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The symptoms of anxiety are divided into three large areas that are related to each other:
Physical feelings. Physical sensations are usually generated by one of the body’s systems (the autonomic nervous system) which is automatically activated when the person is alarmed. Some of the most frequent feelings are: breathing difficulties or rapid breathing, dizziness, dry mouth, accelerated heart rate, tremors, muscle tension, sweating, knots in the stomach or throat, motor restlessness, etc.
Thoughts. When a person is very anxious or fearful, thoughts can become ‘contaminated’ by these intense emotions. That is to say, thoughts can become exaggeratedly negative or catastrophic to the point of thinking that something bad will happen beyond the person’s control, they will lose control, or we will all die. It is also common to think that others will misconceive what we want to say or do resulting in rejection, or that something will go wrong resulting in the person failing.
Behaviors. People with anxiety disorders usually do things to try to reduce their anxiety. They adopt what is known as security behaviors, that is, they avoid situations that generate anxiety, such as taking the subway, or use some ‘tricks’ to help reduce this discomfort, such as going somewhere accompanied or carrying a good luck charm.
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Substantiated information by:
Eduard Forcadell LópezClinical psychologistPsychiatry and Psychology Department
Luisa Lázaro GarcíaPsychiatristChild and Youth Psychiatry and Psychology Head of Department
Miquel Àngel Fullana RivasClinical psychologistPsychiatry and Psychology Department
Sara Lera MiguelClinical psychologistPsychiatry and Psychology Department
Published: 29 January 2019
Updated: 29 January 2019
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