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what physical feelings of anxiety do you get?

Community Member

hey there, what physical symptoms of anxiety do you experience?

I often feel very alone in my experience of having physical chest (what I think are heart) spasms and was wanting to create a space for everyone to list their physical feelings that come hand in hand with anxiety so we can all feel less alone.

hope everyone is well.

797 Replies 797

Community Member

I've always had symptoms like upset stomach, cold and heat waves, but in the past few months they have worsened and now I have some really random stuff like:

- constant shaking of hands and legs
- leg pain
- sometimes my chest shakes when I breath out, so I have difficulties breathing normally
- muscles spasms when I swallow (but not while I drink or eat, only for normal relaxed swallowing), which can happen during the whole day or once in a while, and gave me a terror of swallowing
- dry mouth
- random laughing fits??
- rigidity in random parts of the body, muscles always contracted
- everything is much brighter and I have difficulty focusing or looking at the peripheral of my sight
- random crying fits
- heartburn
- general tensing in my neck area that ends up in headache, nausea, dizzyness

So I guess, this is not getting any better.

Hi Kjp1409

i can certainly relate to your post.

as soon as some physical symptom stops and I feel reassured I’m in a few months later I get a different one.it is so exhausting

i have had everything from headaches, to pins and needles , tight neck, difficulty breathing,severe leg cramps,weakness in my limbs . You name it . I find though reading through these posts reassuring. Even when I don’t think I have anxiety these symptoms appear it’s so weird!!!

Community Member


I relate to a lot of these symptoms (digestive issues, catastrophising, planning escape route, sometimes heart racing) as part of my general anxiety, but I feel like I can manage these.

What I cannot manage well and I haven't seen mentioned is sudden anxiety that comes with certain work meetings (or even thinking of them) - generally where there may be conflict, emotion or i feel a little over my head.

In these situations my physical symptoms are very different. I feel a dropping sensation in my stomach, I cannot get words out, and i feel my mouth pulling down / chin wobbling as thought i'm about to cry. I've become so paranoid about this happening now that it's become much more daunting than the topic of the meeting itself. Has anyone had these sorts of symptoms?

Yes, I experience a huge variety of symptoms and they vary each time. When I'm really anxious for long periods I can't eat. I've dropped 8 kilos in a year and I was small to begin with. I'm getting worried about this.

blondguy -Paul - what assistance do you get from your gp? I see you regularly check in with yours. I can only see my psych every six weeks and I really feel like I need more help.

Hi Everyone and Thanks to Annabay for the super helpful thread topic too!

Hey Dan....I used to have the same symptoms for a long time.....and they are awful to have! The earlier the symptoms are treated the better your recovery will be. The frequency of our appointments also help us with the rocky road to recovery too!

Hey Katy....always a treat to see you on the forums!

GP assistance......Great question! Many people including myself years ago thought GP's were only good at treating physical issues...Here are the benefits we can have with frequent appointments...

  • Monthly/Fortnightly/Weekly visits help us decrease any ongoing overthinking
  • Being able to vent what we feel.....this is a great feeling after we leave our appointment!
  • GP's have a greater understanding re anxiety/depression now compared to even 10 years ago
  • The GP will keep the discussion on track and help us....as long as we are honest with them of course
  • This is my 23rd year seeing my GP every 6-8 weeks for a 'fine tune'

The psychiatrists are experts and we sometimes need their help depending on the severity of our symptoms and if specialised meds are required....The psychologists can help us rebuild our mindset yet the appointments are placed too far apart (and expensive) to have a similar benefit as seeing a GP on a regular basis

When I had chronic anxiety I had weekly/fortnightly appointments with my GP...now its every 6-8 weeks

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by confiding in your GP Katy...It may be difficult at first yet you will feel a lot better after each visit.....Even to start with a double appointment is a bonus too so our doc can understand what we are going through

my kind thoughts


Community Member

I think the easier question to answer would be “what symptoms doesn’t your anxiety manifest as”!! Mine does just about everything on a rotating basis.

My psychologist once asked me to write a list of all my physical symptoms Head to toe and no kidding their was over 50 things on it. Everything from tingling lips to brain fog, shooting leg pains, jaw pain, headache, chest pain, palpitations, blurry vision, hair falling out, metallic tastes, ear pain, fingers tingling, nausea, diarrhoea, itching, the list goes on.

This is the nature of the beast but if we all stick together, we can get through this.

HelpsAlwaysNear96 - absolutely agree, it's always changing. Love your positivity too though, it's much easier with support 🙂

blondguy (Paul) - thanks for your response. Yes, I've never really thought of my gp in that way. Although my gp has made it clear she's always available to me if I'm feeling low, and she made regular appointments for me to see her when I was in a rough spot and had a while to wait until I could see my psych. So it appears you are quite correct. This is really good to know, and as such, thanks for sharing.

Hi all and thanks for the interesting topic!

Sorry for barging in but it's fascinating to see the wide range of syptoms. I get the usual stomach churning and chest palpitations when I'm nervous, and also have regular stress-headaches (sometimes migraines but that's been much better lately). Plus I intermittently suffer from heartburn which might be anxiety-related (hard to tell). But when I'm truly anxious I get a horrible choking feeling. As if I was suddently growing an enormous Adam's apple that would block the respiratory track. I hate it because this symptom actually makes me even more anxious and it can stay for days. It's quite painful too 😞

I've also had panick attacks a couple of years ago where I got pins and needles in the weirdest places (jaw, tongue, fingers...), difficulty finding words, and one time I even had a partial paralysis in my arms/shoulders (couldn't raise my arms anymore). Crazy how powerful the mind is! I thought I was having a stroke or a brain tumor...

Recently something else has happened that I suspect might be a symptom of anxiety too - a weird local burning sensation on my skin when touched (even barely) - but there is no rash, no dry skin, nothing that could explain it. It's a bit as if my nerves where really raw or hypersensitive. Anyone else ever experienced this? It's pretty weird. Not suuper painful but quite draining when it continues for a few days. It's often on the inside of my wrists/fore-arm although last time it was my whole left thigh... I'll go to the doctor if it happens again just to rule out any actual physical problem.

Cheers to my fellow worriers


I wish my GP was up to the challenge. The first time I brought up my anxiety he set me homework to read a self help book I had to order from the library "The happiness trap". A book about depression, but sure I read it. I dont think he gets it, mental illness I mean. He once said to my son with rapid cycling bipolar that he didn't look sick ... I mean ...

My symptoms vary:
heart burn
Exceedingly high blood pressure/white coat syndrome
flight ... like just up and leaving, quickly, running away! (not ideal in pre-op)
need for deep pressure sensory input
high startle reaction
hyper vigilance
social isolation
form/ paperwork avoidance
phone avoidance
confrontation avoidance
dry mouth
impaired emotional regulation
buzzing under my skin, sometimes like a tiny electrical current that doesnt hurt, up to full on bee/butterfly invasion
crowd avoidance
new venue avoidance

I have overcome my binge drinking, that was over 10 years ago.
I have been advised that some of this stems from a possible autism link and looking at my son I can see that possibility, but diagnosis this late stage in a female would be pointless

Community Member

I get worried, so so worried that something bad is going to happen. I feel like I should just run away.

I get the runs, my stomach churns and I feel like I cant breath.

Then my OCD plays havoc.

My GP is an absolute legend. She has helped and supported me every step of the way and her door is always open for me. I see a psychologist on friday to start getting myself help ive put off for so long!