Anxiety can cause symptoms that affect your mind as well as your body, including feeling as though you have a proverbial “frog in your throat.”

Frog on a leaf, symbolic of anxiety symptom of lump in the throatShare on Pinterest
Linda D Lester/500px/Getty Images

You might be familiar with some physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a rapid heart rate or sweating. But the physical symptoms of anxiety go beyond those.

You might feel as though you have a lump, soreness, trouble swallowing, or tightness in your throat.

Managing your anxiety and learning ways to de-escalate stress when your anxiety is particularly intense can help wade through its symptoms.

Anxiety can manifest in your body in many ways.

The connection with the throat may relate to stress. The National Institute of Mental Health explains that stress can trigger anxiety or potentially contribute to the causes of generalized anxiety disorder.

Anxiety can then trigger additional stress, which creates a cycle of anxiety and stress.

Stress causes the body to release cortisol, often known as the stress hormone. Your body has several cortisol receptors attached to different organs, including the respiratory and musculoskeletal systems.

When your body releases too much cortisol, it can cause you to react by increasing:

These reactions can then cause you to feel as if something is stuck in your throat. This feeling is known medically as globus sensation.

Globus sensation translates to “throat fullness” or “lump in the throat” sensation. Diagnosis requires a doctor to rule out other potential causes.

You may see globus sensation on screening questionnaires provided by psychologists or other doctors.

Several conditions can cause globus sensation, including anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety can spur globus sensation, or globus sensation’s occurrence can cause situational anxiety or depression.

Globus sensation can go away either on its own or with some treatment.

No formal treatment for globus sensation exists yet, which means how a doctor treats you may vary based on the underlying cause.

If you find you often experience the phenomenon, you may consider taking steps to curb the sensation:

Eating or drinking

Feeling like you have a lump in your throat typically doesn’t stop you from eating and drinking. Some evidence even suggests that eating and drinking may help improve the symptoms.


In some cases, you may find that understanding the condition can help improve the sensation of a lump in your throat. Recognizing that the lump in the throat won’t hurt you may help you calm down more quickly, which could help improve the symptom.


Antidepressants may be an effective treatment for globus sensation. Evidence suggests that amitriptyline may be effective in lessening the sensation. If you’re interested in this medication, you can talk with a doctor. However, clinicians might first prefer trying other therapies.

Behavioral modifications or therapies

You may find behavioral modifications or therapies help with globus sensation. Some techniques can include:

Treating your underlying anxiety

Treating your underlying anxiousness or anxiety disorder may help you clear the lump in your throat. Treating anxiety may involve a combination of lifestyle modifications and formal medical treatment.

Anxiety treatments may include a combination of:

Anxiety can cause mental, emotional, and physical symptoms. During periods of high stress or anxiety, you may experience the sensation in your throat of something being stuck there, known as globus sensation.

Often, treating your anxiety can help you to manage the feeling in your throat. Some potential treatments you may be interested in looking into more include:

  • medications
  • therapies
  • stress management
  • joining a support group

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America offers this free tool to search for local support groups.