Lesser-known Symptoms of Anxiety

anxiety, stress, distress, perfectionism, health, therapy

Unfortunately, anxiety is a very common experience for many people. Yet, the signs aren’t always clear that what one is feeling is anxiety.

For example, feeling sensitive is a possible symptom of anxiety that often goes undetected. In addition to emotional sensitivity, other forms may take the form of sensitivity to sights, sounds, temperature, or certain materials/fabrics. Emotional sensitivity may be ‘written off’ as an inability to respond in an unemotional or balanced way and will show up as frequent tearfulness or excessive anger.

Another sign is when a person struggles with indecisiveness. Some may feel that they just don’t care to make a decision or mind the result either way. For others, they may become frozen when making a decision and remain stuck or in denial as a result of the underlying anxiety. This can impact very small decisions, such as what to eat for lunch as well as large, such as taking on a new position.

Here are some signs of anxiety that are often overlooked or misinterpreted:anxiety, stress, distress, perfectionism, health, therapy

  • Perfectionism: Constantly striving for perfection in various aspects of life, such as work, relationships, or personal goals, can be a sign of underlying anxiety. This persistent need for perfection can lead to increased stress and fear of failure.
  • Physical symptoms: Physical manifestations of anxiety, such as muscle tension, headaches, digestive issues, or unexplained aches and pains, may not always be recognized as potential signs of an underlying anxiety disorder.
  • Avoidance behaviors: Avoiding certain situations, places, or activities due to intense fear or apprehension can be a sign of anxiety. These avoidance behaviors often stem from a desire to escape potential triggers that evoke feelings of distress or panic.
  • Procrastination: Persistent procrastination, especially in tasks that cause discomfort or anxiety, may indicate an underlying fear of failure, judgment, or criticism. Procrastination can serve as a way to avoid confronting challenging situations or tasks that trigger anxious feelings.
  • Irritability: Increased irritability, mood swings, or agitation, which may not seem directly related to a specific stressor, can be a sign of underlying anxiety. These emotional fluctuations often result from heightened feelings of tension and unease.
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances: Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing restless sleep can be associated with anxiety. Persistent sleep disturbances may contribute to increased fatigue, irritability, and difficulty managing daily tasks effectively.
  • Hypervigilance: Constantly feeling on edge, easily startled, or overly vigilant in response to perceived threats or dangers can be indicative of underlying anxiety. This heightened state of alertness can lead to increased stress and exhaustion over time.
  • Excessive self-criticism: Engaging in persistent self-criticism, negative self-talk, or feelings of inadequacy, despite evidence to the contrary, may be a sign of anxiety. These self-defeating thoughts can contribute to a cycle of heightened stress and diminished self-esteem.
  • Physical restlessness: Restlessness, fidgeting, or the inability to sit still for prolonged periods, especially in calm or relaxed environments, can be a sign of underlying anxiety. This physical restlessness often accompanies heightened feelings of nervousness or unease.

It’s important to recognize these lesser-known symptoms of anxiety so that the negative impact of anxiety can be decreased or better managed. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs, it is essential to seek professional support from a mental health professional. Effective treatment and support can help manage anxiety and improve overall well-being.

Reach out to us today to learn more about working with an Evolve clinician.