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How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety?

10 signs you may have anxiety…

Anxiety isn’t the exact same for everyone but many people who suffer from it will experience some of the symptoms listed below. You might identify with one, two or even more, or you may have experienced other symptoms not listed here.

  1. Panic attacks.

A panic attack is when you experience a sudden intense feeling of anxiety. You might feel shaky, nauseous, breathless, sweaty and dizzy. Your heartbeat might become irregular or speed up, which can make you feel frightened or worry that something awful will happen like a heart attack.  Some people might even worry that they’re going to die. This is known as the fight or flight response and whilst really uncomfortable these are normal feelings that have become exaggerated. Panic attacks can be very scary and distressing but they’re not dangerous and shouldn’t harm you physically.

  1. Problems with sleep.

You might be finding it difficult to switch off at night, leaving you tired and even more anxious the following day. Or you may find yourself sleeping more than usual and napping when you normally wouldn’t.

  1. Grinding your teeth.

Do you ever wake up with a sore jaw and teeth? You may be grinding them in your sleep, which may be a sign of anxiety.

  1. Waves of dread.

Anxiety can cause feelings of dread, as if something very bad is going to happen. This feeling can often come out of the blue quickly and can be very unsettling or it may ‘hang around’ you like a cloud of doom.

  1. Nausea

Anxiety can make you feel physically sick, particularly if you’re feeling extremely stressed or upset.

  1. Sweating and/or hot flushes

Anxiety can cause hot flushes and chills, making you shake as if you had a fever. It can also cause excessive sweating.

  1. Fast or irregular heartbeat

You may feel your heart begin to beatfaster, or you may experience palpitations – an irregular beat that can make your heart feel as if it’s fluttering, pounding or skipping a beat. While scary, these irregular heartbeats caused by anxiety are often short-lived and harmless.

  1. Feeling light-headed or dizzy

Anxiety can make you feel dizzy and light-headed, almost as if you’re going to faint. Try to regulate your breathing and sit down while you take deep, calming breaths.

  1. Restless and edgy

You may feel an urge to keep moving, unable to sit still or rest. Restlessness feels as if you’re on edge – as if you simply need to keep moving.

  1. Feelings of dissociation

In moments of intense anxiety, you may feel as if you’ve disconnected from your own mind or body, as if you’re drifting off and watching yourself from the outside. You might also feel detached from the world around you or as if the world isn’t real.

If you can relate to any of these symptoms, please do reach out for help. Make an appointment with your GP, talk to a friend or family member about how you’re feeling, and don’t suffer in silence. Find out more about coping with anxiety here: https://hiddenstrength.com/for-me/mental-health/anxiety/how-to-deal-with-anxiety/

Curated by

Sian Dolan
Sian Dolan is a content writer for Hidden Strength with a background in children’s and teenage magazines. She feels it’s more important than ever to write supportive, engaging features for young adults who need a guiding light and a helping hand with their mental health and wellbeing.