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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.

748 Replies 748

Community Member

Yes my GP knows about the issue.

I am seeing a specialist and doing CBT therapy, however, I find it hard to do it with the pain always with me.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Everyone

This thread topic has been a huge help to many readers and members of the forums and thankyou Annabay!

The forums are a rock solid safe and non judgemental place for everyone to post 🙂

I hope everyone is doing okay


I found that trying to manage my symptoms on my own for too long without medical help. Lead to many unmanaged symptoms one of which was aderinal fatigue. Health wise another unpleasant symptom was brain fog so much so I thought I had dementia. Please take time for self care. It is a long road back to better management and watching for trigger. Take time to breathe. May Tee Tee

I get a weird sensation like my brain is racing and I cannot slow it down,

This usually the 2nd warning I get The first is shaking of my left hand as previously mentioned

Community Member

I just had a thought,

we all experience anxiety in different ways and we also deal with it different ways.

This makes it very complex and often confusing for us to relate to others experiencing the same.

What I discovered is that through all this we are all on the same journey and we able to encourage one another as needed.

Please keep sharing as I am confident someone will read your post and encourage you on this difficult journey.

Community Member

As I’ve mentioned before, I often come back to this thread to get some reassurance when the physical symptoms start to heighten my anxiety. I’ve been doing pretty good lately but this weekend a few things have popped up that have brought back the eye pressure, the tight chest, the hand tremors and the horrible dull stitch I get in my left rib.

I also took some time out to go back through my journals where I keep a pretty through list of where my thoughts have been and what my body has been telling me.

Yesterday I started pondering a theory that anxiety is like an onion. At first it’s solid and has this firm, thick skin that wraps around everything inside. Eventually over time the skin starts to crumble and split and once you manage to cut the ends off you can truly start to peel the skin off. From there it’s a journey of layer by layer, removing them each layer starts to get smaller but tighter. I liken this to both my thoughts and the physical symptoms. Each one peels away and each one becomes less as you go but the last ones hang on tighter than the previous. And you have to work harder to get through the membranes and the lead until you reach the bulb. Just the ramblings of a man who fights hard to find the centre.

Community Member

Hey All, I’ve been reading this forum for awhile now on and off and decided to join tonight after reading a symptom on someone else’s post that reassured me I’m not alone.
My physical symptoms started Aug 18, woke with a heavy arm.
Daily I get symptoms, they just change!

-heavy weakness in limbs, have to manually move them with the other arm sometimes.
-about to fall asleep and it feels like you can’t move your arm or leg, your breathing slows and you jerk wide awake thinking you’re about to stop breathing.
-pins and needles all over

-feeling like I’ve had a stroke in my face, like my face is drooping

-My tongue does back flips in my mouth, my jaw jerks, my legs and arms feel so weak and heavy sometimes I feel like my body is giving up and I can’t move

body jerks, head spins

my hands seize up and My fingers don’t cooperate with my keyboard at work when it’s bad

Out of breath like asthma, lump in my throat that makes me constantly cough to try relieve it

ive had numerous tests and nothing has been found. Mri’s, bloods, neurologists

Tried numerous different medications which made my anxiety physical symptoms 10times worse. Had a test ran that checks what tablets match with you and no antidepressants/anxiety medication mixes well with my DNA.

Tried psychiatrist, lifestyle coach etc

Thanks for all the posting, it’s great knowing I’m not alone in this!

Community Member
hello everyone my physical feelings when I become anxious is that I feel pins and needles in my hands, I feel nausea, sometimes vomiting, overthinking, thinking I'm a failure, useless etc. I feel like this is extremely helpful for people to list their symptoms they feel when were anxious because it helps someone who is very overwhelmed with this feelings that has no experience what these feelings are and it educates and weakens the hold that the stigma of mental illness has on us.

Community Member

I’ve experienced different types of anxiety through the years.
My mum is anaphylactic so my first panic attack, swollen tongue, tight throat, tingly fingers. I called myself an ambulance because I thought was having an allergic reaction.

For 2 years I suffered OCD anxiety, I went vegetarian because I convinced myself I couldn’t eat meat (I tried to and I had a panic attack).I was convinced there were spiders in my clothes and bed and would have to check everytime I got dressed or went to bed and if I tried to test myself and ignore the need to check I’d have a panic attack. I had a panic attack at work because I couldn’t find my water bottle, on the plane because I smelt burnt toast and convinced myself I was having a stroke.

My first panic attack was in 2014. Since then I have dealt with it with mostly with breathing exercises. I know the first signs are feeling light headed and pins and needles in my fingers.

I have been stuck with habits like sighing, deep breaths, checking my heart rate, blinking each eye to make sure I can see.

In 2018 I started to get aura migraines. I’ve only had these 3 times and now I do breathing exercises and try to do the sensory exercises, things you can see, touch, hear. 2 days ago I started to get first signs of migraine. I took nurofen and thought I’d try to sleep which I haven’t done before and made up potential risks there’d be to falling asleep mid headache. I woke up in total confusion. I started to panic x100. I couldn’t give myself time to breath. I couldn’t remember objects around me, trying to identify things and suddenly I felt like I couldn’t pronounce words (bf said I was talking fine apart from what I was trying to describe), I couldn’t remember the words to my song, or small details about myself like the month I was born in, Still couldn’t see clearly and my hand and mouth went numb.

Feel like I’m having a hangover from it. Im emotional when I think about it and am terrified it’ll happen again any moment.

I was trying to share the physical signs I get but I guess my point is they are always changing. just when I think I’ve beat it, my mind surprises me with something else so I’ve been thinking it’s time I reached out for help. For years I’ve thought I was strong enough and this was just a phase but it’s been 6 years and my signs and symptoms aren’t the same anymore and the panic is overtaking my thoughts and preventing me from living

Hi CatD, 
Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing. It sounds like you've really been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks for some time now, that would be really tough given how intense and overwhelming these experiences have been for you. 

Please know that you are not alone in this and there is a lot of support out there. If you'd ever like to talk with one of our professional mental health counsellors, we are here 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport.