​Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety can affect us in many different ways.

If you are experiencing or know someone who is experiencing any of these symptoms, you must speak to a mental health care specialist immediately. Signs of anxiety affect us on a physical, psychological and behavioural level.

The main symptoms of anxiety are,

Panic attacks

Panic attacks are sharp bursts of fear followed by physical symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness and a racing heart. People who experience panic attacks may already be diagnosed with panic disorder, though, the panic attack might be a symptom of another type of anxiety disorder. Worrying about panic attacks may also often lead to anxiety and depression.

Hindered concentration

People who suffer anxiety have a hard time concentrating. 90% of adults dealing anxiety have difficulty focusing on their tasks and the problem is worse if the anxiety is intense. Anxiety disrupts working memory, the memory responsible for holding short-term information, which explains why people suffering from anxiety see a drastic decrease in performance.


Waking up in the middle of the night and having trouble going back to sleep are among the most common symptoms for people dealing with anxiety. Research indicates that more children are suffering from insomnia, which means that when they become adults, they are more likely to suffer from anxiety.

Avoiding social situations

People dealing with social anxiety tend to develop an aversion to social situations of any kind. You may find yourself developing a strong aversion to socialisation out of fear and you may become more worried about what people think about you - you are constantly in a state of fear of being humiliated.

Irrational fears

Some of us dealing with anxiety often have irrational fears (phobias) about things that will never happen. 

Common phobia types include:

  • Situational phobias
  • Animal phobias
  • Blood-injection injury phobia
  • Natural environment phobia


If you are dealing with anxiety, then there is a strong possibility that you are feeling irritable. Feeling irritation is one of the most common symptoms and indicators of anxiety because you are constantly worrying and in a state of uneasiness. 

Recent studies have gone as far as to indicate that adults dealing with anxiety find twice as many reasons to be irritable compared to normal situations. If you see yourself emulating similar tendencies, it's likely that your irritability is caused by anxiety.

How will you be diagnosed?

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, we recommend that you visit your GP or specialist. Your doctor will ask you a few questions about your symptoms and compare them against a checklist of symptoms like the DSM-5. The method of diagnosis can change depending on the type of anxiety you are dealing with.

You will be diagnosed if the symptoms are impairing your ability your professional and work life.

Types of ​anxiety

Learn about the different types of anxiety

​Causes of ​anxiety

Understand the indicators of anxiety

Anxiety management

Learn how to manage your anxiety

Learn how to manage your anxiety better

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