Does anxiety cause fatigue

10 Most Common Physical Symptoms of Anxiety : Intrepid Mental Wellness, PLLC: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

10 Most Common Physical Symptoms of Anxiety : Intrepid Mental Wellness, PLLC: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

10 Most Common Physical Symptoms of Anxiety


Anxiety and panic disorders can produce a wide range of distressing physical symptoms. Many people are unaware that their symptoms are caused by anxiety, which can make the problem worse, as many people worry that their symptoms are caused by an underlying disease, leading to further anxiety. This vicious circle can be broken by learning about anxiety and being able to recognize the physical symptoms. Here are the 10 most common physical symptoms of anxiety.



Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms associated with anxiety, panic disorder, chronic stress, depression and other mental health disorders. Chronic anxiety leaves the body and mind in a constant state of tension and high alertness. The mind is constantly scanning the external and internal environment for threats, leading to emotional distress and physical tension. This constant state of high alertness leads to mental and physical exhaustion, which will often persist even after a long sleep.


Increased Heart Rate

Anxiety is a natural response to danger and is needed for humans to survive. High levels of anxiety trigger changes in the body to help prepare for dealing with threats and danger, also known as the fight or flight response. However, if you're living with chronic anxiety, your body and mind are often unable to tell the difference between real and imagined dangers, which means that the fight or flight response may be continually active. One of the first changes to occur during the fight or flight response is an increase in heart rate.  


Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations are often one of the most distressing symptoms associated with anxiety, as they can feel scary and many people worry that they are having a heart attack, particularly when palpitations are combined with chest pain. Heart palpitations can feel like your heart is pounding, fluttering, beating too fast or missing beats. Some people can even feel their heart beating in their throat, neck or head. While heart palpitations can be scary, they usually pass within a few seconds.


Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is another distressing symptom that leads many people to worry that they are having a heart attack, choking or experiencing problems with their lungs. Shortness of breath is usually caused by breathing too quickly (hyperventilation), as the body is inhaling too much oxygen and exhaling too much carbon dioxide. Hyperventilation will not harm you, but you may feel as if you are choking, have a lump in your throat or are unable to take in enough air. 



Feeling dizzy, faint or unsteady is often the result of hyperventilation, although it may also be caused by other issues related to anxiety, such as muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. Many people feel lightheaded and worry that they might pass out during a panic attack, but some people with an anxiety disorder also experience chronic dizziness and problems with balance.  


Muscle Aches 

Muscle aches and joint pain can be caused by tension, as well as general poor health. Anxiety causes the muscles to tense up, which can lead to pain and stiffness in almost any area of the body. Constant stress and worry can also prevent the immune system from working properly, leading to decreased resistance to infection and disease. Infection increases inflammation in the body, which can cause a range of symptoms, including joint pain.


Muscle Weakness

Another common symptom of chronic anxiety is weakness in the muscles, most commonly experienced in the legs and sometimes the arms. During the fight or flight response, the body is preparing to take action against danger. One of the ways in which the body prepares for this action is to redirect blood flow to the areas most needed, including the legs, which are needed to run away from danger. Increased blood flow to the legs can make them feel weak, tingly or like jelly.



Headaches and migraines are often caused by tension, particularly in the neck and shoulders. Teeth grinding, facial tension, poor posture and hyperventilation can also cause headaches and migraines. Sharp pain, a dull ache or a feeling of pressure around the head and eyes are common symptoms associated with anxiety. As anxiety can also upset the balance of hormones in the body, some women notice an increase in migraines, as they can be triggered by changes in hormones.


Digestive Discomfort

Excess gas, bloating, stomach cramps, acid indigestion, heartburn, constipation and diarrhea can all be caused by stress and anxiety. Several digestive problems, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), have been linked to chronic stress and mental health problems. Anxiety can also increase the symptoms of food intolerance and sensitivities in some people.


Tingling Sensations

Pins and needles, tingling and numbness are common symptoms that mostly affect the extremities, but can also be experienced anywhere in the body. Tingling of the lips, face and arms can be particularly distressing, as many people worry they are having a stroke. Odd sensations in the body, including tingling and numbness, are usually the result of hyperventilation, but can also be caused by physical tension.


Anxiety can cause a wide range of distressing physical symptoms, but recognizing and accepting that these symptoms are temporary and harmless helps to alleviate fears and prevent further anxiety. The most common physical symptoms of anxiety include fatigue, increased heart rate, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, muscle aches, muscle weakness, headaches, digestion, discomfort and tingling sensations.

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Does Anxiety Make You Tired?

If you often feel anxious, you may recognize this emotional pattern: Something stresses you, a test, a bill, a conflict — and the anxiety begins.

It builds and builds while the physical symptoms — the racing heart, the quickened breath — intensify. And as soon as the stress stops, CRASH. You’re suddenly so tired you could collapse and sleep right on the spot.

Even when anxiety is low-grade or long-term rather than the peak-and-plummet kind, it’s often accompanied by a feeling of exhaustion.

Are anxiety and fatigue interrelated somehow? Here’s what science says about the connection between the two.

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, dread, or apprehension. It can be brought on by a stressful event or by the way you think about an event. Sometimes people feel anxious even when there doesn’t seem to be an external trigger at all.

When you perceive a threat, your hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands release a torrent of hormones to prepare you to fight, flee, or freeze. In response, you might feel any or all of these physical symptoms:

  • shaking
  • quickened heart rate
  • chest pain
  • fast, shallow breathing
  • dry mouth
  • muscle tension
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • diarrhea

Given the surge of hormones and the intensity of these symptoms, it isn’t hard to imagine why you’d feel tired after a bout of anxiety. You might feel relieved, drained, or even exhausted.

Most of the time, a good night’s sleep is enough to restore your energy levels. Sometimes, however, the tired feeling doesn’t go away as quickly as you’d like.

Fatigue is a persistent feeling of being either mentally or physically tired. It may feel like a lack of energy, a lack of motivation, or a lack of strength.

The National Health Interview Survey put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that women report feeling fatigued more often than men.

It can be brought on by any number of physical conditions, including:

  • cancer
  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • sleep disorders
  • stroke
  • infections

Fatigue is also associated with a fair number of psychological conditions, including:

  • grief
  • work-related or financial stress
  • depression
  • anxiety
Is it adrenal fatigue?

The term adrenal fatigue is sometimes used to describe a feeling of tiredness that comes from chronic stress and anxiety. Some claim that your adrenal glands (two small glands that produce stress hormones) can become worn out by all the upheaval.

A 2016 review of 58 studies concluded that there’s no current research to support the existence of adrenal fatigue. That doesn’t mean your feeling of exhaustion isn’t real. It simply means the reason may not be that your adrenal glands are depleted.

Anxiety can cause you to lose sleep, either because you have trouble falling asleep when you first lie down, or because worries wake you up when you’d otherwise be sleeping. If that’s the case, you may be feeling extra tired during the day.

The relationship between sleep and anxiety is complex. Anxiety can disrupt your sleep and the lack of sleep can eventually make you more anxious. In a 2019 study, people with insomnia were 9.8 times more likely to have anxiety than the people in the study who didn’t have insomnia.

The night shift and anxiety

Studies show that people who work the night shift are at a high risk for sleep problems because their sleep cycles (circadian rhythms) are disrupted. The disturbed sleep pattern makes shift workers more vulnerable to anxiety disorders.

Chronic exposure to stress changes your brain and your body in mostly negative ways. Researchers have found that when you’re exposed to long-term stress and anxiety, it can:

  • harm your memory
  • affect your judgment
  • lead to mood disorders
  • suppress your immune system
  • cause heart problems
  • disrupt your gastrointestinal system

Long-term anxiety and distress are also associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that makes you feel tired no matter how much rest you get.

If stress and anxiety have left you tired, there are remedies and activities that may help revive you. Here are a few:

  • Try revamping your sleep practices. A cool, quiet sleeping space, a regular bedtime, limited naps, and relaxation techniques are key — along with curbing your caffeine and powering down your screens an hour before bed.
  • Get regular exercise. Exercise reduces anxiety sensitivity and promotes healthy and restorative sleep.
  • Meditate. Relaxation techniques like meditation and mindfulness can help quiet your mind, regulate your breathing, and lower the amount of stress hormone in your bloodstream.
  • Trim the crash-causing foods from your diet. Whole, unprocessed foods, such as lean proteins, bright fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, and complex carbs, can give you sustained energy. Foods high in saturated fat and sugar are associated with higher anxiety levels, studies show.
  • Talk to a therapist. A psychologist or counselor may be able to help you identify your anxiety triggers and develop coping skills that lead to less anxiety and greater relaxation.
  • Consider medication. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether your symptoms warrant treatment with anti-anxiety medication.
When to seek medical help

If anxiety is interfering with your sleep, your relationships, or your ability to function throughout the day, it’s probably time to talk with a healthcare provider about it. Anxiety can cause serious health problems if left untreated too long, so it’s a good idea to reach out to a health professional to help you identify any underlying causes and come up with a workable treatment plan.

Anxiety causes a hormonal rush that can leave you feeling drained and tired. The crash is probably temporary, but the feeling of exhaustion lasts. Even after you’ve gotten some rest, you may be experiencing fatigue.

Chronic anxiety and fatigue go hand in hand. Anxiety could be interfering with your ability to sleep at night, which can worsen your daytime sleepiness and could lead to other health problems.

To help your body recover from short-term or long-term anxiety, you may want to try relaxation techniques, regular exercise, healthy eating, and good sleep hygiene practices. A healthcare provider may recommend psychotherapy or medication if you just can’t shake that post-anxiety malaise.

Anxiety disorder - causes, symptoms and treatments: signs of increased anxiety

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Anxiety disorder - causes, symptoms and treatments

Fear and excitement are experienced by all people, but an unreasonable and persistent feeling of anxiety in a person indicates the presence of anxiety disorder syndrome (AD). Anxiety arises due to the influence of various factors: life difficulties, career problems, self-determination, etc. These types of experiences are common to everyone and are not considered pathological. But if increased anxiety is not associated with specific objects or situations, then this is a signal of a mental failure. nine0003

A disease of this type has no restrictions on age, sex, social status. Anxiety disorders are a group of neuroses with an increased sense of fear for no reason. Strong excitement that occurs in adults for relatively small reasons, experts divide into two large categories:

  • Emotional experiences. A sick person is tormented by inexplicable anxiety, often causeless fear causes constant tension in the body, nervousness. The polar state is depression, complete emptiness. A person in an emotional disorder cannot stay in one place, it is difficult for him to concentrate. He is waiting for something terrible and inevitable, which is about to happen. A clear sign of an excited state is frequent and full breathing, the chest moves intensely, as after running. nine0026
  • Physical experiences. The feeling of anxiety and restlessness is manifested in the form of increased sweating, frequent heartbeat. A sick person may develop heaviness in the chest, shortness of breath, tremor in the arms and legs. Frequent headaches, loss of appetite and sleep. Unreasonable anxiety causes tension in all muscles in the body, fatigue appears even with little physical activity. Often there are malfunctions in the digestive tract, excretory system - diarrhea, constipation, frequent urination.
  • nine0029

    The main causes of TR in adults are genetic and environmental factors. Most often this disease affects people with mental illness, frequent depression, with a history of abuse in the family or the use of narcotic/psychotropic substances.

    Causes of the disease

    There is no clear understanding of the cause of this disease. Pathology can occur as a reaction of the body to somatic or mental factors, develop due to brain injuries or endocrine disorders. Groundless fear is often a side effect of taking strong drugs, narcotic or psychotropic substances. nine0003

    There are four theories of the emergence of anxiety disorders:

    • Psychological. Restless syndrome as a response of the psyche to the presence in a person of a forbidden, impossible need in a familiar environment. The body and psyche block the actions of a person that have an intimate or aggressive background. Such a subconscious barrier leads to neurosis, as the body restrains this unacceptable need.
    • Cognitive. Constant depression, unrest are caused by mental images of the patient himself. Usually the patient's thoughts are extremely irrational, impractical, out of touch with reality. nine0026
    • Behavioral or behavioral. Strong anxiety is a reflex reaction of the body to frightening or painful stimuli. For the most part, this is a normal reaction of a healthy body. Pathological symptoms occur when the stimulus is no longer there, but the person's anxiety remains.
    • The fourth theory is biological. Pathological conditions are caused by the failure of metabolic processes in the brain. Studies have shown that an increase in the number of neurotransmitters leads to a state of increased excitement. nine0026

    The feeling of excessive anxiety is a pathology, but in which a person is aware of his problems. This disease does not change the personality of the patient.

    Types and symptoms of increased anxiety

    There are several types of pathological manifestations with specific symptoms:

    • Generalized TR. A person manifests neuroses that are not associated with a specific object or situation. The most persistent symptoms are hyperactivity, a tendency to tearfulness, a tense state of the face and body (eyebrows are lowered, there is a slight tremor in the limbs, the skin is pale). nine0026
    • Panic attacks. In adults, a mental disorder is accompanied by periodic panic attacks "out of the blue." A person cannot control their manifestations. However, the patient anticipates the attack well and can avoid a situation leading to an exacerbation. Symptoms - excessive emotional intensity before a panic attack, increased sweating, rapid pulse, agitated state.
    • Obsessive-compulsive. The disease is accompanied by depression and the appearance of obsessive thoughts that bring discomfort. The patient is in constant experience of some situations from the past or a fictional world. Symptoms - inadequate behavior in a normal environment. For example, frequent washing of hands, cleaning the house to the point of exhaustion, etc. nine0026
    • Phobias are fear brought to an extreme point of intensity. The symptoms are the same as with a normal fright, only multiplied tenfold. A person can be afraid of both completely dangerous and safe things. The patient tries to avoid contact with the object of fear, which leads to an exacerbation of the phobia. Such people have increased sweating, the chest breathes extremely intensively, inadequate behavior.
    • Social. Diseases are psychosomatic in nature. The patient experiences increased anxiety to receive a negative assessment of other people in society. Social phobes are timid, shy, withdrawn, often gloomy due to the lack of joy in communicating with others. They suffer from apathy and depression. nine0026
    • Post-traumatic. Excitement without an irritating stimulus can occur against the background of an experienced situation, trauma, or shock. A complex type of the course of the disease, since the anxiety syndrome manifests itself regularly and does not weaken. The help of a psychotherapist is required, who will prescribe treatment and prescribe means to calm the nervous system.

    Complications of the disease

    Without medical help, anxiety disorder causes a number of socio-psychological complications. This is self-isolation from society, low self-esteem, exhaustion of the body on the mental and physical planes, the development of depressive states and other manifestations. The patient also experiences social complications. The most common are financial difficulties, alcoholism, loss of interest in work, career, sex. Constant stress and dissatisfaction with oneself and life reduces the body's immunity. The patient experiences severe headaches, allergic reactions, muscles are in constant tone. nine0003

    All these manifestations lead to even worse consequences for a person. The body malfunctions, serious ailments develop: cancer, diseases of the cardiovascular and endocrine systems, ulcers and others.

    Diagnosis and treatment

    The study of the signs of this disease in adults and adolescents made it possible to test the methods of psychotherapeutic and drug restoration of the health of the human nervous system. Specialists use the following methods for diagnosing neurotic manifestations of fear:

    • Consulting assistance of a psychologist or psychiatrist to identify specific symptoms, obtain data on the interests, lifestyle, motives of the patient.
    • Psychodiagnostics, testing - these methods allow you to identify pathological signs of fear and related disorders of the nervous system.
    • Observation of the patient and analysis of his behavior in life, society, in relationships with loved ones and others.

    Unreasonable manifestations of excitement are within the sphere of interests of a psychologist and psychotherapist. Before visiting the specialist's office, the patient is advised to formulate his problems in detail, talk about taking psychoactive drugs, the timing and duration of the previous treatment. Hormones of joy help in the fight against anxious feelings, so professional doctors advise stocking up on positive. nine0003

    The treatment of a person with TR is based on an integrated approach. The recovery course includes taking psychoactive medications (antidepressants), psychotherapy, and correcting the patient's lifestyle. Psychiatric care includes group, individual, family methods of patient recovery. Therapy helps to change the patient's attitude to groundless neurosis.

    It is also allowed to use traditional medicine - sedative infusions, decoctions of melissa, chamomile herbs. They give a general relaxing effect, temporarily reduce the active phase of the manifestation of the disease. nine0003

    Anxiety prevention

    You can try to deal with AD at an early stage at home. But, if preventive methods did not help, we recommend that you immediately contact a medical institution. If you feel excitement approaching for no reason, do the following:

    • Relax as much as possible, concentrate on your body. Mentally or aloud list your concerns. Do not run away from them, but accept them.
    • Take a few deep breaths, relax your chest. Breathe calmly. A few cycles will help you bounce back. nine0026
    • Set aside time for proper sleep and rest, lack of sleep or chronic fatigue are the first signs of TR.
    • Protect yourself from negative information, do not watch the news, do not read newspapers. Go to the movies or turn on a comedy, a romantic story at home. Charge yourself with positivity.
    • Be aware of the fact that a black stripe in life is always followed by a white one. Problems do not last forever, learn to accept life in dynamics.

    Specialists advise patients to develop a resource state in which they feel an influx of energy, their own strength. Feeling the sufficiency of internal resources helps to overcome all problems. Each person has a personal source of strength. Someone likes walking in the forest, park, someone likes to communicate with loved ones, play with children, go in for sports, etc. The secret to treating TR is finding time to do things you love. nine0003

    Fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome: how to get rid of overexertion, anxiety and stress

    How often do you feel tired when you wake up ? If this continues even after a long rest, then, alas, the bad news is that we can talk about chronic fatigue syndrome. Residents of large cities, workaholics and people who had a serious illness the day before are at risk, and the first signs of the syndrome are apathy and complete loss of connection with reality. Self-diagnosis is an unreliable thing, so we asked Ekaterina Artemenko, a psychologist and community director of the service Yasno , about the causes, consequences and ways to deal with the disease. What is chronic fatigue syndrome? This medical term is even mentioned in the International Classification of Diseases. As you know, the nervous system is designed in such a way that we alternate inhibition with excitation - due to this, our body functions normally. When the brain is in a constant state of excitement, we are very tired and physically unable to rest. nine0003

    Chronic fatigue syndrome usually occurs after severe stress, severe illness, viral infection. It can also be part of PTSD. I suppose that after the pandemic, there will be many cases of such a diagnosis.


    The main causes of chronic fatigue

    Psychological factors can also influence the appearance of chronic fatigue syndrome. nine0152 Psychotherapists explain the phenomenon of fatigue by the fact that the psyche suffers most from holding back emotions. Sometimes we feel like we're tired of working too hard. In fact, in order to do this job, we had to contain a lot of different emotions. For example, anger because someone interferes, forces or gives the wrong instructions. Sometimes resentment for the fact that in the process we were forced to contradict our own values. You have to restrain this layer of unexpressed feelings in favor of other equally important things, such as the desire to earn money, move up the career ladder, contribute to a stable life. nine0003

    It is paradoxical, but holding back good experiences can sometimes lead to severe fatigue: tenderness, warmth, love. If we consider chronic fatigue syndrome in such a paradigm, it turns out that this is some kind of accumulated experience that has ceased to be stressful and has moved into the category of destructive distress.

    How not to confuse it with ordinary fatigue, bad mood or overwork

    Different specialists will diagnose this syndrome in different ways. The doctor can determine the syndrome by analysis, the physiologist - by the tension of the muscle corset and your "tightness". As a psychologist, I prefer to look at such processes through, as I call it, biopsychosocial-spiritual model - don't let this word scare you. If there are persistent disorders at all levels, then we can talk about chronic fatigue syndrome.


    On the physiological level this manifests itself as constant exhaustion, which is not relieved by sleep. In this case, fatigue is so high that even after a slight activity, the forces end. If a person cannot withstand strong stress, is quickly irritated, has difficulty perceiving and remembering information, then the psychological level is also affected. We talk about violations in social life when it is difficult for us to maintain contact with other people: communication does not please, but rather exhausts. nine0003

    On the spiritual level , you can notice how the dreams you were striving for and things that seemed important become gray and insignificant, without arousing any inner response and interest.

    It is important to distinguish chronic fatigue syndrome from overwork. It is possible to speak of a syndrome when there is a disturbance in the actions of the nervous system, and this causes a non-specific reaction to external factors. In simple terms, overwork can be dealt with by going on vacation, but chronic fatigue will not work. Don't confuse chronic fatigue syndrome with clinical depression. nine0003

    How chronic fatigue syndrome can be dangerous for life, health, work, relationships

    The destruction of all this. Chronic fatigue syndrome exhausts the entire body. Unfortunately, many of us do not recognize the disease until it makes itself felt: if the arm is not yet broken, we do not see damage, and it seems to us that nothing is happening. The same often happens with the psyche. It, in turn, is closely connected with the nervous system and affects our entire existence. Experiences that we cannot express remain “blocks” in the body - as a result of nervous exhaustion, the inability to rest and relax, psychosomatic diseases begin. nine0003


    Preventing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    Unfortunately, today's world is built in a narcissistic way - a lot of attention is paid to achievement and success. That is why a person often identifies himself not with what he feels, what is valuable to him, whom he loves, but with what he has achieved. Our patients often admit that the world feeds their anxiety.

    We are accustomed to perceive it as some kind of obstacle that we need to step over and move on. I, as a psychotherapist, urge you to treat this as a kind of request that sounds from within. Anxiety should be considered carefully, with interest and mercy, and not seek to cure or remove this natural condition as soon as possible. nine0003

    One often encounters the fact that the gradient of feelings in most people is replaced by a register of school grades. We do not feel joy, excitement, excitement, embarrassment, sadness - we feel "good", "bad" and "normal". This is a huge problem, because under the pressure of the outside world, we evaluate any natural feeling as “bad”. For example, anxiety and fatigue in such a coordinate system definitely deserve such a mark, and they need to be stopped immediately or covered up with some kind of achievement. Roughly speaking, correct the deuce to the five, which in the future can be shown to mom, society and oneself. nine0003


    It is important to allow yourself to experience the full range of feelings, without sorting them into good and bad. Then it would be nice to learn to recognize, name and hear them in order to determine what needs are behind them. It is also very important to share your feelings with someone. This "legality" of experiences has a beneficial effect on the psyche of modern people who are just learning to feel.

    What to do in order not to return to a state of chronic fatigue for as long as possible

    It is necessary to act in all directions, the so-called biopsychosocial-spiritual model .