What causes anxiety twitching?
The cause of anxiety twitching is not known. However, it seems that there are several factors which may contribute to the problem:
1) Stress or other mental stressors such as worry, fear, anger and so on.
These affect the nervous system and cause muscle spasms. They may be caused by physical pain or emotional distress (e.g., grief).
2) Physical problems such as a broken bone, injury, infection or even psychological trauma.
These may lead to muscle spasms.
3) Other medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
These may also cause muscle spasms.
How do I treat my anxiety twitching?
There are various ways to treat your anxiety twitching. You can try one of them:
a) Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, tai chi or guided imagery. Meditation is particularly effective because it helps you relax and focus on something else. Yoga and tai chi have been used for centuries for the same purpose. There are many different types of these exercises but they all involve some form of breathing technique.
b) Get involved in a project or hobby that you find interesting and challenging. This will allow you to focus your mind on other thoughts and feelings.
c) Use cognitive therapy to change the way you think and behave. The idea is to change your negative thoughts about yourself, others and the world into positive thoughts. For example, if you have a fear of flying you may think “this plane is going to crash” or “I am going to die”. However, you can change your thoughts to “this plane is safe” and “I am not going to die”. You need to think these new thoughts repeatedly until they become a habit and your old thoughts (which cause anxiety) are driven out.
d) If twitching is severe or persistent you may require medical treatment with muscle relaxants, antidepressants or beta blockers.
What is a good twitching treatment?
There are various twitching treatments:
a) Massage the cramped muscle for about 5 to 10 minutes until it softens. You can do this yourself or ask a partner or spouse to do it for you.
b) Use heat to relax the muscle spasms. For example, you can use a hot water bottle or moist heat packs on the affected area. Alternatively, you can take a hot shower or bath.
c) Take medical treatment for any underlying cause of the muscle spasms. For example, if you have a fever you need to take medication to bring it down. You may also be given pain medication to help with the muscle spasms themselves.
d) Muscle relaxants can help to ease muscle spasms and twitching.
e) Antidepressants can help to ease anxiety and can help to reduce twitching.
f) Beta blockers can help to ease muscle spasms.
What is the outlook for anxiety twitching?
The outlook is usually good. Most people see an improvement in twitching within a week. The twitching rarely persists for more than a year. If twitching persists for longer than this you should see your doctor again as you may have an underlying medical condition.
Sources & references used in this article:
The treatment of hysterical spasm and agoraphobia by behaviour therapy by UF Clark – Behaviour research and therapy, 1963 – Elsevier
Hemifacial spasm and involuntary facial movements by NC Tan, LL Chan, EK Tan – Qjm, 2002 – academic.oup.com
Hemifacial spasm: clinical findings and treatment by A Wang, J Jankovic – … Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, 1998 – Wiley Online Library
Alterations in colonic function in man under stress: III. Experimental production of sigmoid spasm in patients with spastic constipation by TP Almy, LE Hinkle Jr, B Berle, F Kern Jr – Gastroenterology, 1949 – Elsevier
Stress-related, posttraumatic chronic pain syndrome: Behavioral treatment approach by M Muse – Pain, 1986 – Elsevier