Anxiety: Identify the Signs and Symptoms

Anxiety disorder, commonly just referred to as anxiety, can have a really huge impact your daily life.

Although most people experience anxiety at some point in their life, some are plagued with it for much longer and to a greater degree.

I’ve had anxiety issues for the last decade or so and struggle with it around certain areas of my life. It’s not pleasant and whilst I know many others deal with in a much more severe way than me, it can be quite debilitating.

What most people don’t realise, however, is that it has many more signs than just feeling panicked. In fact, for me, this is one of the lesser symptoms.

It’s best helped by a professional, but to start that journey you need to know more about anxiety so you’re more aware of your situation and mental health.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms that you may have anxiety.

If you do experience any of these symptoms, do talk to someone about them. Whether that’s a friend, a loved one or a medical professional. There are people out there who can help so don’t suffer in silence.

Consistent or Excessive Worry

Worrying is pretty common in all walks of life, but excessive worrying about things that aren’t necessary or super important can be a sign of anxiety.

When you are feeling anxious you tend to worry too much about many aspects of your life, even the things over which you have no control.

Indeed, I’ve found that the worry comes around strange areas of my life, areas where I may have little control, or where I used to feel very confident. And the worry creeps. It creeps into new situations where you once felt fine, which is why I do feel it’s important to get help if you can.

Trouble Concentrating and Short Attention Span

Having trouble focusing or paying attention is a sign you may be suffering with anxiety.

Of course this can be a sign of many things, but I know when I’m anxious I have trouble focusing. it feels to me like my brain just wants to run away (it’s the fight or flight issues right) and not deal with the situation in front of me.

General anxiety of any kind can actually cause you to have trouble concentrating, mainly because your brain is too busy focusing on your anxious thoughts to pay attention to anything for too long.

Irritability and Agitation

Many people with anxiety often report feeling irritable or agitated for no reason many times in a day.

Although this is common sign of anxiety, it also common with many other mental health issues so be careful using this symptom to diagnose anxiety.

It tends to be anxiety if it is paired with other common anxiety specific symptoms.

I admit this isn’t actually something I struggle with too much but I do know others who feel this regularly when they’re anxious.

Trouble with your Sleep

Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep happens a lot with anxious thoughts.

Similar to trouble concentrating, the constant race of your body and mind which happens when experiencing anxiety can, of course play around with your sleep patterns.

This happens to me A LOT. If I’m anxious, there’s no way I’ll be going to sleep. It makes perfect sense. You’re so worried and panicked about something you can’t relax and switch off to rest.

Again, this could be a sign of other mental health problems if not paired with other anxiety signs, so do look at all of your symptoms and chat to someone medically trained to help you diagnose the condition.

Discomfort in Social Situations

If you find yourself consistently and adamantly avoiding social situations or feeling majorly uncomfortable in them, you may have a form of anxiety.

When you feel panicked or uncomfortable being in big social situations like parties, grocery shopping, and more you may be struggling with social anxiety – which is much more common than you’d think.

Don’t be afraid to tell someone and explain how you feel. Sometimes just verbalising the issue can really help.


Not many people realise this as a sign of anxiety, but often people who experience anxiety suffer from fatigue as well.

This is because your body and mind are constantly working over time, sapping your energy and bringing you to the point of exhaustion.

Of course, this is a very general symptom that can form part of a myriad of conditions so be careful when you attributing this to anxiety and do look at other symptoms too.

Anxiety can interfere with so many aspects of your life from simple daily tasks to bigger life events and it can make you feel very isolated.

Anxiety symptoms are often hard to suppress and finding coping mechanisms can be difficult on your own.

Although this list of symptoms isn’t exhaustive, they are good ones to look out for and will help you be more aware of your situation.

Remember, if you’re worried you might have anxiety talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to find the best kind of treatment for you and help ease the burden.

Jen x



1 Comment

  1. August 15, 2019 / 8:58 am

    Hi Jen,

    I was looking back through my Fb feed from July and noticed that your post appeared in there from another Fb page that had referenced it.

    Anxiety crops up in so many peoples lives and because it’s rather like that slowly dripping tap that fills up a sink until it overflows, people don’t always realise how much anxiety they’re holding onto within themselves.

    That being so I thought your posts was both timely and important and so I’ve mentioned it on my therapy & coaching pages; just thought it polite to let you know.

    Thanks, Charles

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