Can Anxiety Make You Sick? 7 Reasons Why

Mental illness is becoming more common daily, not because people are becoming weak but because it is increasingly accepted in society. Mental health is as important as physical health and people are understanding these things. Difficulty with mental health causes anxiety and depression association problems in humans.

Mental illness has similarities with lifestyle and work. Do you want to know – can anxiety make you sick? Let’s understand mental illness first.

Chronic illness examples are depression, ADHD, anxiety disorders, neuro-developmental disorders, eating disorders, and bipolar disorders.

Since it is still a matter of awareness, many people still suffer from such severe illnesses alone due to a lack of awareness, acceptance, and help. Due to the stigma faced by those who do choose to be open about the matter or be brave enough to ask for help, people still suffer from these issues in isolation and some don’t even address it even after knowing. Even if there are physical symptoms of anxiety disorder in them.

A few wooden scrabble that is aligned to spell "anxiety".
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1. Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder is one of the most common types of mental illness in today’s world, 3.1% of the American population suffers from- Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD. If not discovered and addressed, it can develop and cause serious issues that aren’t necessarily mental but also physical. Anxiety is sometimes caused by post-traumatic stress disorder.

Because of how subtly any mental illness can affect us, it is often confused with simple temporary emotional responses like stress.

So due to a lack of awareness yet considering it seriously, there can be confusion about if you are even suffering. So in case you are thinking can anxiety make you sick? Here is a short list of things anxiety can lead to. But before that, it’s important to know what are anxiety and sickness in a narrow sense.

2. What Is Anxiety?

In simple words, anxiety is worry or stress. To dig deep, anxiety is an extreme form of worrying. In daily life, we can get worried over simple things like too much heat, the tension before an exam, or speaking in front of others. These feelings are temporary and can be overcome easily. It is a response to stress that affects our mental health and creates mental health disorders.

There is also something called good anxiety. Here, it is said that in situations where you feel stressed, the brain sends alert signals, and you get – a flight or flight response. It originated in the early stages of human evolution when people felt worried or anxious about encountering a wild animal.

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The responses of our body to the mind signals, in good circumstances, are not bad but rather helpful since stressing before an interview might make you research more about the company, or worrying in a coffee shop before ordering makes you recheck the menu and find something better.

It is called anxiety when the stress and worry are not temporary and kind of extreme enough to interfere with your daily activities. If because of worrying about the exam you start to skip your meals and can’t sleep at all, then you develop anxiety, and the pattern is unhealthy.

In anxiety, there are different kinds of it, and have stages as well. Some types are separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Some physical reactions of your body due to anxiety are sweating, feeling dizzy, or having a fast heartbeat.

Anxiety is a common mental illness, and it develops subtly. Approximately 284 million people suffer from anxiety worldwide, and anyone can suffer from anxiety irrespective of age (including children and teenagers), gender, or any other difference.

3. What Is Sickness?

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The term sickness is self-explanatory, but it can be interpreted differently by everyone. In the context of anxiety making, you sick, sick means feeling uncomfortable, which can happen in the case of headache and feeling nauseous to having high blood pressure and severe or frequent shortness of breath.

Anxiety disorder is a mental illness, but after frequent or prolonged periods, it can have physical effects on your body as well, which is what sickness means in this article.

3. Can Anxiety Make You Sick? Know 7 Symptoms

Anxiety as a form of mental illness can leave physical symptoms as well. It is alarming to have any mental illness for a long time for it to give physical signals for attention. If you have been unable to get help, try getting it sooner cause, with time, it can get worse.

So, to your issue of- whether can anxiety make you sick, here are the seven types of sickness.

Nausea means feeling sick when you feel like throwing up. It is very common and can happen in any uncomfortable situation, like feeling claustrophobic. It can happen to anyone but also due to anxiety if you suffer from it.

Anxiety can lead to other gastrointestinal issues because apart from your brain, the digestive system is known to have the second largest number of nerves in the body leading to some experts refer to it as the “second brain.

Due to anxiety, you can feel nauseous for an elongated time period which might also include upset stomach, constipation or diarrhea, indigestion, or no appetite. It is due to the hormones and chemicals released in the body making you feel this way.

People who menstruate can feel overly anxious during their menstruation cycle due to hormonal changes like stress hormones and emotional stress.

3.2. Chest Pain

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You might have noticed how it might become difficult for you to breathe in certain situations, like in a job interview, facing a large audience when delivering a speech, or facing any unanticipated situation that might be traumatizing. Such heavy breathing is due to panic, which can lead to chest pain if continued for quite some time.

Chest pain is not very common, but people are known to experience it once in a while, which is not necessarily bad. But chest pain caused due to anxiety might get frequent and long-lasting, which leads to risks.

The risk can be of many types, like a heart attack. Both panic disorder and heart attacks are cases of a medical emergency. If it happens often, you should seriously consider seeing a doctor since it can get worse if you have anxiety.

3.3. High Blood Pressure

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As mentioned above, you can experience high or low blood pressure in cases of panic attacks and stress. Since these issues are temporary and happen for a short time period, your blood pressure might get low or high. Increased blood flow can cause heart failure, attack, metabolic disease, or stroke.

Anxiety does not cause high blood pressure or hypertension since it’s temporary. You might get temporary high BP due to anxiety, but it generally causes no long-lasting issue. But, if you feel like it is lasting longer than usual or frequently happening throughout the day, visit your doctor as soon as possible.

3.4. Dizziness

There isn’t much evidence of how anxiety causes dizziness, but anxious people do often experience feeling lightheaded or dizzy.

One of the ways to understand the link between the two is that stress caused by feeling anxious suddenly affects the vestibular system in the inner ear. The system maintains movement and balance, which is why you might feel dizzy when getting an anxiety attack.

3.5. Trouble Breathing

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As written above, there are many types of anxieties and each of them leads to different issues. We can know more about it while looking at anxiety symptoms.

If you are having a panic attack, besides chest pain, you might feel short of breath. In cases of general anxiety, you might experience hyperventilation or fast breathing.

Having shortness of breath is considered more dangerous. If you feel the same due to anxiety or any other issue for a long time or frequently, please visit your healthcare provider. Try taking deep breaths for immediate relief from stressful events, flu-like symptoms, and health problems like anxiety.

3.6. Headache

A man sitting on a couch and suffering from a headache in a white background.
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One of the many types of anxiety disorder is chronic anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD1), which can lead to headaches. A headache 2is common, and it can happen due to a cold but it is usually temporary and easy to ignore.

Anxiety causes headaches that are severe and hard to ignore and can affect your daily life and productivity. It affects mental health, resulting in panic attacks and other anxiety disorders.

Headaches caused by anxiety disorders are also called migraines, which is the extreme version of headaches. Migraine is persistent and excessive, leading to uneasiness and sickness. This can cause social anxiety disorder, where people are usually afraid to go to crowds or public gatherings out there.

3.7. Other Types of Sickness Caused by Anxiety

Can anxiety make you sick? Yes, but the sickness list is more than six. Other forms might be feeling irritated, dry mouth, difficulty swallowing food, sweating, digestive disorder, short-term memory loss, and even heart attacks.

Types of sickness when exploring can anxiety make you sick cannot be specified and considered all. Still, there are many types of sickness, and everyone might have different anxiety symptoms, types, and degrees.

4. Ways to Manage Anxiety

4.1. Seek Help

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In case of any mental illness, including anxiety disorders, seeking a mental health professional is the best way to cure it. All other coping mechanisms might not be necessarily bad but will be of little help if you don’t counter the problem at the base.

4.2. Movement

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As humans, our body is meant to move. The common stress response of any mental illness is not moving like depression. Intense physical activity helps with mood changes since your environment changes.

In case you can’t or don’t want to move out, exercising is the best to make movements as you can also get healthier and move your body in the limited space.

4.3. Diet

Eating healthy goes a long way. If you don’t limit alcohol and caffeine, it can trigger anxiety and mood swings. Limiting it can lessen high anxiety over time. The key is to be consistent.

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4.4. Relax Physically and Mentally 

It’s important to get a good night’s sleep for eight hours since it can help to keep your mind and body relaxed and get a break from excessive worrying.

So, can anxiety make you sick? Yes, it can, which is why you should take your feelings seriously. If you feel like you’re thinking and actions are making your day-to-day life and productivity difficult, then it should be immediately addressed, as delaying will only harm you.

5. Closing Thoughts

Anxiety disorder and stress go hand in hand. Feeling nervous, feeling anxious makes us stressed. It can cause physical illnesses and mental health disorders. There are different types of anxiety disorders, and all of them can be treated by seeking help from support groups, psychiatrists, and doctors.

Anxiety disorder can make you feel social separation, intense fear, constant worry, and traumatic events.

6. FAQ

6.1. Is anxiety disorder dangerous?

For a short time period of anxiety, it isn’t harmful. After the body deals with stress management and other anxiety disorders, it becomes easy for people to understand themselves.

But if the anxiety disorder goes on for the long term it can be harmful. It might lead to other different anxiety disorders like separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic attacks, and other mental health conditions.

6.2. What are the physical symptoms of anxiety disorder?

Anxiety disorder has many physical signs. It makes the body feel uneasy and headaches might occur. Mostly the neck and shoulder area hurts making our body feel anxious. for people with anxiety and depression 3association problems, it feels like needles are getting into them, stomach aches, heartaches, and other different physical illnesses.

Many people feel like they are dying, and things are drifting apart. This leads to intense fear, trouble sleeping, and muscle tension which causes traumatic 4events.

6.3. Is anxiety disorder normal?

Yes, it is normal to feel anxious. But as soon as it becomes regular it affects our mental health. occasional anxiety may lead to regular panic attacks, stress, and overwhelming worry every time.

6.4. Can we cure anxiety disorders?

Yes, it can be cured. You can refer to a mental health specialist and have therapy sessions which will lessen the trauma and traumatic events. anti-anxiety medications are also a part of the anxiety disorder cure. Support groups also help people with anxiety disorders to overcome mental illnesses5.

When you see someone with the same symptoms of anxiety 6as yours, offering them help or just listening to them is the biggest cure. People with anxiety disorders seek emotional support and providing them with that support will cure anxiety disorder in the best possible way.

Herbal remedies might work and might not sometimes, but Yoga and mental peace are something to be achieved while feeling nervous. certain medications are used for stress management and help with constant worry.

  1. Graus, Francesc, Albert Saiz, and Josep Dalmau. “GAD antibodies in neurological disorders—insights and challenges.” Nature Reviews Neurology 16.7 (2020): 353-365. ↩︎
  2. Ashina, Sait, et al. “Tension-type headache.” Nature Reviews Disease Primers 7.1 (2021): 24. ↩︎
  3. Aprilia, Ayu, and Dyah Aminatun. “INVESTIGATING MEMORY LOSS: HOW DEPRESSION AFFECTS STUDENTS’MEMORY ENDURANCE.” Journal of English Language Teaching and Learning 3.1 (2022): 1-11. ↩︎
  4. Capizzi, Allison, Jean Woo, and Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez. “Traumatic brain injury: an overview of epidemiology, pathophysiology, and medical management.” Medical Clinics 104.2 (2020): 213-238. ↩︎
  5. Mazereel, Victor, et al. “COVID-19 vaccination for people with severe mental illness: why, what, and how?.” The Lancet Psychiatry 8.5 (2021): 444-450. ↩︎
  6. Knowles, Kelly A., and Bunmi O. Olatunji. “Specificity of trait anxiety in anxiety and depression: Meta-analysis of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.” Clinical psychology review 82 (2020): 101928. ↩︎

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