Many people who have depression might also have anxiety, which can range from mild to debilitating.
Not everyone likes to talk about their mental health struggles. Some people might not even be aware they are struggling with a mental health issue. Many people who have depression might also have anxiety, which can range from mild to debilitating. There are different kinds of situations that might be making people anxious. For instance, some people have social anxiety and that makes it hard for them to interact with others. There are also other kinds of anxiety and they could be hampering our lives in some ways.
"Low grade or 'hidden' anxiety might not significantly interfere with your ability to function," Dr. Jamie Long, a licensed clinical psychologist at The Psychology Group Fort Lauderdale, tells Bustle. "Nonetheless, it's still important to recognize the signs because living in a heightened state of tension is harmful to your health in the long run. It's also helpful to recognize the early warning signs of anxiety before it worsens and eventually does interfere with daily functioning."
Anxiety is caused by the fight or flight response in our bodies. However, some people live in that state of mind constantly, and it can be harmful to their health in multiples ways. However, they could be trying to mask it all. "People can have off days or off weeks, but once these symptoms start to become more noticeable, say for weeks to months, that might be an indicator that anxiety is present," says psychotherapist Angela Ficken told Bustle.
If you're worried about someone in your life or for yourself, here are six signs that could tell you:
If you think that someone close to you is often distracted or has a hard time remembering conversations or even completing tasks, they could be battling anxiety. "When we get anxious, most of us get stuck in our head about some worry that is going to happen," says Ficken. "Someone is talking to us and we attempt to hold onto that conversation as we think about our worry," she added. Anxiety makes it hard to be "fully present, which makes it that much more difficult to focus on friends, family, and tasks."
Failure and rejection are a part of life but if someone we know has an intense reaction to these situations it could be because they suffer from this mental health issue. "People who have anxiety around performance or perception of others may have a really big reaction to a small failing, from a big outward meltdown to staying at home for the next few days," Kelsey Torgerson, a licensed clinical social worker and anxiety specialist, told Bustle.
This fear of failure can also make people suffering from anxiety extra cautious and unwilling to try new things. Since negative situations in life can feel debilitating, it could stop them from taking risks and trying new things, even if it's something they wanted to try. "This concern underneath has to do with not wanting to experience embarrassment, disappointment, anger, sadness or frustration," says psychologist Dr. Joan Rosenberg to Bustle.
One of the situations that anxious people afraid of taking risks might avoid is meeting new people. When we don't meet new people, we also don't get to welcome new friends into our lives. They could also end up avoiding the friends that they do have. "It can feel easier to avoid friends, work, family, and be anxious, (although this never ends up making someone feel better)," says Ficken.
Those who suffer from this mental health issue might be in the habit of fidgeting and doing something constantly to stay busy. It could be hard for them to unwind even after a hard day, which makes it difficult for them to get sleep. "Not being able to be quiet and enjoy relaxation is another sometimes subtle sign of anxiety," psychotherapist Stephanie Roth Goldberg, LCSW-R, HHC, tells Bustle. "If you are unable to be quiet, you might be experiencing anxiety," she added.
We might think that anxiety is only a mental health issue and has no repercussions on the body, but that's not true. Feeling stressed constantly can lead to many health problems and one of the subtle signs is having a headache often. There could be other symptoms like dizziness, stomach aches, and muscle tension. In the past, anxiety was supposed to make us alert when there was danger but we have evolved as a species. Social situations might make us feel that we are in danger now but anxiety could just end up draining us.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Boy_AnupongDisclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.