Anxiety sucks. Fortunately, the condition has gained more awareness and attention in recent years, so most people are familiar with the common signs of anxiety such as a fast heartbeat or stomach upset. But the body can carry stress in unusual ways, so it's helpful to know the surprising signs from your body that you're anxious. If nothing else, these signs may tell you that it's time to seek help about your stresses.
To back up for a second, what is anxiety, anyway? According to WebMD, anxiety is a natural sensation of nervousness that everyone experiences from time to time. Seriously, it's hard to imagine anyone getting through a public speech or the SATs without at least a little feeling of apprehension. But as further explained by WebMD, some people deal with anxiety disorders, in which these feelings of distress become so overwhelming that they interfere with daily life. In these instances, talk therapy and/or medication may be needed to help the person get their anxiety to a more manageable level.
For better or worse, anxiety disorders may be a common occurrence. As noted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as many as 40 million adults in the United States are affected by an anxiety disorder. So even if these symptoms do sound familiar, just remember that you are not alone, and help is available.
1. You Feel Pins & Needles
Not all tingly sensations are pleasant. In fact, if you frequently get a pins and needles feeling in some part of your body, it may be related to anxiety, according to the National Health Service. When combined with other symptoms, this may point to an anxiety problem.
2. Your Muscles Twitch
Shaking from stress is no joke. Experiencing spasms (AKA myoclonus) from anxiety is not uncommon, as noted by the Mayo Clinic. But feeling so anxious that you body shakes is a terrible sensation for anyone.
3. You Sweat Excessively
This symptom just seems unfair. But as noted by Health Central, excessive sweating is a rather common symptom of anxiety. And, to make matters worse, worrying about sweating can increase your anxiety, thereby leading to more sweat.
4. You Pee A Lot
Sure, feeling like you need to pee all the time is a classic symptom of many issues, from UTIs to yeast infections. Anxiety may also lead to problems with frequent urination, although the exact causes remain unknown, as noted by the Calm Clinic. Still, if you feel like you have to go all the time, and you don't have any other health issues, then anxiety may be the culprit.
5. You Have Trouble Breathing
This symptom can be especially scary. But as noted by the NHS Foundation Trust, shortness of breath or general trouble breathing can be related to anxiety and stress. It almost goes without saying, but if you feel like you can't breathe, seek help immediately.
6. You Experieince Back Pain
Feel like your back is always a bit sore? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, back pain is more common in persons suffering from anxiety. If you have a sharp, persistent pain in your back or neck, then you may want to get that checked out by a physician — and consider looking at the potential for anxiety as well.
7. You Crave Sugar
OK, who hasn't tried to find peace and comfort in a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream? As noted in The Huffington Post, reaching for sugary foods may offer you a temporary burst of energy, but in fact sugar may actually make your stress levels worse. Learning how to cut back on sugar can be exceptionally tricky, but it may help you feel better in the long run.
8. You Deal With Night Sweats
Do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat? As noted by Anxiety Centre, sweating while you sleep, even in a comfortably cool room, is a potential sign of anxiety. As further explained by Anxiety Centre, it may be part of the stress response from anxiety.
9. You Are Completely Exhausted
For some people, anxiety manifests as an abundance of jittery energy. But for others, the opposite is true. As noted in WebMD, some instances of chronic fatigue are in fact caused by anxiety, as it can be a huge energy suck (and a huge source of suckiness in general).