3 Medical Conditions That Can Mimic Anxiety Symptoms

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3 Medical Conditions That Can Mimic Anxiety Symptoms

3 Medical Conditions That Can Mimic Anxiety Symptoms

anxiety sign Countless people in Melville and the greater New York metropolitan area struggle with anxiety symptoms on a daily basis. Tension, irritability, stomach problems, racing heartbeat, feeling faint, and constant worrying and stress are just a partial listing of the signs and symptoms typical in anxiety disorders. Anxiety symptoms are associated with a cluster of clinical disorders which, although interrelated, are distinct from one another; some of these include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobic disorders, and social anxiety disorder. Although the typical physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety are nearly always psychiatric— that is, caused by a complex interplay of neurological, neurochemical, and psychosocial factors— there are actually several other medical conditions whose effects can be easily mistaken for anxiety disorders. For this reason, it is important that psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and other professionals consider these possible differential diagnoses when treating Melville patients who have anxiety symptoms. Three disorders that can mimic anxiety include Somatic Symptom Disorders, atrial tachycardia, and hyperthyroidism.

#1: Somatic Symptom Disorders

Physical or “somatic” anxiety symptoms are incredibly common in Melville patients who have anxiety disorders. People with anxiety often experience faintness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, gastrointestinal discomfort, and other physiological symptoms in associating with feelings of worry, fearfulness, and psychological stress. Somatic symptom disorders are another class of psychiatric conditions that, while distinct from anxiety disorders, can present with similar symptoms. There are several related conditions in this category. Although their cause isn’t entirely clear, they may be caused partly by abnormally heightened awareness of body sensations, which can increase autonomic arousal and lead to what appear to be anxiety symptoms, as well as increased muscle tension leading to headaches and other muscle pain.

#2: Atrial Tachycardia

Tachycardia, or increased heart rate, is among the most common anxiety symptoms that people in Melville experience as a result of anxiety disorders. Although atrial tachycardia often occurs in people with congenital heart problems or lung disease, it can also occur in people whose hearts are structurally normal. Atrial tachycardia is associated with a rapid pulse rate, which is often regular rather than irregular. It often occurs episodically, and may speed up gradually after its onset. The increased heart rate leads to shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, chest discomfort, and other problems that often occur as anxiety symptoms. Atrial tachycardia is often a sign of another underlying illness, such as a heart, lung, or metabolic problem.

#3: Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid glands, part of the body’s endocrine system, secrete excess thyroid hormones. Although hyperthyroidism in Melville can often be asymptomatic, this condition can also mimic anxiety symptoms. Excess thyroid hormone can cause nervousness, irritability, hand tremors, anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia, sweating, and difficulty sleeping— common symptoms of anxiety. This occurs because the excess thyroid hormone overstimulates the metabolism and increases activity in the sympathetic nervous system— which is also a major factor in anxiety symptoms. One of the common forms of hyperthyroidism is a condition called Graves’ disease, a serious condition that can lead to goiter, as well as swelling in the eyes that often requires orbital decompression.     Although anxiety symptoms in Melville are most commonly caused by psychological anxiety disorders, there are also medical conditions that can cause similar problems. Because of this, Melville physicians always make sure to rule out possible organic medical causes of rapid heart rate, irritability, nervousness, and other symptoms when diagnosing and treating anxiety patients.

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