you can rule out any potentially serious causes, or get some help if your anxiety is causing you to be too tired.
  3. Trembling or twitching – Severe anxiety or panic can cause bodily trembling or shaking, due to soaring adrenaline levels. This can be very startling symptom to experience if the person is not used to it, and may trigger even more anxiety. Anxiety-associated trembling is often referred to as essential trembling. There are medical causes for trembling as well such as multiple sclerosis, so it is important to mention any trembling or shaking to a doctor.
  4. Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) – We have all experienced excess sweating brought on by a stressful event such as public speaking at some point in time, so most people are aware stress and anxiety can make one sweat profusely. If you are noticing that you are often sweating more than normal, it may be time to check in with a doc.
  5. Tension-based headaches or muscle aches – If you’ve been stressed or overly worried for some time, it can start affecting the muscles in your upper body. You may feel an aching or strained neck, tense shoulders or jaw, or perhaps a persistent tension headache. That is often because when a person is stressed, they hold their body in a more uptight manner, often with the shoulders up farther toward the neck than a non-stressed person would. They may clench their jaw unknowingly, which can lead to jaw and head pain. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should check in the with a doc to see if they may be anxiety-rooted or due to another condition.
  6. Difficulty swallowing – While certain conditions such as a hiatal hernia can cause a lump in the throat, anxiety can also at least give the illusion of one. The term Globus sensation refers to the anxiety-driven sensation of having an obstruction in the throat when there is none. It can feel very physical, even causing some people to be stomach sick. One example could be if a person sees a stray hair near their food and starts worrying they’ve swallowed a hair, getting the feeling that there is one stuck in their throat. Even though they did not swallow the hair, it can feel very much like they did.

There you have our 12 physical signs of anxiety! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you drop back again soon!




Tips To Help Your Child Lessen Anxiety

The Difference Between ‘Normal Anxiety’ And a Problem

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, including children. In healthy doses, anxiety is a normal part of growing up and adapting to an ever-changing environment. A child may experience bouts of anxiety lasting a few days or even a few weeks in response to a particularly stressful situation such as an upcoming exam, public speaking event, transfer to a different school or town, or important sporting event. If, however, your child is experiencing symptoms of anxiety regularly to the point where their anxiety interferes with his or her eating or sleeping patterns, disposition, school attendance, daily activities and enjoyment of life, you should talk to a psychologist as they may have a disorder. Check out our article on childhood anxiety disorders here.

What Can You Do To Help With Your Child’s Anxiety?

It is important to seek medical treatment if your child is displaying many of the symptoms listed above, as the doctor can perform tests to determine a diagnosis, and then provide your child with any necessary medication or therapy resources he or she may need to move past the symptoms caused by their disorder. However, there are things you can do to try to lessen your child’s worrying, including:

  1. Don’t quickly dismiss your child’s thoughts and worries, take the time to hear them out, and let your child know their worries can be faced. It is important your child feels they can express their anxieties to you or another trusted adult, keeping them inside will only lead to more mental and emotional turmoil.


  1. Listen and empathize, but don’t provide too much reassurance or enable your child’s worrying, but instead support and encourage your child to face the situation they are concerned about to show them things will be okay.


  1. Don’t enable your child’s anxieties by letting them avoid the things they are worried about such as school, a sport, a family get together or a test. Letting your child’s anxiety rule what he or she does or doesn’t do in life won’t get them further.


  1. Check on the anxiety levels of the authority figures in your home. Do you or your partner excessively worry? Often times adults unknowingly model behaviours that children pick up on and emulate.


  1. Show your child it is okay to be imperfect and help the learn they can’t always make the best decision, get the best grade, win the competition. Sometimes they will make mistakes, and they need to come to terms with that. Perfectionism goes hand in hand with high levels of anxiety. This can be a good combination for achieving goals but can be very hard on a person over time.


  1. Face your own fears and learn to curb your own worries to provide a positive role model for your child about overcoming worry.


  1. Reward your child’s positive thinking and fear-facing behaviors with small things like stickers for their collection to help encourage them to continue this behavior.
  2. Help your child learn deep breathing techniques, yoga or mediation to help them decompress and clear their minds when they are especially worried.


  1. Encourage your child to take up an “outlet hobby” such as painting or sculpture, coloring or writing. It provides your child with an outlet to purge some of their negative thoughts and worries. Writing can be especially helpful, keeping a journal or diary can help your child get his or her worries out of their system.


  1. Teach your child to focus on the positives. Often over-worriers are constantly berating themselves, being their “own worst enemy”. This thought process is not only exhausting, but also damaging to the child’s self-concept. They will continually struggle with confidence until they learn to be easier on, and kinder to themselves.


  1. Develop a steadfast bedtime routine with your child. This will help them get better at sleeping and turning off their minds.

For more information and help on the topic of worrisome children, check our WorryWiseKids. Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll return again soon.