The most common signs of chronic anxiety ca be easily attributed to other health conditions, which makes it difficult for people to follow the right treatment. Recurring headaches, nausea, dizziness are scary if put together, as they make us think about the worst health problems. If is almost unbelievable that their root can be neural and emotional.


Chronic anxiety can manifest itself through symptoms you wouldn’t normally think of.
Photo: Hunter McGinnis via Visual hunt


When we are talking about chronic anxiety, there are some things we need to clear out from the start.

Anxiety is not just fear. People who suffer from anxiety disorders can’t just get over an emotional tension that makes them scared. Deeply rooted in the neurological aspects of the brain, this is a condition that creates a vicious circle, in which neurotransmitters’ activity is influenced by the anxiety-causing triggers in the outside world, which are enhanced by the activity of the brain and so on.

We can live with anxiety for years and not know we have it. This happens because anxiety can disguise itself through unusual symptoms. You might be looking for a state of fear or worry, which may not be there, but instead, you get upset easily, you’re overwhelmed by high expectations you have from yourself, you struggle with headaches and so on.

Here are the most common symptoms of chronic anxiety:

  • Disrupted sleep pattern – at one point in time, you started sleeping more; or, on the contrary, you became unable to sleep as much as before; or you feel like not matter how many hours of sleep you get, you are still not rested. No matter which it is, a change in your regular sleep pattern signals a potential anxiety problem
  • Constant headaches – as mentioned already, headaches can be a response of too much tension that our body is submitted to, without the possibility of relaxation. Anxious people often times believe they are relaxed and are surprised when, in random circumstances, they notice they are, in fact, still tense.
  • Irritability – people with chronic anxiety get upset more easily because they are already tense, on a regular basis. A person who is already concerned will overreact to stress factors, as the situational stress is heightening the level of an already high stress level caused by anxiety.
  • Perfectionist behavior – nothing is quite right, things are never done good enough, you could have made a better job, you are behind with your tasks and you just have to make it, otherwise…even though in social media posts being the best version of yourself sounds inspirational, in reality it puts an overwhelming pressure on you.
  • Dizziness or numbness – dizziness, just like pain, numbness and a number of other physical manifestations, is perceived differently by each person. It can be moving or spinning of the things around you, or a sense of losing control of your body like when you are going to faint. The manifestations can tell quite a lot about your diagnosis. Many people who have experienced panic attacks or a prolonged anxious state have reported dizziness and/or numbness, and not all of them have connected them to the anxiety, believing there must be something else wrong with them.

You might also like to read: Anxiety in children: the most common signs.

Chronic anxiety is not a diagnosis, but a state that can lead to a diagnosis. It is mainly linked to phobias, panic disorder (chronic panic attacks), post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder.