Anxiety can have many possible effects on the sufferer, many of which are fairly obvious short-term ones such as your heart beating faster and having problems concentrating. However, prolonged periods of anxiety can also lead to some long-term effects on the body such as an increased chance of a stroke or heart attack. As such, it is always important to seek medical assistance as appropriate.
Some short term effects can be:
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Dry Mouth
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid Breathing
- Inability to concentrate
- Muscle Aches
- Muscle Tension
- Shortness of breath
- Trembling and Twitching
Longer-term effects can be:
- Increased risk of stroke: Constant release of "flight or fight hormones" increases risks to the heart. Research indicates that middle-aged men with symptoms of psychological distress are more than 3 times as likely to have a fatal stroke.
- Early memory decline: Anxiety can cause long-term damage to hippocampus cells, which effect memory and learning. As a result, anxiety can lead to early memory decline, especially in elderly patients suffering from anxiety and/or depression.
- Insomnia: Insomnia and anxiety frequently go hand in hand with each other. Anxiety can cause insomnia, just as insomnia can lead to anxiety. Insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of anxiety.
- Detrimental impact of emotional distraction Anxiety can cause a lack of concentration, can lead to low performance at school or work as well as an inability to maintain relationships with their family and friends.