The Short and Long-Term Effects of Anxiety On The Body | Mental Health Blog
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The Short and Long-Term Effects of Anxiety On The Body

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When you start showing signs of an anxiety attack, you may be overcome with an intense sense of fear.

Your thoughts may be racing, and you are probably looking to escape. While you may be preoccupied with everything that is happening to you mentally, there is a lot going on inside your body as well. Especially if you suffer from an anxiety disorder long-term, the physical side effects of anxiety can begin to take its toll.

The Physical Effects of Anxiety Both Long & Short Term

As providers of anxiety disorder treatment in Boca, we know that although it is a mental health disorder, anxiety comes with many physical symptoms as well. These symptoms can vary from person to person and are often dependent on the severity of anxiety. Together, the mental toll of anxiety and the effects on the body can be overwhelming.

For many people, a panic attack or their feelings of anxiety are accompanied by a series of intense and noticeable physical effects. The short-term effects of anxiety on the body include:

  • heart palpitations
  • increased blood pressure
  • breathing problems
  • upset stomach
  • shaking
  • muscle aches
  • fatigue
  • dizziness

For those people who are lucky enough to experience an anxiety attack only once or have mild anxiety, the short-term effects may be the only physical effects their body experiences. Many people who struggle with chronic anxiety disorders can have more serious health problems. Just as in times of stress, the body can release large amounts of hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine when you are feeling anxious. Prolonged and frequent release of these hormones can lead to severe health problems if left untreated.

Research is still being done on the topic, but studies show that some possible long-term effects of anxiety on the body include:

  • heart problems like increase risk of heart disease1
  • various illnesses from a lowered immune system2
  • gastrointestinal disorders including irritable bowel syndrome3
  • memory problems4
  • frequent migraines5

While you may be focused on your mental health or the immediate physical symptoms, the long-term effects of anxiety on the body should not be ignored. Without the help of a mental health partial hospitalization program like ours, your anxiety could begin to impact your physical health as well.

Don’t let anxiety or another mental health disorder control your life. Our Boca mental health treatment center can help you regain control over your mental health and move forward with your life.  

To learn more about our programs and talk to one of our admissions counselors, call 888-280-4763.


  1. NCBI - Risk Factors: Anxiety and Risk of Cardiac Events
  2. Harvard Medical School - Anxiety and physical illness
  3. Journal of Digestive Diseases - Anxiety and depression in various functional gastrointestinal disorders: Do differences exist?
  4. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience - The complex interaction between anxiety and cognition: insight from spatial and verbal working memory
  5. American Migraine Foundation - Understanding the relationship between migraine and mental health

Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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