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What Does Anxiety Look Like?

Thursday, 15 February 2018

anxiety, physical effects, mental health, illness, panic attacks, depression,
PHOTO SOURCE: publicdomainpictures.net

As I get older I notice I get more physical symptoms from anxiety than I ever did before and after talking with a friend a little older than me who also suffers anxiety she said the same.

That's why I wanted to talk about it.

For those who don't understand it so much or even those who don't realise they have it the idea of what anxiety is or how it looks can be quite confusing. The truth is there is not one 'look' for anxiety, it can come in any shape or form and the sufferer can look and act in any shape or form.

Whilst you can have recognisable symptoms such as panic attacks or hyper ventilating some of the symptoms can be a bit more hidden. For me, symptoms include headaches and jaw ache (caused I guess by constant tensing my jaw and grinding of my teeth) For me it also causes insomnia; being woken up at 2am by my heart racing and anxious feeling billowing through my body from my toes to my throat to the tips of fingers and not always being sure exactly why (and not being able to get back to sleep again for hours) or on the opposite end of that spectrum, being shattered all of the time no matter how much sleep I have. It is having a wishy washy stomach that even results in me being ill sometimes. It is having a tight chest, being tense and feeling as though something bad is about to happen all of the time.

Experiencing such severe physical effects from anxiety is a new thing to me, I didn't really experience that in my teens and twenties in fact it mainly remained in my head or just a feeling of dread. The fact the physical effects appear to be getting worse while I feel I am actually coping better with my anxiety issues both intrigues and baffles me.

The two main focuses of this blog post are to firstly say to people who aren't sure what to make of anxiety, that it can take shape in many forms and all you can do for that loved one who is going through it is be there to comfort, listen and do not judge. It can't just be 'shaken off'.

The second is to say to anyone reading this who suffers anxiety and doesn't talk about it that you are not alone nor are you a freak like I once thought I was. You just have an illness that needs a bit of managing and once you know how to manage it better you will begin to feel the benefits of doing so. However you have to TALK to people to get to that point. Don't be ashamed and go and talk to someone you trust. I did and obviously am open about it all now hence me writing this blog and it makes me feel a hell of a lot better. That in itself is therapy alone. It has also opened up conversations with people I have known for years who would never have opened up to me had I not been honest or had they not read this blog.

Honesty really is the best policy.

Whatever your mental health struggles, chat to someone. If you don't feel you can chat to someone you know just yet then the below details will be of use.

Good luck.

mind.org.uk

samaritans.org

anxietyUK

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