Fear And Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

Fear and anxiety are close friends, and according to Mental Health UK, anxiety is actually a type of fear. Although you may be familiar with some of the more common symptoms of fear, such as a rapid heartbeat, there are also some surprising physical symptoms of fear that you may be less familiar with.

And, being able to identify when you are afraid is a great step towards overcoming your fears . Although fear can be debilitating, it also serves a very important purpose. Psychologists point out that fear is not entirely negative.


It may be part of the fight or flight mechanism embedded in the lower brain, an inherited response from our remote ancestors to defend against danger, ”Dr. Deepak Chopra wrote for SFGate.

However, when fear persists after the threat has ended, it can trigger stress responses in the brain when reminded of something that brings up the emotions of a previous fearful situation.

When this happens, you could experience gastrointestinal upset, sweating, dizziness, dry mouth, rapid breathing and other physical and emotional symptoms, Mental UK explained on its website.

«These things happen because your body, by feeling fear, is preparing you for an emergency, so it makes your blood flow to the muscles, increases your blood sugar and gives you the mental capacity to focus on what your body perceives as a threat.

However, there are some other surprising symptoms of fear, and understanding what they are can help you learn to manage your fears in a healthy and productive way.

You may also be interested in: Fear of Sexual Perversion: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment


Here are the different symptoms that occur:

Fear can cause heartburn

When you are afraid, stressed, or anxious, your body can produce excess stomach acid, which can lead to heartburn and acid reflux. If this happens to you on a regular basis, the only way to get rid of heartburn once and for all is to treat your underlying fears.

It can steal your sense of humor

It can be difficult to find something funny, or amusing, when you are overwhelmed by feelings of fear, your heart is racing, and your palms are sweating. Interestingly, humor is also one of the best ways to ease fears, according to Stanford University.

“If you can teach people to be more playful, to see the absurdity of life as humorous, you will see an increase in well-being,” explained postdoctoral student Andrea Samson on the Stanford news site.


Prolonged stress and anxiety can weaken your immune system and trigger your body into hives or rashes. And, this type of hives cannot be cured with medication. They will only calm down once the fear or underlying stressor is addressed.

Physical and business tiredness

If you have to fill every waking moment with some kind of activity, this may actually be a symptom that you subconsciously fear something and are doing everything you can to avoid it by physically exhausting yourself. If you are not sure that your busy schedule is based on fear and anxiety, according to the opinion of some experts.

These experts set out to explore these questions: Do you feel like you are running away from something (instead of running towards it)? Are you anxious or uncomfortable when there is no task immediately in front of you?

When you end up unexpectedly having a few unstructured hours or alone time, do you automatically try to fill it with distractions (like social media)? If the answer is yes, it may be time to sit still and identify what you don’t want to face.

Shaking chills

You may be familiar with hand sweat when you feel scared, but you may not know that fear and anxiety can also make your hands and feet feel cold.

“Although changes in the fight or flight response are active, they can cause a wide range of sensations and symptoms, such as having cold hands and feet (or just cold hands and feet),” explained the Center for Anxiety at your website.

“As long as the fight or flight response is active, your cold hands and feet can persist. So when people are nervous, their hands and feet can get cold. ‘


This symptom can be sensitive because experiencing tingling sensations in the extremities can also be a symptom of many other conditions. However, if you cannot identify any medical causes for the tingling in your arms and legs, it might be time to examine whether these sensations are caused by fear or not. «

One part of the changes in the stress response includes diverting blood from parts of the body less vital for survival and from parts most vital for survival, ”noted the Anxiety Center. “This maneuvering action can cause tingling, tingling, tingling, tingling sensations in various parts of the body when a stress response has been activated.”

Think clearly

Feeling fearful or anxious can make you feel overwhelmed, which can cloud your ability to think clearly, remember things, and make decisions. In short, fear gives you brain fog.

According to the UW Medicine Right As Rain blog, fear and anxiety basically scramble your brain. Your body puts all its energy into preparing to fight or escape, and whatever you fear is the only thing your body and brain are capable of concentrating on.

Job performance

When your body and brain are in fight or flight mode, your ability to focus on anything other than staying safe is compromised. This means that you could start to slip at work because you are not concentrating on your work.

If your work is suffering and you start to forget meetings, deadlines, or have a hard time due to fear-induced physical illnesses, it’s time to take a look at what’s holding you back.

This could mean asking a therapist for help because sometimes we all have a hard time understanding why we feel a certain way, and a therapist can help you identify and work with your fear and anxiety.

Interrupt sleep

Trying to fall asleep when one is anxious or fearful is almost impossible, and this is one of the reasons why it is difficult to sleep after watching a scary movie.

This also goes back to your body’s response to fight or flight. As long as your body is releasing stress hormones because it perceives a threat, it will be difficult for your body and brain to calm down enough to have quality rest time.


Many of the symptoms of fear and anxiety, like keeping busy, are about avoiding addressing what makes you feel scared. This is the reason why many people abuse drugs and alcohol; because they are trying to avoid dealing with an underlying condition, according to the Foundations Recovery Network dual diagnosis program.

“They may be dealing with very real pain and dysfunction, and they may be desperate for some relief. They may feel that the drugs only help them get through the day, and even though they may not have a sophisticated understanding of why they need help, they may feel like they are being proactive about their dysfunction when taking drugs.

Unfortunately, self-medication can lead to addiction, and when someone who self-medication seeks help, they are often given a dual diagnosis and treated for both the addiction and the underlying condition that caused the self-medication in the first case.

When to seek help for your fear and anxiety

Other physical symptoms of fear include chronic pain, severe allergies, chronic colds and unusual infections, tight muscles, and other unexplained physical symptoms. If you are experiencing a myriad of fear and anxiety symptoms on a regular basis, Good Therapy explained on its website how working with a therapist can help you get your life back.

“Therapy can help people manage fear by helping them understand the reasons for fear, put it in perspective, and set realistic expectations for the future,” noted God Therapy.

‘Therapeutic strategies, such as exposure therapy, can often lead to a reduction in fear and can also have the effect of empowering the person in treatment.

Those who are often afraid may find that therapy can help transform any maladaptive behavior into positive thoughts and actions. In addition, a therapist may also be able to teach people affected by fear to recognize the triggers of fear, as well as the skills necessary for effective fear management.

Although fear can be debilitating to live with, you can overcome it with help and support. Remember, you are not alone. Everyone is scared at one point or another, and there is no shame in asking for help.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.