How to Deal with the Many Discomforts Caused by Anxiety

Micah Abraham, BSc

Written by

Micah Abraham, BSc

Last updated October 10, 2020

How to Deal with the Many Discomforts Caused by Anxiety

Discomfort is a fairly broad term, but it's one of the main words that people use to describe what their anxiety symptoms are like. Anxiety discomfort is often difficult to explain. In some cases, the discomfort is more general, like a feeling that something is off. In other cases it's more specific, like back pain, neck pain, and so on.

In this article, we'll explore various types of discomfort and look at some of the links this discomfort has to anxiety.

Different Anxiety Disorders Create Different Discomfort

Despite falling under the header of "anxiety," each anxiety disorder is very different, and can create vastly different symptoms that may lead to different types of discomfort.

Consider the following:

  • Panic Disorder Panic disorder can lead to severe discomfort in the chest, especially chest pains. It may lead to feeling something is "off" in your head, along with countless physical sensations that range from rapid heartbeat to feeling like nerves are firing in random parts of your body.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) OCD often leads to a strong psychological discomfort, where the person ends up feeling as though they are on edge and uncomfortable if they are in certain situations.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) GAD can cause physical discomforts like back and neck pain, stomach discomfort, and possibly headaches. GAD can also create uncomfortable thoughts that may lead to some types of psychological discomfort.
  • Social Phobia Social phobia creates severe discomfort when in groups, and may lead to very similar symptoms as GAD or Panic Disorder when faced with social situations.

Describing discomfort can be very difficult, and occurs differently for each person. For some, it is pain, and the pain can be dull, sharp, or barely there but irritating. For others, it's a weird sensation - like feeling as though your leg needs to move or that your fingers are tingling. For others it's psychological, and the discomfort comes from the vague feeling like something is wrong.

Recognizing Your Anxiety Discomforts and Addressing Them Directly

The most important thing to do with the various discomforts that anxiety may bring your way is to identity them and learn to accept them. If you allow the uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety to upset you, they will become worse. Then you will have two problems: the original symptom that is causing the discomfort and the fear that you have of the of the symptom.

Take the time to make a list of the discomforts you have so that you can learn to recognize and accept them when they appear.

But once again, the best thing you can do for yourself, is to address the underlying problem of anxiety that is causing your discomforts. Meditate. Do a mindfulness training. Or go into therapy.

Questions? Comments?

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Where can I go to learn more about Jacobson’s relaxation technique and other similar methods?

– Anonymous patient


You can ask your doctor for a referral to a psychologist or other mental health professional who uses relaxation techniques to help patients. Not all psychologists or other mental health professionals are knowledgeable about these techniques, though. Therapists often add their own “twist” to the technqiues. Training varies by the type of technique that they use. Some people also buy CDs and DVDs on progressive muscle relaxation and allow the audio to guide them through the process.

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