Here’s how to recognize anxiety

I would argue that many of us believe we’re able to identify someone who struggles with anxiety based on the symptoms they may be demonstrating. Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety that are easily recognizable include worrying, self-doubt, insecurity, and panic attacks.

What many of us are unaware of, though, are the more subtle symptoms of anxiety. As someone who has Generalized Anxiety Disorder, spotting the less common anxious behaviours isn’t difficult because I do many of these same things myself. For someone who isn’t overly familiar with anxiety and what it consists of, though, these symptoms can be easily overlooked.

Here are some examples of the more subdued characteristics of anxiety, according to

  • Excessive worrying (to the point it interferes with the person’s daily life)
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irrational fears
  • Stiff and tense muscles
  • Chronic indigestion
  • Flashbacks
  • Perfectionist tendencies
  • Compulsive behaviour

Some other examples of underlying anxiety symptoms that I personally experience include:

  • Nail-biting/picking
  • Irritability
  • Changes in mood
  • Fidgeting
  • Teeth grinding

Anxiety is unique in the sense that it’s rather subjective, in my own opinion. From my own observations, it seems as though anxiety affects those who suffer from it differently, its symptoms varying depending on each person. For example, I have a tendency to pick at my nails whenever I’m feeling anxious. For someone else, irrationality may be their go-to when it comes to dealing with anxiety.

I wanted to write a post about recognizing the less common signs of anxiety in hopes of providing some clarification about this form of mental illness. Anxiety affects so many of us, and if we’re able to identify some of these more subtle symptoms amongst those who experience anxiety, perhaps we can provide assistance and support when it is needed most.

Anxiety sucks, but it isn’t something we have to deal with in isolation. Reach out to a friend or a loved one if you’re struggling, and keep in mind that anxiety isn’t something that defines who we are.

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