Symptoms of anxiety
Anxiety can have both psychological and physical symptoms.
Psychological symptoms can include:
- feeling worried or uneasy a lot of the time
- having difficulty sleeping, which makes you feel tired
- not being able to concentrate
- being irritable
- being extra alert
- feeling on edge or not being able to relax
- needing frequent reassurance from other people
- feeling tearful
When you're feeling anxious or stressed, your body releases stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
These cause the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate and increased sweating.
Physical symptoms can include:
- a pounding heartbeat
- breathing faster
- palpitations (an irregular heartbeat)
- feeling sick
- chest pains
- loss of appetite
- feeling faint
- needing the toilet more frequently
- "butterflies" in your tummy
Is anxiety bad for you?
A little anxiety is fine, but long-term anxiety may cause more serious health problems, such as high blood pressure (hypertension). You may also be more likely to develop infections.
Help for anxiety and panic
You can get psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) on the NHS for anxiety and panic disorder.
You don't need a referral from your GP.
You can refer yourself directly to a psychological therapies service.
Your GP will be happy to talk it through with you first if you prefer.
You can also find mental health apps and tools in the NHS apps library.