Although symptoms of anxiety are different for everyone, it’s fairly common for sufferers of anxiety to be affected by fatigue. This being said, there are plenty of other reasons and conditions that affect our sleep levels, so if you’re concerned about this, please contact your GP.
Why Does Anxiety Cause Fatigue?
Anxiety can cause fatigue due to the high levels of adrenaline and cortisol that are released by the amygdala when a threat is perceived. Design to help us fight or run away from the threat, these chemical boosts are only supposed to be sustained for short periods of time every once in a while.
If we’re suffering with anxiety and our brain is perceiving threats all around us, even if rationally, we know that they’re not actual threats, our neurochemical levels are out of balance. Think about it like our regular stress chemical and hormone levels are a walk, and when fight or flight is active, we’re at a sprint. Our brain and our body can’t maintain that pace for long periods of time, it’s the same for our adrenaline and cortisol levels.
As a result, our body’s energy levels drop and we feel massively tired. What we’ve essentially done is exhausted our brain because it’s been on high alert for so long and it needs to rest.
How Can I Stop This Symptom?
The simple way to stop fatigue is to rest. Whether that’s integrating naps into your daily life or making time for low stress activities such as meditation, yoga or reading.
As with many symptoms of anxiety, it helps to focus on something else completely, so the brain doesn’t begin to ruminate and symptoms don’t develop as a consequence.However, treating the symptoms does not help to prevent them occurring. The only way to do this is to find a way to manage your anxiety. The symptoms should lessen as a consequence of this.
There are several options available including CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), mindfulness, medication and group therapy. If you’re unsure, please contact your GP for more information.