Early symptoms of anxiety

early symptoms of anxietyThe early symptoms of anxiety are different from the mild and temporary anxiety resulting from a stressful even like public speaking or a job interview. Without treatment, the early signs of anxiety can worsen overtime and become a chronic issue.

Anxiety symptoms include the following:

· Nervousness.

· Feeling powerless.

· A sense of impending doom or danger.

· Increased heart rate.

· Rapid breathing.

· Sweating.

· Trembling.

· Weakness.

· Tiredness.

· Difficulty concentrating.

The symptoms also depend on the specific type of anxiety disorder, of which there are several.

Types of anxiety disorders



Panic disorder

· Sudden attacks of terror.

· Shortness of breath.

· Pounding heart.

· Sweatiness.

· Weakness.

· Faintness.

· Dizziness.

· Flushing.

· Tingling or numb hands.

· Nausea.

· Chest pain.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder

· Upsetting thoughts.

· Rituals to control those thoughts.

· Thoughts include violent thoughts or thoughts of harming a loved one, sexual thoughts, and religious thoughts.

· Rituals include constantly washing hands, repeatedly checking things, arranging items in a certain order.

· Also possible: eating disorders, other anxiety disorders, and depression.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

· Emotional numbness.

· Losing interest in joyful activities.

· Irritability.

· Aggressiveness.

· Violence.

· Flashbacks (including nightmares).

Social phobia

· High levels of anxiety.

· Fear and avoidance of social situations.

· Embarrassment.

· Self-consciousness.

· Fear of being watched and judged.

Specific phobias

An intense and irrational fear and avoidance of something that presents little to no danger, such as:

· Closed-in places.

· Heights.

· Escalators.

· Tunnels.

· Driving.

· Water.

· Flying.

· Dogs.

Generalized anxiety disorder

Excessive worry and tension about daily events that do not warrant concern.

Separation anxiety

Childhood disorder characterized by an excessive level of anxiety caused by separation from parents.

Selective mutism

Repeatedly failing to speak in certain situations.


Anxiety about and avoidance of places or situations where the person may feel trapped or helpless.

Substance-induced anxiety

Anxiety or panic directly resulting from abuse of or withdrawal from drugs.


The exact cause of anxiety is not known – though it has been associated with certain medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and PMS – some individuals are more at risk of experiencing the early symptoms of anxiety, for instance:

·         Women.

·         Children who have endured abuse or trauma or have witnessed traumatic events.

·         People with certain personality types.

·         People with other mental disorders like depression.

·         People with a family history of anxiety.

There may be a fine line between your run-of-the-mill stress and clinical anxiety, and as such the diagnostic criteria for each disorder vary – though all are covered under the umbrella of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In a nutshell, however, the person must experience excessive fear and functioning problems. In other words, anxiety must interfere with the person’s daily activities to the point that it causes such complications as depression, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, headaches, a poor quality of life, and suicide – in which case it would obviously be too late to help the person, underlining the importance of early treatment.

Treatment for anxiety


Cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective form of talk therapy or psychological counseling for anxiety disorders.






· Antidepressants.

- Fluoxetine.

- Imipramine.

- Paroxetine.

- Sertraline.

- Venlafaxine.

- Citalopram.

- Escitalopram.

· Buspirone.

· Benzodiazepines.


Fortunately there are both means of prevention and support for anxiety, as seen below:



·         Getting help for the early symptoms of anxiety.

·         Keeping a journal.

·         Staying active.

·         Learning time management techniques.

·         Avoiding alcohol and drug abuse.

· Learning about the condition.

· Adhering to a treatment plan.

· Taking action.

· Involving family members.

· Joining a support group.

· Socializing.

· Breaking anxiety cycle.

· Letting go.


Related Read:

5 Tips For Reducing Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

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