Can Anxiety Cause Extreme Fatigue?

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Anxiety can be a crippling condition. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 6.8 million adults are affected by anxiety. Of those affected, twice as many are female. People with anxiety suffer from panic and worry often related to high-stress situations. It can affect every aspect of your life and when left untreated, it can lead to extreme fatigue and other debilitating symptoms.

Causes of Anxiety

Anxiety can be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain, genetics or life experiences. It can also be caused by a combination of all of these.

Anxiety Symptoms

Symptoms of anxiety include fatigue, restlessness, irritability, disturbed sleep, difficulty concentrating, and muscle tension. Doctors will typically look for signs of excessive anxiety and worry occurring most days for at least six months.

Reasons for Fatigue

Fatigue happens as a result of increased production of stress hormones. People suffering from anxiety experience panic and increased stress which diminish energy levels and cause fatigue. This is considered a psychological cause of fatigue.

Other Causes of Fatigue

There are two other causes for fatigue: lifestyle and medical. Lifestyle causes include being overworked and nutritional factors. Medical causes include some medications, illness and disease. Diseases including thyroid and heart disease can also cause fatigue.

Treatment

Anxiety can be successfully treated with medication and psychotherapy. Medicines such as benzodiazepines can be prescribed short term to get anxiety under control. These are only used short term due to their addictive nature. In the long term, it's important to combine psychotherapy and antidepressants for continued treatment.

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