Symptoms and Signs of Anxiety Disorders

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 9/16/2021

Doctor's Notes on Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, fear, and/or worry. An anxiety disorder is when anxiety reactions interfere with normal functions and sleep. Signs and symptoms of an anxiety disorder include panic attacks (associated with four of the following):

Signs and symptoms of a generalized anxiety disorder are defined as excessive, unrealistic, and difficult to control worry over a period of a least 6 months and are associated with three of the following:

  • restlessness,
  • tires easily,
  • difficulty concentrating,
  • irritability,
  • muscle tension, and
  • sleep problems.

Phobic anxiety disorders (fear of spiders, snakes, or public speaking, for example) can trigger panic attacks. Stress anxiety, like post-traumatic stress disorders, may have patients

  • reliving trauma (flashbacks) or having nightmares,
  • being hypervigilant,
  • being depressed or gloomy,
  • avoiding activities, places, and people, and
  • having difficulties with sleeping and concentration.

Anxiety disorders may be caused or triggered to occur by mental conditions (stress at work, viewing or participating in a traumatic event), physical conditions (angina, congestive heart failure), drugs (heroin withdrawal), and/or a combination of all of these.

What Are the Treatments for Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders have two main treatment methods:

Often, treatments by your doctors may use both psychotherapy and medicine.

Must Read Articles:


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.