These are 12 behaviors exhibited by those suffering from anxiety that we need to be aware of and help them deal with.
by Ishani Ghose
Anxiety is one of the worst emotions a person can feel, or rather, suffer from. While everyone can get anxious or nervous at any point of time due to external or internal factors, some people are unable to deal with frequent anxiety attacks. Anxiety may affect a person in different ways – panic attacks, some type of phobia, or social anxiety.
If you suffer from repeated worry, muscle tension, chronic indigestion, irrational fears, or panic, you may be suffering from anxiety. Here are 12 things that people with anxiety do which others around them would not understand until they understand the anxiety of the person.
#12 Lack of sleep
People suffering from anxiety disorders suffer from some disturbing sleep patterns. They are mentally overwhelmed and exhausted because of which they have trouble sleeping at night. It works in two ways; either they sleep too much or find difficult to get any sleep.
#11 Excessive paranoia
Every person is different, some enjoy the thrills of life and some enjoy stability. People suffering from anxiety are often paranoid about how things could go wrong and not according to their plans. No matter how positive or safe a situation may be, people with anxiety will tend to think about how all things could possibly go wrong.
#10 Analyzing every bit of a conversation
Every thought and action is over-analyzed by them multiple times out of the fear that they are wrong. People suffering from anxiety tend to analyze every conversation they have had to make sure that they did not say anything that was incorrect. This is draining for the person and puts a lot of pressure on the person suffering.
#9 Other people’s concerns are like professional diagnoses
Anything that other people say about people with anxiety, they take as a professional diagnose. Most people are able to make decisions for themselves and know how to take advice; listen carefully but eventually make their own choice. However, people with anxiety will take almost anything you say to heart. Other people’s concerns and opinions are put on the same pedestal as any professional advice.
#8 Always feeling guilty
This is one characteristic that most human beings lack. They have no sense of remorse or guilt. However, people with anxiety lie on the other end of the spectrum and for every negative reaction, they are overwhelmed with guilt. Anytime something goes wrong or things don’t work out as they were supposed to, people with this disorder are left feeling like it was all their fault and they could have done something to prevent the situation.
Social anxiety does not come from stage fright or public speaking but it goes all the way to just having a one-on-one conversation with someone. In these situations, people suffering from anxiety will tend to believe and feel like all eyes are on them, watching their every move. They often experience symptoms like blushing, trembling, mumbling, stuttering, amongst others. These symptoms can really be out of control and can prevent them completely from meeting new people.
If you see someone finding it difficult to talk or stammering, be sure to encourage them to speak up and listen to what they have to say, patiently. You have no idea how much it would mean to them.
#6 Always comparing and evaluating
People with anxiety are always comparing and evaluating situations. They cannot help but compare themselves to people; mostly their friends and family. They often feel like other people are much more successful than they are and they often overlook their own achievements. Since their benchmark of doing well is set by the others it makes it extremely difficult for them to remain positive and hopeful.
#5 Scared of the future
The harsh truth of life is that it is uncertain. The only constant part of life is change and that nothing will stay the same way forever. The thought of this uncertain future can cause a lot of anxiety and mental stress amongst those who suffer from this disorder. The constant fear of the unknown can be really difficult to deal with for them as well as those around them. A little sympathy and compassion for those who fear this will really help these people.
#4 Mistakes are hugely magnified
All people make mistakes and it is part of human nature to do so. Most of us look at mistakes as something we can learn from but people with anxiety don’t look at mistakes the same way. When they make a mistake, it is magnified and they constantly beat themselves up for the mistake. Any small mistake or flaw is taken very seriously and they cannot bear to go wrong.
#3 Mental exhaustion
Anxiety can cause mental exhaustion. Can you even imagine what it is like when people question your every move and action? You will notice how people who suffer from extreme anxiety tend to sleep almost all the time despite the fact that their bodies are physically well rested.
#2 Obsessing over the tiniest details
Those suffering from an anxiety disorder tend to obsess over tiny details. They obsess about the smallest gestures, looks, or even a glance. The world around them makes them feel like something is not right or something is about to go very wrong and hence even the smallest of actions seem too much for them to handle.
The main reason behind such fear is that they have done something that is not right. This may lead them to constantly ask questions like whether they are okay, whether they have done something wrong or if things are fine. This is the point where you should reassure them that nothing is wrong.
#1 Passing on chances to be social
People with anxiety will always seem like they never want to hang out or meet but that really is not the case. They will definitely want to say yes and go out but their anxiety will prevent them from being social. People with anxiety generally struggle with holding a long conversation for the fear of being judged. Hence, despite the desire to go out and be social, their fear of interaction or any confrontation is what prevents them from going out. Don’t take this as a sign that they don’t want to meet you but rather figure out something which makes them comfortable.