Everyone, at some point in their lives, gets anxious. Whether it be: over a test, an important decision, or family issues, we’ve all struggled with anxiety at one point. However, some of us struggle more than others – anxiety disorder. It can be hard to tell apart from anxiety alone, but anxiety disorder has some infamous symptoms such as: constant worrying (for weeks and months on end), tapping your leg/fidgeting in general, and not being able to fall asleep right away. It comes with a sea of symptoms that people don’t know about, and can mistake for an overreaction or exaggeration.
1. Low Stress Tolerance
It may not be a case of being “overly-sensitive” or “needing to toughen up”, it may be anxiety disorder. Having anxiety makes you feel like the world is crashing down at the slightest inconvenience, so handling stress isn’t your strong suit.
2. Stomach Aches
Anxiety, being a mental issue, still has physical effects. It can cause random, frequent stomach aches. This is because anxiety triggers a fight or flight response that causes your stomach to stop digestion. It can also cause nausea and diarrhea.
This one is very broad and can be different for everybody. Some people feel like their memories don’t belong to them, or look around and feel detached from reality, like they’re not really there. Others say they feel like they’re emotionally/physically numb. All in all, it feels like you’ve lost some part of you.
Because of the constant worrying and overthinking, people with anxiety may experience “brain fog”. Everything gets mixed up and leads to confusion. When you think about everything all the time, it’s pretty easy to get disoriented.
5. Anxiety Attacks
An anxiety attack is an episode of sudden, intense fear and panic. It in itself has multiple symptoms and causes. You could be triggered by something specific or it could randomly happen at any time. Anxiety attacks can cause heart palpitations, lightheadedness, trouble breathing, hyperventilation, extreme crying, and trembling. If you experience an anxiety attack, try to focus on something to calm you down and don’t forget your breathing.
6. Muscle Pain
Another physical one, your limbs can start physically hurting you due to all the stress and tension your body’s experiencing. If you’re tense all the time, it may start showing on your limbs and posture.
Because of the constant stress on your body, the stress hormone itself might start producing excess oil, which could lead to annoying acne breakouts. Trust me, you don’t want that happening.
Anxiety can cause overthinking which can definitely lead to difficulty falling asleep, but it can also cause nightmares. The increased stress and intrusive thoughts decide to turn into some not-so-sweet dreams.
These are just a few symptoms of anxiety disorder, but there are hundreds out there and they all look differently depending on the person. Before you think someone (or yourself) is overreacting, take a step back and assess their behavior. It’s important to shed light on the lesser known side of anxiety disorder, so people can get the help they need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, we’re all humans and we all deal with something. Never be ashamed.
Writer: Hagar Ezzo