Mental health: Anxiety and panic can both result in numbness and tingling. When a person feels anxious about their health, these symptoms may worsen their anxiety. When a psychological issue underlies physical problems, doctors call the symptoms psychogenic. Usually, psychogenic numbness is not dangerous and typically gets better with anxiety treatment. People with anxiety disorders experience physical symptoms as well as emotional and psychological ones. Numbness and tingling are among the most common complaints. While people who experience this type of numbness usually notice it in the hands or feet, it can occur anywhere in the body.
Common causes of numbness other than anxiety include:
- Sitting or standing in the same position for a long period of time
- Insect bites
- Low levels of vitamin B-12, potassium, calcium, or sodium
- Medication side effects
- Alcohol use
This common anxiety symptom can occur anywhere on or in the body and can affect all parts of the body or a part of a part. For instance, the entire tongue can feel numb or just part of the tongue, like the tip. Or, both lips can be affected or just part of a lip, and so on. This numb and tingling sensation can occur occasionally, frequently, or persistently and day after day. This sensation can precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety symptoms or occur by itself. It can also precede, accompany, or follow an episode of nervousness, anxiety, fear, and stress, or occur “out of the blue” and for no apparent reason.
Why do anxiety cause numbness and tingling symptoms?
Anxious behavior activates the stress response, otherwise known as the fight or flight response. The stress response prepares the body for immediate emergency action by causing many body-wide changes. When the body is chronically stressed, such as by overly anxious behavior, it can remain in a state of semi-stress response readiness, which we call stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are powerful stimulants.
A numb and tingling sensation can range in intensity from slight to moderate, to severe and can come in waves where it seems strong one moment and eases or subsides the next.
(Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Please consult a doctor before starting any regime or medical advice.)
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