Anxiety symptoms can last for a long time, or come and go.
Each anxiety disorder has unique symptoms. Anxiety disorders are typically diagnosed when fear of non-threatening situations, places, events, or objects becomes extreme and uncontrollable.
An anxiety disorder may also be diagnosed if you have general feelings of fear or worry that interfere with your daily life and have lasted at least six months.
Most people with an anxiety disorder have a combination of physical and psychological symptoms.
There is one symptom that all anxiety disorders have in common: near-constant fear or worry about things that may happen to you now or in the future. Read on to learn what the symptoms are and how to diagnose anxiety disorders.
Some studies suggest that experiencing anxiety could increase the risk of developing certain long-term physical health problems, including diabetes, stomach ulcers and heart problems. But there's not enough evidence to say for sure exactly what the risks are, or what groups of people are most likely to be affected. Having a physical illness or disability can also make you feel stressed and anxious, so it might sometimes feel like your anxiety problems and physical health problems are part of a vicious circle.
Sometimes it might be difficult to work out whether your symptoms are totally related to anxiety, or might be related to a different illness. If you're experiencing any physical symptoms it's best to talk to your GP, so they can check out what may be causing them.
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety or Panic Attacks?
What we think of as anxiety attacks are actually panic attacks. A panic attack is the sudden onset of intense fear or discomfort that peaks after about ten minutes, and it typically lasts no longer than 30 minutes.
Researchers think that panic attacks come about because the brain is telling the body that the fight-or-flight response, which includes a rapid heartbeat and shallow breathing, should kick in, even though there may be no threat at all. Scientists also theorize that the amygdala, which is the brain's fear processing hub, may also be activated during a panic attack.
Panic attacks may come on because of a particular event, or they may come on for no reason at all. It's been estimated that almost 23 percent of people will have at least one panic attack in their lifetime.
If your panic attacks are recurring, you are likely to be diagnosed with panic disorder. Panic disorder is a type of anxiety disorder thats characterized by persistent worry about future panic attacks or their consequences.