Everybody experiences anxiety from time to time. Getting married, going to a job interview, and the loss of a loved one are a few common examples that produce anxious feelings in all of us. Then there are those of us who experience anxious feelings on a frequent or constant basis and have had that anxiety affect other areas of our lives in a negative way. There are often escalating symptoms of anxiety that go along with the various disorders that fall under the ‘anxiety’ label.

There are many different escalating symptoms of anxiety, and most of them can be confused as symptoms for something else. This can make the diagnosis of anxiety quite difficult. We will get to the list of potential symptoms, but first it’s important to remind you that you must always talk to your doctor about any health concerns or symptoms you are experiencing. Here are some of the symptoms that may be related to anxiety: fast breathing, fast heartbeat, sweating, tingling, aching, headaches, dizziness, chest pain, nausea, digestive problems, feeling weak, insomnia, sore throat, and difficulty swallowing. Again, any of these could be symptoms of other major health problems, so don’t assume that they are caused by anxiety; make an appointment with your doctor to find out for sure.

People with various anxiety disorders will often imagine worst-case scenarios, and these scenarios snowball very quickly. Here’s an example of how it happens: Someone who is afraid of dogs is out for a walk and hears one barking in the distance. They then imagine that the dog gets loose and charges at them, but the snowballing isn’t done yet. Next, they picture the dog biting them bad enough to require medical treatment, and possibly rabies shots. This is pretty bad, but they may take it even further and imagine themselves dying, and then how bad their death will affect their family. All of this happens in a matter of moments and it all starts from the sound of a dog barking.

The above shows an example of escalating symptoms of anxiety from a mental point of view. It also gives someone who experiences this snowballing effect a chance to get their anxiety under control by interrupting the pattern as soon as possible. Instead of picturing a dog charging, the person can think of something else as soon as they hear the distant barking. The sooner into the process the interruption occurs, the quicker the anxiety can be kept in check. In some cases medication may be prescribed to interrupt or otherwise change the thought process.

Whatever methods you choose to treat the escalating symptoms of anxiety, it’s important to realize that they can be treated. It may take a bit of trial and error, as well as some practice to get it under control. There is one catch though: you need to take a step in the right direction, even a small step will be well worth it when you can live your life normally.