Panic and anxiety are a part of life. However, chronic panic attacks and anxiety can cause a number of surprising side effects. We know that stress in general can cause health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. Panic attacks and chronic anxiety kick it up a notch.
Here are 5 surprising side effects from panic attacks and chronic anxiety.
1. Depression. Chronic anxiety wears on a person’s emotions. They feel out of control and downright exhausted. This can lead to depression. Couple that with the fear of having another panic attack and it’s easy to see why depression is a side effect. In fact, depression is a common symptom or side effect of many anxiety disorders. Anti-depressants can help. However, it’s often better to seek counseling to treat and cure the anxiety disorder.
2. Additional anxiety disorders. You’d think one anxiety disorder would be enough for anyone to deal with. However, many people who are struggling with one anxiety disorder often develop another.
For example, someone with Social Anxiety Disorder may develop agoraphobia – or the fear of leaving their home. People with a General Anxiety Disorder or GAD may develop a panic disorder if the GAD isn’t treated.
3. Phobias. It’s common for people to develop specific phobias as they relate do their fears and anxiety. Agoraphobia is a common phobia that develops for people who have Social Anxiety Disorder.
4. Reduced opportunities and limited lifestyle. As anxiety continues to build and panic attacks begin to occur, it’s not uncommon for people to begin limiting themselves. Anxiety around driving means they don’t go out anymore. Anxiety around performance may mean they skip going to work. Anxiety about relationships may mean they avoid friends and social outings. It’s a sad side effect but also a common one. As panic attacks and anxiety increase, quality of life tends to decrease.
5. Job loss. Chronic panic attacks and anxiety can cause someone to lose their job. When you’re depressed, anxious and tense at work and not interacting with your co-workers, it can affect your performance. It can certainly affect how others perceive you. Unfortunately, job loss can and does happen.
The good news is that while there are myriad side effects for anxiety and panic disorders, they are treatable. And often with proper therapy and lifestyle changes a person can live free from attacks.