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Long-Term Effects of Anxiety

a man sits on a couch and thinking hard about the long-term effects of anxiety

Anxiety is a common and natural reaction to stressful circumstances in daily life. When these circumstances pass, your feelings of anxiousness may subside. If so, they’re unlikely to have any significant, lingering effects on you. However, for many people, anxiety is not a short-term problem. Instead, it recurs frequently and becomes chronic. In this kind of situation, anxiety can potentially produce some serious long-term effects. If you’re experiencing such chronic effects, an anxiety treatment program can help you recover. Contact Evoke Waltham at 866.276.1920 to learn more about anxiety treatment programs and how one might benefit you.

Anxiety Basics

Anxiety occurs when you’re concerned about things in your near- or long-term future. You may have a clear picture of these things. However, they may also be more general than specific. There are both mental and physical aspects to anxiety. Not everyone experiences the same kinds of symptoms. However, specific issues are quite common. For example, if you’re feeling anxious, short-term mental impacts you may experience include:

  • Nervousness
  • Worry
  • Fear
  • A sense of dread or impending doom
  • Feeling as if time is slowing down or speeding up
  • A heightened sense of insecurity

Anxiety’s common, short-term physical effects include a sped-up heartbeat and breathing rate. They also include lightheadedness, headaches, sweating, and stomach distress. Anxiety is closely related to stress. However, the two are not the same. When you feel stressed, you’re reacting to specific situations outside yourself.

In contrast, when you feel anxiety, you’re reacting to something that may or may not exist or occur. This thing may be external to you. It may also be internal.

What Is Chronic Anxiety?

Most people are pretty capable of handling short-term feelings of anxiousness. When such feelings pass, they regain their general sense of well-being. But in today’s world, many people feel frequently or constantly anxious. A common term for this recurring or ongoing issue is chronic anxiety.

Chronic anxiety is different from feeling anxious about a specific event or situation. It’s a persistent fear, worry, and unease that doesn’t go away and can worsen over time. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reports that chronic anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults over 18.

Long-Term Effects of Anxiety

Some of the most critical possible effects of chronic anxiety are a group of mental health conditions called anxiety disorders. These illnesses get their name because they produce enough anxiety to make it hard for you to function in daily life. They include:

  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Various forms of specific or simple phobia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Agoraphobia

The circumstances that trigger the symptoms of anxiety vary from condition to condition. For example, if you have a social anxiety disorder, its symptoms relate to certain social situations. You experience persistent anxiety throughout a typical day if you have a generalized anxiety disorder. If you have panic disorder, you frequently experience unpredictable bouts of panic.

Other Serious Effects of Chronic Anxiety

In addition, the long-term effects of anxiety can include a range of other serious health concerns. These concerns include irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal ailments. They also include higher chances of developing heart disease. In addition, chronic anxiety can interfere with the normal function of your immune system. As a result, you may have an increased risk of developing certain kinds of immune disorders. Other issues associated with chronic anxiety include migraine headaches and memory problems.

Learn More About the Long-Term Effects of Anxiety at Evoke Waltham

Want more information on the possible impact of long-term anxiety? The mental health experts at Evoke Waltham are standing by. We can answer any question you may have about the effects of lingering anxiety. We can also help you determine if your anxiety may be interfering with your ability to function.

Evoke Waltham specializes in timely support for anxiety disorder recovery. We feature a full range of treatment options, including medication and therapy. To learn more about our caring, compassionate approach, call us today at 866.276.1920.