What are the symptoms of anxiety and what can cause anxiety?


Anxiety is more than feeling nervous before a specific event like giving an important presentation. Usually, the nervous feelings are short-lived and go away once the stressful event has ended. When the anxiety does not go away and is long term, it starts to affect your daily activities. Everyone is different. Anxiety has a combination of emotional and physical symptoms, but this list highlights some of the most common symptoms of anxiety.


Anxiety symptoms

Anxiety: emotional symptoms

  • Worrying
  • Nervous
  • Fearful
  • Unable to think clearly
  • Trouble focussing

Anxiety: physical symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Insomnia
  • Restless
  • Rapid breathing
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea


Causes of anxiety

Anxiety can be caused by a number of factors – there is usually a combination of things in a person’s life that can lead to anxiety.

Common causes of anxiety

  • Stressful time at work
  • Changing jobs
  • Relationship problems
  • Financial worries
  • Grieving the loss of a loved one
  • A major life event
  • Trauma
  • Abuse
  • Living with a chronic illness (e.g. diabetes)

Anxiety can develop when you have another mental health illness, for example, you may have depression and anxiety at the same time. A history of anxiety in your family may also contribute to it (but this doesn’t mean that you will develop anxiety). Alcohol and drug use can also trigger anxiety.

Anxiety is complex, and sometimes you won’t be able to identify the cause of your anxiety, but remember you can get help. Our professional counsellors can help you work through your anxiety. Call SuicideLine Victoria on 1300 651 251 or speak to another health professional including your GP.

If it is an emergency, dial 000.