You feel as though a part of your skin or body feels numb to the touch or tingles. It can also feel like it has been frozen with anesthesia. This numb patch may be small or encompass many parts of the body, such as an arm, hand, finger, face, mouth, lips, tongue, leg, foot, or toe, or all of them. The affected area s can remain constant, or they may change and randomly appear anywhere and anytime.
Repeated visual inspections show no skin abnormalities. Apprehensive behavior activates the stress responseotherwise known as the fight or flight response. Furthermore, since stress responses stress the body. Overly apprehensive behavior can chronically stress the body which we call stress-response hyperstimulation.
For more detailed information, visit our stress response and hyperstimulation articles. Many people experience numbness and tingling when they are anxious, having a panic attack, or chronically stressed.
It is a common symptom and nothing to worry about. Medical Advisory. When this numbness tingling symptom is caused by apprehensive behavior and the accompanying stress response changes, calming yourself down will bring an end to the stress response and its changes.
As your body recovers from the active stress response, this numb and tingly feeling will subside and you should return to your normal self. Keep in mind that it can take up to 20 minutes or more for the body to recover from a major stress response.
When this numbness tingling symptom is caused by chronic stress hyperstimulationit can take a lot longer for the body to recover and to the point where this symptom is subsides.
Nevertheless, when hyperstimulation has been eliminated and the body has fully recovered, this numbness tingling symptom will completely disappear. You can speed up the recovery process by reducing your stress, practicing relaxed breathing, increasing your rest and relaxation, and not worrying about this feeling.
Sure, the numbness tingling anxiety symptom can be unsettling and even bothersome. But again, when your body has recovered from the stress response or chronic stress, this symptom will cease. For a more in-depth explanation, see our tingling, tingly, pins and needles anxiety symptom. The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to address anxiety disorder and its many symptoms.
Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - the underlying factors that motivate apprehensive behavior - a struggle with anxiety disorder can return again and again. Identifying and successfully addressing anxiety's underlying factors is the best way to overcome problematic anxiety.
Harvard Health Publishing.Anxiety can cause hundreds of different physical responses, and unfortunately many of these responses can increase anxiety.
One such response is numbness. Numbness is a broad term that means a "lack of feeling. Numbness is an unusual sensation. For some, it's literally the lack of feeling - no amount of touching that area of the body produces any sensations. For others, it's more of a tingling, where the person can feel something there in that area of the body but it doesn't feel like something normally does to the touch. Talking to a doctor is also useful, especially if the numbness is ongoing.
Numbness may occur anywhere in the body. But it's most common at the extremities. Most numbness complaints with anxiety are related to the:. There are reports of numbness in other areas of the body as well, although numbness rarely occurs on the stomach. Remember, for some people it can be a complete numbness. For others, it may be that tingling feeling that some people get when their extremities "fall asleep.
There are two potential causes of this type of numbness. The first is simply over-activation of the body.
Anxiety Can Make You Feel Numb
When you're having an anxiety attack, blood flows to the areas that "would" need it most if you were encountering a dangerous situation, like your heart and muscles. This is what's known as the "fight or flight" system. In order to cover the amount of blood necessary for the fight or flight system, it has to be taken away from areas believed to be less important. That can cause those areas to feel numb. Hyperventilation is also common in those with anxiety disorders, especially panic disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.
It occurs because anxiety changes breathing habits - not only during an anxiety attack, but also just in everyday life - and those changes involve:. Hyperventilation also makes it feel as though you cannot get a full breath so that you try to breath harder.
Unfortunately this makes hyperventilation worse, because hyperventilation is the act of having too much oxygen and too little carbon dioxide. Your body needs carbon dioxide to function, so when you hyperventilate your body ends up working less efficiently. It constricts blood vessels, preventing blood flow to various areas of your body, ultimately leading to numbness. Often this is accompanied by other symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat and lightheadedness, and may trigger or be the result of an anxiety attack.
Another problem is that those with anxiety tend to become "hypersensitive" to the way their body feels, and interpret those feelings as pain. It's not uncommon for the leg, arms, fingers, and feet to fall asleep naturally for a variety of reasons, such as simply sitting on them wrong. But those with anxiety have a tendency to misinterpret these normal sensations as though they're something wrong, often triggering their own anxiety.
Anxiety has also been linked to the development of depression, along with several related symptoms. One such symptom is emotional numbness. It occurs when it feels as though all emotion is stripped out of the world - as though the person can't experience positive feelings.
It's not clear what causes emotional numbness biologically, but it is likely an automatic response to extreme stress. Anxiety can be incredibly draining and cause a great deal of stress on the mind and body.When someone says they're feeling numb, it can be related to a variety of health conditions affecting the body, or a result of psychological issues affecting the mind. Interestingly, in both cases, numbness may be caused by anxiety. Anxiety-related numbness is actually fairly common both physically and psychologically and is often made worse by the anxiety that many experience as a result of that numbness.
Anxiety is an extremely powerful condition - more powerful than most people realize. Even low levels of anxiety are constantly affecting the mind and the body in a variety of complex ways that medical science is gradually learning more and more about. Both types of numbness can be incredibly troubling, and in some cases terrifying. Yet often these sensations are caused by anxiety and can therefore be managed. Physical numbness occurs when a certain part of your body has reduced physical sensations.
In some cases, it may have no feeling at all. Physical numbness is most common in your fingers and toes, but it can occur nearly anywhere on your body including your:.
That part of your body may experience no feeling at all, or it may feel as though it has gotten very weak. Physical anxiety-related numbness may occur for several reasons.
Anxiety and Numbness - A Typical Reaction
The most likely reason has to do with blood flow. When you're feeling anxious, your body goes into "fight or flight" mode: your body heats up, and blood rushes to the areas of your body that it feels are most needed to fight or run away. This is linked to a constriction of the blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to certain body parts which may cause you to lose feeling in those areas. Another potential cause, however, is hyperventilation.
Anxiety often leads to hyperventilation, and when you're not breathing correctly, that hyperventilation can lead to feelings of numbness or tingling - especially in the extremities and face. It's the cause of a host of potential anxiety symptoms, including numbness, and unfortunately far too many people overlook the significant role that hyperventilation plays in maintaining their anxiety symptoms.
Becoming physically numb can be incredibly frightening, but becoming emotionally numb can also be very distressing. It's a common experience amongst those with depression, but it occurs also in those with bouts of severe stress, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. For example a common symptom of depression that also occurs in those with anxiety is known as anhedonia. They may not necessarily be sad, but they are numb to good feelings.
Other examples of emotional numbness may include indifference, lack of empathy, trouble getting excited, or no strong emotions at all. Experiencing too much stress can take a toll on your mental health in ways that are hard for many to imagine. Often, those that experience anxiety attacks frequently, or profound stress for a long period of time, are left feeling very drained; and that feeling of being drained can resemble emotional numbness at times.
Also, it should be mentioned that numbness in general can increase anxiety, because often the reaction that you have to your numbness is fear that the numbness is something much more serious.
This is especially true of those that suffer from anxiety attacks, where some anxiety triggers numbness which triggers more anxiety. Often, this cycle ends up causing a panic attack, which can be very distressing in and of itself. Numbness is, in some ways, a "symptom of a symptom. However, there are several strategies that you can draw on in order to cope with these experiences:.
These are some of the steps that can be taken if you want to manage your anxiety and reduce your numbness. Numbness comes in many forms. But no matter which form it comes in, it is very often a distressing experience. It is difficult to address or change numbness directly.
But you can address the anxiety that causes numbness using therapy, medications speak to your doctor or psychiatristself-help resources, and other strategies that will help you get relief.Numbness and tingling are very common physical symptoms of anxiety. For about a year of my life I suffered with constant numbness and tingling. A couple of times I even felt it in my stomach.
The numbness and tingling could strike at any time, but I most often experienced them after I woke up, after a period of prolonged anxiety, and after panic attacks. These symptoms went on so long it became unbearable. I went to my doctor a couple of times and she said it was anxiety. Google told me that my numbness and tingling could be caused by an almost endless list of horrible neurological diseases.
In the end, the only thing that helped me was to learn more about the numbness and tingling and their connections to my anxiety. You breathe in deep, full breaths and your lungs take the oxygen you need and release it into your blood. You have this process going on all the time: taking oxygen in, letting carbon dioxide out.
And with normal breathing the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide happens at just the right rate. Anxiety makes you take faster, shorter breaths, which makes it much harder for your lungs to make the exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide. Anxious breathing generally makes you breathe out more than you breathe in, which means you get rid of too much carbon dioxide.
Your carbon dioxide levels fall and your oxygen levels rise. When your oxygen levels get high enough it raises the alkalinity in your blood, making the blood vessels around your body narrow.
The second way that anxiety can cause numbness and tingling is all to do with the fight or flight response. Your breathing will quicken, your heart will race, your blood will rush to your large muscles, and your senses will all heighten.
So your fight or flight response misfires. That means places like your thighs, chest, and shoulders to help you fight or run, and also to your head to help you think your way to safety. When the blood leaves these areas they go numb and may also tingle, since they no longer have blood or oxygen in them.Anxiety may occur inside of your mind, but it often leads to a host of reactions that can cause anxiety to affect your face in a variety of ways.
Facial symptoms aren't common with anxiety, but there are many issues that can affect the way the face feels and looks. But before you worry about others judging you, most people cannot recognize anxiety when they see it.
Often the symptoms are either invisible or too subtle to be seen by even the most trained eyes. In a general sense, it is possible that someone can tell when you're suffering from fear. A lack of responsiveness might give it away, for example. That latter point is especially important. People are often overly concerned about someone else being able to tell that they have anxiety.
But in moments of extreme anxiety, trying to hide it all inside of your head may actually increase the severity of your anxiety symptoms. It's better to not concern yourself with what others think and do what you need to in order to calm your anxiety. A tingling, number, or burning face is symptom of anxiety that can cause a great deal of fear. That's because facial tingling is often linked to a disease that scares many people with anxiety: multiple sclerosis. MS can cause face tingling, which is why so many people that have a tingling face often experience severe anxiety as a result.
But MS is very rare, and anxiety - especially panic attacks - can cause a tingling face due to a variety of factors, including hyperventilation. The only way to tell the difference is to speak to a doctor, but rest assured that while a tingling face is an unusual anxiety symptom, it's not a rare one.
Anxiety can also cause your face to reddened. This is caused by dilation of the capillaries in the face. A redder face is a visible symptom of anxiety, but not one generally associated with anxiety. During anxiety attacks, the body activates the fight or flight system - a system designed to help you react quickly to fear. One of the mechanisms that is activated is the pupils, which dilate so that your eyes can get more light and respond more quickly.
Unfortunately, since you're neither running away nor fighting, that pupil dilation serves very little purpose, and in some cases can cause eye pain or sensitivity to light. Anxiety can affect the lips as well, though these are generally not visible symptoms and rarely cause much distress even in those that have anxiety. Anxiety can cause you to bite your lip, which may lead to bleeding. Furthermore, anxiety may also dry out the lips because of the breathing that may happen when you're anxious.
Anxiety can affect the face in a variety of different ways. There is no specific strategy for overcoming face symptoms altogether. Slowing your breathing may help with facial tingling, and walking around can improve blood flow to reduce flushing, but overall each facial symptom is simply the result of your anxious state.
The most important thing to remember is not to worry about your facial symptoms with regard to those around you. Remember, the more you try to hide your anxiety and the more ashamed you are of it, the more anxiety you're going to experience.Posted 6 years ago39 users are following.
Was just wondering if any1 else has experienced numbness with the anxiety? The left side of my cheek and mouth have just started going numb every so often, also I get a blotchy rash along my cheeks. Anyone else experienced this? Posted 6 years ago. Posted 3 years ago. Good day Zena I have been having such symptoms and came across your comment which helped me. How's your anxiety now? Yes, this is very common with anxiety. They feel numb and tingly, like pins and needles.
Posted 5 years ago. There are many symptoms of anxiety: I have experienced: Blotchy patches on chest, tingling and slight numbness in right cheek and around lips, cold, tingling sensation in the groin, pins and needles in legs and feet, itchiness on arms and legs, among other things All of this, together with menopause symptoms make for a lot of misery Good Luck!.
Hows your anxiety now? Iv had it for 2months now. Join this discussion or start a new one? We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters.
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