Almost 18% of Americans have anxiety disorders. According to Psychology: Second Edition (Wegner, Schacter, and Gilbert), the biggest indication of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is chronic excessive worry, along with three or more of the following symptoms: irritability, fatigue, concentration problems, restlessness, muscle tension, and sleep problems.

Generalized anxiety disorder should not be taken lightly. It is a valid mental disorder that requires immediate medical attention. If left untreated or not managed, the disorder might only get worse and may lead to more serious psychological disorders such as depression.

But if you experience too much of this emotion, to the point that it is impeding your everyday life, it is possible that you do have generalized anxiety disorder. However, do note that this disorder may manifest in different forms, one of which is social anxiety disorder.

1. Dizzy Spells:

Dizziness can be caused by a lot of factors: low blood pressure, high blood pressure, an ear infection, dehydration, or any other serious health condition. But it can also be a result of generalized anxiety disorder. When you’re having an attack, you tend to hyperventilate (i.e. breathe rapidly) and take quick, short breaths, thus disrupting your body’s oxygen and carbon dioxide balance. And when this happens, you feel woozy.

2. Attention Deficit:

These attacks might make you feel and think of a lot of things. Due to that, your brain might decide to shut down. It will make you feel detached and numb, and even cause you to space out. Normally, since anxiety induces an individual’s fight-or-flight response, the brain will remove all the unnecessary thoughts in your mind, which results in spacing out.

3. Muscle Spasm:

Stress can cause your muscles to tense up. When faced with a fight-or-flight situation, your muscles contract, thus preparing you to perform the response to the situation you are in. Since anxiety disorders cannot be resolved immediately, or the individual’s brain cannot decide which action to choose, the muscles experience constant tension.

4. Cold Extremities:

Another effect of the fight-or-flight mode is cold hands and feet. Basic instinct dictates that when a person is in danger, the body will shield its vital organs, such as the heart, lungs, et cetera. Due to that, blood travel is concentrated on the individual’s core, leaving the extremities colder than usual.

5. Sleep Disturbances:

Insomnia happens to people every now and then. However, if you’ve always been a “good” sleeper — such that you have no trouble falling and staying asleep — and then you suddenly find yourself tossing and turning in bed, or worse, jerking up in the middle of your nighttime snooze and unable to go back to sleep since your thoughts are racing a mile a minute, then you might have anxiety disorder.

6. Skin Eruptions:

You might be wondering what the skin has to generalized anxiety disorder. The skin is one big organ that is too honest when it comes to showing an individual’s emotion or current state of mind. Because anxiety causes some of your body’s chemicals to get jumbled up, some skin issues may suddenly come up, such as eczema and certain allergies.

7. Dyspepsia:

As your body goes into panic mode, your stomach gets affected. Because of that, the acids in your stomach go haywire, which can translate to indigestion and/or will cause you to burp and pass gas unnecessarily. You may even experience IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, which is a form of diarrhea that is caused by stress and anxiety and not because of spoiled, bacteria-laden food. On the flip side, IBS can sometimes also lead to constipation and are not uncommon with generalized anxiety disorder.

 

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