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The Physical Manifestations of Anxiety (Mental Health Research Team Report)

Updated: Jul 9, 2022

What does physical manifestations of anxiety even mean? Physical manifestation is when something causes physical (tangible) symptoms to appear or “manifest”. Chronic Anxiety disorder is when you have excessive worry and fear about everyday situations, feeling very nervous and apprehensive about doing tasks. Situations or tasks that cause anxiety will vary person to person and based on what type of anxiety they have.

Anxiety is very persistent and it takes over your everyday life, disrupting your work and other activities. Chronic anxiety can be constantly recurring. While many might assume that anxiety is all in your head, that is far from the truth. The autonomic nervous system is a system in your body that you do not consciously control. It regulates functions such as heart rate, breathing, urination, etc. Basically functions that you do not consciously stop or start or focus on doing. This system also reacts when it senses that your body is in danger. When you are experiencing an anxiety attack or under extreme stress this system gets activated. Your anxiety will manifest physically meaning that because of your anxiety, mental health, and autonomic nervous system you will experience physical effects.

These physical manifestations can be but are not limited to headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, shakiness, stomach pain, dry mouth, excessive sweating, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, loss of hair, and in some cases an extremely irregular period cycle. These symptoms are extremely damaging to the body and will often have a long-term impact.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 of all adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder. This is a huge amount of teenagers who experience chronic anxiety and most of them will have experienced one or many of the symptoms listed above. Anxiety and its physical manifestations can take over people's lives are horrible to go through. The stigma and discrimination around mental health in our society is detrimental and it is time that we acknowledge the actuality of the struggles that our youth goes through with their mental health.


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