Head | Psychiatry | Nervousness (Symptom)


A psychological state of mind, nervousness is characterized by a feeling of restlessness, apprehension and worry. Contrary to fear, in such a situation, there is no form of external threat present. Nervousness does not always have a negative effect on a person. At times, it helps in completing a task much more efficiently. However, excessive nervousness is harmful and may cause physical, emotional, psychological as well as cognitive impairment in a person.


There are a number of factors that lead to nervousness.

Nervousness can be caused by: withdrawal from alcohol or drugs excessive use of caffeine and other stimulants, hormonal disorders psychiatric conditions, like anxiety disorder, panic attack & manic episodes, side effects of certain medicines, concerns about a relationship, job pressure, parenting issue medical conditions, like seizures, strokes, thyroid or hormone imbalances, insecurity

Symptoms of nervousness include: confusion, dizziness or light-headedness, dry mouth, extremely, fast heartbeat, fatigue, fear of losing control, feeling of apprehension, foreboding or dread, gastrointestinal problems, insomnia, irritation, feeling unreal or disconnected with the world, insecurity, inability to perform daily tasks, lack of concentration, muscle aches, nausea or abdominal pain, palpitations, pounding heart, chest pain, sensation of choking, shortness of breath, stress/ tension, sweaty hands, trembling, upset stomach.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis of Nervousness includes several tests as: physical examination for possible causes of physical illness that may cause nervousness or present as nervousness, mental state examination - including appearance, behaviour, rate and continuity of speech, mood, affect, thought content, evidence of any hallucinations or abnormal beliefs, orientation to time, place and person, attention and concentration, short-term memory, insight and judgement. It may also include blood tests, thyroid function test to rule out hyperthyroidism, urine tests- 24 hr urinary catecholamines to rule out phaeochromocytoma, drug screen if indicated to rule out drugs of abuse as cause of anxiety, 24hr hour holter monitor - to rule out paroxysmal cardiac arrhythmia that may be confused with nervousness due to palpitations and EEG - performed if nervousness is intermittent to rule out epilepsy. ...