top of page
  • Writer's pictureHeather Keenan, LCSW

How To Know If I’m Having an Anxiety Attack

Most people have experienced anxiety at some point in their life. However, the level of anxiety can vary from person to person. Sometimes we can feel anxious about upcoming challenges and events such as going on a date or planning for a big move. For other people, anxiety can be an overwhelming feeling for the majority of their day.

Although many people use the two words interchangeably, knowing the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack is important for knowing how to manage the symptoms. While panic attacks are often sudden and intense, anxiety attacks are gradual and tend to build over time. Below are common symptoms of an anxiety attack to give you a better awareness of when you may be experiencing one.

Difficulty Concentrating

Have you ever tried to complete a task but instead find yourself getting distracted or not being able to focus on the task at hand? Maybe you find yourself having to read a single page over and over again in your new book because you can’t remember what you had just read. Whether it’s at work, with the kids, or at school, difficulty concentrating can pose a challenge on most of our day-to-day experiences.


Anxiety attacks can also manifest as irritability. We can feel short-tempered and easily annoyed at things that we wouldn’t have thought twice about before. This can also be described as having a constant pit in your stomach and possibly feeling “on edge” in social settings.


Restlessness is a common symptom of an anxiety attack. This can feel like a constant need to be doing something. We have a difficult time sitting still because our mind is too preoccupied with what needs to be done. Feeling restless can take a toll on not only our mental mind but also our physical body. When we are constantly “on the go”, we are unable to take the time to relax and rest our minds and body.

Disturbed Sleep

Similar to the prior symptom of feeling restless, disturbed or interrupted sleep can also be experienced. This is often a result of our endless stream of thoughts flowing through our minds and difficulty calming or controlling them. For extreme cases, this can eventually turn into insomnia.


Our bodies living in a constant state of anxiety and worry can be draining, exhausting, and even depressing. Fatigue is a word used for lack of energy or tiredness. When we find ourselves in a state of fatigue, we feel we are never rested no matter how many hours of sleep we get.

You Don’t Have To Go Through This Alone

While panic attacks may come on suddenly, anxiety attacks usually build gradually due to prolonged feelings of anxiety and not dealing with it properly or effectively. Whether it’s developing a self-care routine or various mindfulness skills, there are ways to prevent an anxiety attack from occurring.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you don’t have to manage them alone! Reach out today at 954.391.5305 to schedule your complimentary consultation. For more information about my approach, read my bio.


How Can We help?
Recent Posts
bottom of page