Ever feel like the world is just too overwhelming and you can’t cope? Or perhaps you’re an overachiever and think you’re doing just fine… but sometimes you find yourself procrastinating on simple tasks or lashing out at people for no known reason.
Maybe you just feel weird and can’t figure out why. Maybe you’re depressed… or maybe you’re actually anxious.
Hidden signs of anxiety
Dealing with anxiety is a tricky aspect of mental health because the symptoms are often subtle. Many people suppress their worries, resulting in internalised anxiety. As a result, you can have very few outward symptoms and suffer from anxiety as a nagging fear that you can’t cope, and that something isn’t quite right.
So before things get out of hand and you have a full on panic attack, here are some hidden signs of anxiety to watch out for.
Feeling weird or unreal
This is a hard symptom to describe as it’s different for everyone. Some anxiety sufferers say that colours seem brighter and sharper, others describe a dream like feeling. If you often feel spaced out, like you’re struggling to focus, this could be a symptom of internalised anxiety.
We all get angry and frustrated sometimes, but if you notice that your reactions are inappropriately aggressive, it may be because you are feeling anxious and fearful. Slamming doors, shouting and blaming other people are all symptoms. Another symptom is oppositional behaviour – for example, behaving in a way that is purely defiant, instead of considering your actions.
Procrastination and avoidance
Anxiety can cause you to feel completely demotivated – too scared or even apathetic to accomplish anything. From the outside it looks like laziness, but it’s actually a fear-based reaction. It can affect everything from not being responsible with work and studies, to avoiding meeting up with friends because of feelings of social anxiety.
Dealing with anxiety
Anxiety is subtle and it does require professional intervention.
Talking things through with a therapist is an excellent way to help with anxiety. Talk therapy only works if you are willing to be honest and vulnerable, and put in the work to address your feelings and behaviour.
There are medications that help with anxiety too, and your therapist will be able to advise you about them. Medication in conjunction with therapy has a very high success rate in dealing with anxiety. Bear in mind however, that medication without really dealing with the root cause of anxiety is like putting a band aid on a gaping wound – it’s a temporary fix, but not a long term solution.
Be kind to yourself and reach out for help
If you’re worried about your mental health, try to talk about it with your family and friends. If necessary, seek professional advice. Learning to be vulnerable and ask for help can be a life changing experience for those who suffer from anxiety.