8 common signs of anxiety that most people will ignore

Aimee Meade
Monday 22 August 2016 10:00
Celebrities

It is estimated that up to 5 per cent of the UK population have an anxiety disorder.

While many understand what anxiety is - a feeling of constant worry, unease and tension - there are a number of ways it can affect your physical health too. Many of which are not so well know.

Here are 8 of the most common:

1) Muscle Pain

Pain can be a common symptom of an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. It can include muscle tension, soreness around the body and headaches.

2) Headaches

Tension headaches are a common symptom of anxiety and they can occur in many different places, including the front, sides, top and back of head, back of neck and shoulder muscles. Excess caffeine can make these headaches worse.

3) Fatigue

Mental health problems - such as anxiety or depression - can prevent a proper night's sleep and make you feel more tired.

4) Digestive problems

Those with chronic anxiety often experience digestion problems - most commonly irritable bowel syndrome. Individuals with IBS - a disorder with abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, constipation and diarrhea - have a colon which is more sensitive to certain foods and stress.

5) Sugar cravings

When someone is stressed, their body uses much more energy than normal. This means that they often need to refuel quickly, and therefore crave sugary foods that converts to energy quickly. However, the sugar high is followed by a sugar low, and the cycle starts again.

6) Trouble sleeping

Insomnia and waking regularly during the night are common problems for people with anxiety. Worrying and constant thoughts prevent you from relaxing and you can't "switch-off". Mental health charity, Mind, advises to make your bedroom a calm space, notice what you eat and drink and try breathing techniques.

7) Mood swings

Unexpected changes in mood are caused by a number of things related to anxiety, including a hormone imbalance, mental fatigue and fear.

8) Unable to focus

Not being able to concentrate on one thing is a common symptom of anxiety. Focusing takes a great deal of energy, and the worry anxiety brings can often make people feel overwhelmed.

Whether you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines can offer expert advice:

Anxiety UK - Charity providing support if you've been diagnosed with an anxiety condition

CALM - The Campaign Against Living Miserably for men aged 15-35

Depression Alliance - Charity for sufferers of depression. Has a network of help groups

Mind - Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems

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