Physical Symptoms
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Bleeding Nose: An Unusual Anxiety Symptom

Faiq Shaikh, M.D.
Bleeding Nose: An Unusual Anxiety Symptom

While bloody noses are not frequently caused by anxiety, they can be. However, some types of bodily stress that lead to anxiety may be the actual root cause of your bloody nose. This article will discuss the anxiety-related changes in your body that can lead to a bloody nose, what you can do to prevent them, and how to decrease your anxiety overall.

Why Bloody Noses Occur (and How Anxiety Is Involved)

Nosebleeds are often a result of environmental stressors such as extreme temperatures (either hot or cold) and high altitudes, as well as physical trauma. The situations surrounding these environmental stressors (unfamiliar surroundings, being in a high place, violence, or an accident) are all situations that can easily trigger anxiety attacks. In these cases, the high blood pressure associated with anxiety attacks can make the nosebleed heavier, or cause it to last longer, for which reason it is then considered an anxiety-related nosebleed. 

When anxiety is involved with your nosebleed, the nasal membranes or inner walls of the nose will have been dried out, veins or capillaries in the nose will have been forcibly broken, or the inner lining (mucosa) of the nose will have been eroded by:

When the nasal membranes are dry or strained, high blood pressure increases the likelihood of a bloody nose. If you get anxious and your heart rate rises while you are experiencing any of these other pressures on your nose, you are more likely to get a nosebleed, and it will probably be worse than it would otherwise. It is, however, unlikely for anxiety to cause a nosebleed without any additional causes being at play.

What to Do About an Anxiety Nosebleed

To keep your nosebleed from getting worse, start by trying to relax yourself. Admittedly, this can be hard to do when you are bleeding (especially is you dislike the sight of blood). However, knowing a few things about nosebleeds may help to decrease your anxiety about it.

When you have a nosebleed, as is the case whenever your body is bleeding from a broken vein or capillary, your body immediately starts doing everything it can to fix it. This means sending white blood cells to the area to guard against infection and sending platelets to create a clot. This may take time, but your body will send more and more until it's done. When the platelets have clotted dry they create a scab, which guards the opening to your inner body.

In order to further relax yourself, here are a couple things you may want to try:

These are good ways to prevent anxiety-related nosebleeds when you are in situations where they are likely, but you may want to also take steps to strengthen your body and mind against anxiety no matter where you are, so that you can feel more confident about going to places where anxiety-related nosebleeds are more likely without worrying as much about getting them.

Practicing Anti-Anxiety and Avoiding Nosebleeds in Daily Life

When you're not on a mountaintop or trekking across a beach on a 90-degree day, you can be preparing to do these things more safely without the risk of anxiety nosebleeds by doing things like:

Don't let anxiety hold you back from having the experiences you want to have. You have the power to decrease the likelihood of anxiety nosebleeds by helping your body and mind get stronger and more capable of handling (and ultimately avoiding altogether) the physical and mental symptoms of anxiety.

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