Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 358
   Posted 8/17/2010 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I've noticed some people talking about physical expressions of their anxiety. I've had a lot of these myself and was wondering what type of physical symptoms others have had. Through a series of doctors I've been able to rule out medical causes and by working on the anxiety I've seen even "in the moment" physical symptoms subside. But here's a sample of some of my physical symptoms (there's no way I could remember them all, there's just been too many and they keep changing):

1. Arm pain in my forearm that feels like a pulled muscle.
2. Arm pain in my bicep if I ignore the forearm pain.
3. A piercing pain that seems to go through my heart (through my back and out my chest)
4. A "pressing" pain the size and shape of a coin that appears at various places on my chest.
5. Tingling sensations in my left hand (like when your foot falls asleep).
6. Skipped heartbeats (one of the scariest)
7. The feeling that I pulled my heart muscle and it's sore
8. Shivering even in warm weather
9. Shaking and the desire to curl up in the fetal position
10. Stomach pain that forces me to lean forward in agony
11. Twitching eye (the least of my concerns)
12. A "bubbling" feeling just above my left hip.

There are many others, but that's what comes to mind in the moment. One other thing I've seen is that it's almost always on my left side (99% of the time). I've also noticed that the arm pain is the most common for me and it's like a barometer. The higher up my arm the pain goes the more anxious I am. I've also learned that if I start feeling these symptoms (not an attack, but these general physical symptoms of anxiety) and I start to journal, even if I don't know what I want/need to say, that it helps. The arm pain for instance will slowly move "down" and eventually dissipate.

I know physical symptoms are common, but I feel like I've had way more than my fair share and experience them everyday off and on all day long, so I'm curious as to what physical symptoms others have experienced. Thanks! confused

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/17/2010 5:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow, crazy that i came across this. But... I've had some of the same feelings. I know that I have anxiety attacks, mainly started with my "baby blues" after delivery, but has continued. I get the pulled muscle feeling near heart. I've definitely had arm pains all throughout my left arm. Which has made me anxious to contact my physician b/c i thought it was a heart issue . But I guess I've totally ignored the anxiety. Heart racing and extreeeme feelings of guilt that make me nauseated. Hope that helps, you're not alone :)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/17/2010 6:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Likewise I have had alot of these pains. The scarriest is by far the pain in my chest around my heart. I went to the ER not long ago, terrified that it was heart trouble. All was well with the many tests they ran. They said it was anxiety (which I have had for years but didn't associate with chest pain). My arms and legs burn (kind of like when they fall asleep) and I get the pain in my arm too. This will sound nuts but the best way to describe it. Like it crawls up my back, If I could reach around there and scratch at it, I would.
Let my words today be tender and sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/19/2010 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I have noticed that your posts sound very much like something copied and pasted from an article.  Wondering if you would do an introduction and tell us a bit about your anxiety and your own issues.
Thank you,

Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 8/19/2010 3:30 PM (GMT -7)   
i get pains in chest n heart races
there have been times where im not able to sleep nor eat n cannot stop crying



Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 8/20/2010 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband has been dealing with health anxiety alot lately. Sore eye, feeling like something is in his ears, throat and belly. Before he thought his feet had something on them. Also all smells are enhanced for him.
Also thought his blood pressure was high because he could feel the pulse in his arm, but his is low.

I didn't realize it was all due to his anxiety until recently. All the years he has had it, it's only been recently his panic over these issues.

His pdoc really didn't say much about it yesterday. So I guess we will go on as is for now. After seeing his med doc, I think he's not so worried about some of the issues.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1052
   Posted 8/23/2010 4:41 AM (GMT -7)   
  I know from fact that one dose's become so sensitive to anything that is going on in one's body that it tends to be overwhelm to them that even the smallest of pain or heart beat and so on and that feeling like a skip of the beating of the heart process tends to put one into overdrive as we become so sensitive to normal bodily functions but it is all A/P related, But the more one pushes it to your own limits and just stops and then try again till you can feel that this is the way the body works as it did before A/P set in but one just needs to keep going at it as it will pass just like it came on, but it is not an easy thing too do. But always keep up with your PDoc
as to anything else that maybe happening. One may never know till you find out if maybe caused from an illness like in my case but most is not and just A/P.
   Cowboy up

Happiness is sitting around a warm campfire with no worries or cares as day turns to night.

Anxiety/Panic, CFS, CNS damage, MCS, Diabetes type 2, RLS, DDD, CP, Fibro, and still a limbo lander of other things and gettin tested all to time by neruo

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/23/2010 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Good Morning,
If my anxiety is spiking really high I will "cry".  No matter how hard I try to hold back the tears I will still cry.  It makes for problems sometimes if I happen to be driving.  smhair My other dominant sx is falling back into the "what if" thinking. I start to over-think and worry way more then the issue calls for.  I am a work in progress.
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 8/31/2010 4:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for this thread. I also have a lot of physical symptoms associated with my anxiety. They are horrible!!

My main physical anxiety symptoms are:

1) Nausea
2) Chest Pain
3) Tightness in my Chest
4) General malaise
5) I notice something strange with my breathing. Can't quite explain it. Not shortness of breath exactly, just, I'm aware that something is not "right" with my breathing.

If I'm having a full-on panic attack then I get all the above symptoms plus racing pulse, hot and cold flashes, shaking, shivering, extreme weakness in my legs to the point where I feel like I can't stand up, pins and needles in my hands and feet, shortness of breath. And, of course, overwhelming feelings of doom.

UGH!!!!!! Even just writing that list make me feel anxious!!!

I wouldn't wish this condition on my worst enemy!!! It is a nightmare from which it feels as if there is no escape because, apparently, these symptoms are of my own making......Yet even if I tell myself that - if I tell myself it's "just" anxiety - it doesn't help when I'm in the throes of a full-blown PA. It always feels like a life or death medical emergency........

It's good to know I'm not alone with this, but I wish none of us had it!!!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2474
   Posted 8/31/2010 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
me? I get diarrhea

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 9/1/2010 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   

I think over the years I have had most all the symptoms of anxiety but the more recent ones include:

hot/cold flashes, pounding heart, weak legs, tingling in hands & feet; horrible what if thinking; sometimes my legs feel like jello and extreme scatteredness form "fight or flight", nervous stomach, weepiness

I too have had the pressure in chest and headaches(thinking I had a brain tumor)* or that the docs have "missed" something.

*of course the brain tumor thing came back because Monday I found out a friends friend had a brain tumor dx on Friday and was in surgery Monday AM after suffering 7 weeks of headaches and being treated for migraines!  I had a CT scan and MRI about 3 years ago and all was clear but my mind still wonders! Also the heart thing, I also, like many others, have had the EKG and other tests along the way.

geez....the list could go on

oh and did I mention I have HEalth Anxiety and work in healthcare!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 262
   Posted 9/1/2010 8:43 AM (GMT -7)   
This was a really interesting read! My main anxiety sx are:
1. something like a burning sensation in my gut, sometimes chest
2. inability to focus on any one thought, racing thoughts
3. hot flash
4. Tingling
5. fight or flight response

Its nice to see the vary different manifestations of anxiety, during my first bout of anxiety it all started with a numness in my left arm and eventually spread to my face, ended up going to the Er for that one. I am always convinced something is wrong with my health whenever i feel even a little out of wack, which all started with an episode of cavitating pnemonia in college (bad doc). took a while to get over that, actually i feel better today just writing this lol :), its been kind of a rough day
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