Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety

Bayside Marin is a premier rehabilitation center dedicated to the treatment of anxiety in California. Bayside Marin blends evidence-based treatments with alternative, holistic modalities to comprehensively treat all aspects of our client’s life.

Understanding Anxiety

Learn about anxiety

Even though many people experience feelings of fear, apprehension, and worry at some point in their lives, individuals who experience these same feelings to such a degree that they are unable to function in a healthy manner are likely suffering from a type of anxiety disorder. Below are examples of some anxiety disorders that include overwhelming feelings of trepidation:

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder in which there is no identifiable trigger for the onset of anxiety symptoms. The dread and uneasiness experienced by those battling this condition often have a hard time completing even the most mundane of tasks without feeling exceedingly overwhelmed.

Social anxiety disorder is an appropriate diagnosis for a person who has a great deal of difficulty interacting in social situations. Symptoms of this condition include intense fears of being humiliated, embarrassed, or judged by peers and/or total strangers.

Panic disorder symptoms include unexpected sensations of fright that result in the body’s physical reaction to these intense levels of anxiety. Sufferers of this mental illness often report feeling as though doom is near and experience difficulty breathing, dizziness, and fluctuations in body temperature.

Phobias develop when a person experiences a great deal of fear with regards to a specific trigger. Insects, flying in an airplane, animals, medical procedures, and certain circumstances are examples of such triggers and can cause a person to respond with immediate anxious feelings.

The aforementioned disorders, while potentially debilitating, are very much treatable. There are many anxiety treatment options in existence that can help sufferers of these conditions regain control over their lives so that the symptoms of anxiety no longer inhibit them from being happy and productive individuals.


Anxiety statistics

There are many men and women in the United States who meet diagnostic criteria for anxiety disorders. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, there are approximately 40 million adults, or 18% of all American men and women, in this country who are currently battling some form of clinical anxiety. However, despite the staggering number of people currently living with anxiety disorder symptoms, it is estimated that only one third of all anxiety sufferers seek treatment at some point in life.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for anxiety

In order to understand how and why some people suffer from anxiety disorders while other individuals do not, one must consider a few explanations that are supported by research. The following are the causes and risk factors that many mental health professionals believe explain why some people suffer from anxiety disorders:

Genetics: Experts in the field of mental health agree that many mental health conditions can be passed along from one generation to the next. Because this correlation was made, it can be said that mental health disorders, such as those classified as anxiety disorders, can be influenced by a person’s genetic makeup.

Environmental: In addition to the influence that one’s genes can have on the manifestation of anxiety disorder symptoms, the environments in which a person resides, works, or is exposed to on a regular basis can impact the onset of anxiety disorder symptoms. Should an individual lack the necessary support and skills for coping that are needed to manage distress, exposure to stress, chaos, violence, or other adverse experiences, whether in the past or present, could cause anxiety symptoms to emerge.

Risk Factors:

  • Family history of an anxiety disorder(s) or other mental illnesses
  • Personal history of other mental health condition(s)
  • Being female
  • Past experience(s) of trauma
  • Inadequate support network
  • Lacking healthy coping skills
  • Personal history of abuse and/or neglect
  • Unstable home environment
  • Low socioeconomic status
  • Exposure to violence
  • Working in a high-stress workplace

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of anxiety

Depending on the type of anxiety disorder that a person is suffering from, the symptoms present can manifest differently in a person. An individual’s behavior, physical health and appearance, thought processes and abilities, and emotional responses to and observed by others can be influenced by an anxiety disorder. If a combination of the following is present, it is likely that a person is suffering from a type of anxiety disorder:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Avoidance of certain people, places, or situations
  • Inability to relax
  • Procrastinating
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Participating in ritualistic and/or repetitive behaviors
  • Hindered occupational performance
  • Social isolation

Physical symptoms:

  • Appetite loss
  • Sweating
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Muscle tension
  • Chronic headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent urination
  • Feelings of weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Disrupted sleep

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty sustaining concentration
  • Nightmares
  • Repetitive thinking
  • Rapid thought processes
  • Intense obsessions
  • Irrational compulsions
  • Fleeting ideas

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Fluctuating moods
  • Feelings of detachment from one’s surroundings
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Ongoing feelings of worry
  • Intense nervousness
  • Feeling powerless


Effects of anxiety

The longer a person suffers from an anxiety disorder or disorders without seeking treatment, the greater the likelihood becomes that that individual will experience a number of adverse effects as a result. The following are examples of such effects, of which can be prevented by seeking mental health treatment:

  • Increased conflict within interpersonal relationships
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Manifestation of another anxiety disorder
  • Emergence of symptoms of other mental health disorders
  • Poor occupational functioning
  • Loss of employment
  • Development of a substance use problem
  • Discord with family members
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Suicide attempts

Co-Occurring Disorders

Anxiety and co-occurring disorders

When an individual is suffering from a clinical anxiety disorder, it is likely that other mental health conditions will be present at the same time. Because the symptoms of anxiety disorders cause a great deal of turmoil, symptoms of other mental illnesses could emerge as a result. Furthermore, some mental health disorders can be present prior to the emergence of certain anxiety disorder symptoms, especially if an individual possesses a genetic predisposition to other mental illnesses. The following disorders are those that are commonly diagnosed alongside anxiety disorders:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Other anxiety disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Thank you to the Bayside team for their passion and commitment to helping families like mine deal with anxiety disorder.

– Anonymous Client
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