Symptoms and Signs of Symptoms and Signs: Anxiety

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 4/14/2022

Doctor's Notes on Symptoms and Signs: Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. Although anxiety itself is a symptom and sign for other disorders, the classic symptoms and signs of anxiety are as follows:

Other symptoms may include the above but they occur in a more severe form.

The potential causes of anxiety are numerous. In general, anxiety may be caused by a mental condition (for example, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder), a physical condition (asthma, anemia), drugs (caffeine, amphetamines), and/or any combination.

What Are the Treatments for Anxiety?

There are two major treatments used for anxiety:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy, exposure therapy)
  • Medications (types vary with the symptoms and other health problems)
    • Antidepressants
    • Buspirone
    • Sedatives like benzodiazepines (caution: short-time use only; possible addictive)
    • Beta blockers (short-term only)

Often, both psychotherapy is combined with one or more medications as determined by your doctor.

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