Hypervigilance – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Hypervigilance is a term used to describe the state of being constantly on high alert. If you are hypervigilant, you may be constantly scanning your environment for possible threats, even when there is no real danger present. This can be very taxing and lead to a number of negative consequences.

Hypervigilance can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and paranoia.

There are many different causes of hypervigilance including mental health conditions such as PTSD and anxiety disorders, medications and substance abuse, and trauma or violence.

ACoNs (Adult Children of Narcissists) are often hypervigilant because they were raised in an environment of ambient abuse. The gaslighting, abuse by proxy and constant manipulation had them walking on eggshells, constantly on the alert for danger.


The physical symptoms of hypervigilance can include an increased heart rate, sweating, and feeling lightheaded or dizzy.

Behavioural symptoms can include constantly checking your surroundings, being easily startled, and having a hard time relaxing.

Emotional symptoms can include feeling anxious or on edge all the time, feeling overwhelmed, and experiencing panic attacks.

Mental symptoms can include difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and paranoia.

Causes of Hypervigilance

There are many different causes of hypervigilance. It can be caused by different mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It can also be a side effect of certain medications or substance abuse. Hypervigilance may also develop in people who have experienced a lot of trauma or violence in their lives.

If you are experiencing hypervigilance, there are a number of treatment options available. Treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause of your hypervigilance. If it is caused by a mental health condition, then treatment may include medication and/or therapy. If, on the other hand, it is a side effect of medication or substance abuse, then treatment will involve stopping the medication or substance and dealing with any withdrawal symptoms. And finally, if it is due to trauma or violence, then treatment may involve counselling or therapy.

Hypervigilance can be detrimental to your health and well-being. It can lead to anxiety, panic attacks, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and paranoia. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek help. There are many treatment options available, so there is sure to be one that will suit you. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

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