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Anxious conditions exist on a continuum ranging from the experience of constant low-level worry or agitation, to discreet and debilitating panic attacks. Fears, phobias, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and unwanted automatic reactions also fall within the category of anxiety disorders when they occur in the absence of a realistic threat.
Anxious conditions are thus disparate and broad, and are not easy to describe with a single list of markers. That said, the following list includes symptoms that are commonly cited:
- trouble breathing
- chest pain
- muscle weakness
- stomach upset
- thoughts of "going crazy"
- fears of having a "heart attack" (without a medical basis)
- trouble sleeping
- ruminations or preoccupying thoughts
- difficulty concentrating
- the engagement of avoidance behaviors
- the engagement of repetitive behaviors
Individuals suffering with anxiety or panic generally are plagued by only a few of these markers (not all of them), depending on the anxious condition. People with undiagnosed anxiety disorders can sometimes be known to "self-medicate" with calming substances, such as alcohol, marijuana, or other sedatives.