Short Term and Long Term Effects of Anxiety | Mental Health Blog
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Short Term and Long Term Effects of Anxiety


When you start showing signs of an anxiety attack, you may feel an intense sense of fear.

Your thoughts may be racing, and nervousness increases, causing paranoia. While you may be preoccupied with everything that is happening to you mentally, a lot is going on inside your body, and how anxiety affects your body may surprise you since fear seems like complete mental instability. The long and short-term effects create complications that can negatively impact your life if not promptly treated.

The Physical Effects of Anxiety Both Long & Short Term

How does anxiety affect the body? As providers of anxiety disorder treatment in Boca, we know that although it is a mental health disorder, anxiety also comes with many physical symptoms. These symptoms can vary from person to person, resulting in different levels of moderate to severe anxiety. Together, the mental toll of anxiety and the effects on the body can be overwhelming. For many people, an anxiety attack is accompanied by a series of intense and noticeable physical effects.

The short-term effects of how anxiety affects the body:

    • Shaking
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Muscle aches
    • Upset stomach
    • Heart palpitations
    • Breathing problems
    • Increased blood pressure

    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. The prolonged and frequent release of these hormones can lead to severe health problems if left untreated.

    Here are some long-term causes of how anxiety affects the body:

    • Memory problems
    • Frequent migraines
    • Heart problems and risk of heart disease
    • Various illnesses from a lowered immune system
    • Gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome

    The toll anxiety takes on your body can seem frightening, especially since anxiety can cause pain. Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of an attack. The pain is described as a sharp or stabbing sensation. Sometimes putting pressure on the chest will increase the pain. Unlike a heart attack, where pain runs throughout the body, pain is only felt in the chest area.

    If you are wondering what anxiety feels like, it’s nowhere close to pleasant. Besides chest pain, back pain is another physical symptom of anxiety. How anxiety affects the body is very interesting since headaches and joint pain are common side effects. Also, if a person is experiencing pain from another cause, anxiety can begin.

    How to Prevent an Anxiety Attack

    Seeking treatment for anxiety is crucial, especially if you have continuous panic attacks. Other ways to calm or stop an anxiety attack include focusing on breathing and slowing your breath. Additionally, you can acquire a support system or communicate your emotions to a family member or friend. Then try new hobbies that can relax you, providing a positive distraction. Also, exercise and a healthy diet are always helpful!

    Anxiety Treatment at Banyan Mental Health

    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. We offer unique therapeutic methods like art and music therapy and pet therapy!

    Don’t let anxiety or another mental health disorder control your life. Contact Banyan Mental Health today and regain control over your life!

    Related Readings:
    Relationship Between OCD and Addiction
    Common Recovery Group Discussion Questions
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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