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Anxiety can be been explained as “the body’s automatic fight-or-flight response that is triggered when you feel threatened, under pressure, or are facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, exam, or first date.” It is the body’s natural response to stress. According to the Mayo Clinic, having occasional feelings of anxiety is an unavoidable part of life, but that does not make it any less unpleasant when it occurs. When people think of anxiety, they typically think of a mental health condition that induces feelings of worry, concern, fear, and nervousness. While it is correct to  assume that anxiety starts in the brain, it helpful to understand that anxiety is just as much a physical state as it is a mental one. Hence, anxiety can impact one’s physical and mental health.

Physical and Mental Symptoms

There is an array of physical symptoms that can present with anxiety. Common physical symptoms of anxiety a young person may experience, could include, but are not limited to any combination of the following examples, provided by Healthline

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Digestive trouble
  • Headache
  • Sleep issues (e.g., insomnia, waking up frequently, etc.)
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pounding heart or increased heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Muscle tension or pain

Anxiety can cause physical symptoms as well as mental symptoms that affect health and daily life. Examples of common mental symptoms that can occur because of anxiety can include, but are not limited to the following examples, provided by the Mental Health Foundation:

  • Feeling detached from yourself or the world around you
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares 
  • A pervasive feeling of apprehension or dread
  • Intrusive thoughts 
  • Feeling edgy, restless, or jumpy
  • An inability to tolerate uncertainty
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Heightened alertness

The feelings of anxiety can range from mild to severe. It is impossible to explain exactly how anxiety feels physically and mentally for everyone, as everyone is unique, and anxiety will manifest in each person differently. Although feeling sporadic bouts of anxiety is inevitable, an adolescent experiencing pervasive symptoms of anxiety that interfere with his or her ability to function in daily life may be struggling with an anxiety disorder.

For Information and Support 

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times. Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


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