Anxiety is one of the most excruciating conditions, as it does not kill you but neither lets you live in a proper manner. While it is difficult to identify a person who is suffering from anxiety, it is not impossible. Keep in mind that, most of the times, an anxious person will go at great lengths to hide his/her suffering. By learning how to recognize the early signs of anxiety, you might be able to help that person and represent a pillar of support for them.
Anxiety can take different forms but it always boils down to the same thing: isolation. People who suffer from anxiety consider that they are safe in just one location, most often their home. They are afraid to engage in contact with other people, avoid using public transportation and refrain from social situations. They will always find an excuse to get out of a social situation, as they believe this will eliminate the risk of panic attacks.
#2 Peculiar Eating Habits
It is quite true that anxiety modifies a person’s way of life, including when it comes to eating habits. Anxiety might cause a person to lose his/her appetite or, on the contrary, cause feelings of uncontrollable hunger. For a lot of people who suffer from anxiety, food represents a comfort, as it helps them cover up emotions and not deal with the things they are afraid of. Anxious people will often experience cravings for sweets, as these cause a sensation of pleasure and security, the latter being of high importance.
#3 Psychosomatic Manifestations
When a person suffers from anxiety, he or she will develop a wide range of physical symptoms, especially when forced to deal with something or someone that poses a threat. Upon being exposed to anxiety triggers, one can suffer from headaches, stomach aches or nausea. One can experience breathing difficulties, suffer from a dry mouth or grind their teeth. The important thing is that a person continues to expose himself/herself to these triggers; in time, as he/she becomes accustomed to the situation, the psychosomatic manifestations are going to disappear.
#4 Concentration Difficulties
Anxiety forces to focus exclusively on it. If you are constantly worried about what might happen, it will be quite difficult to focus on something else. Most people who suffer from anxiety have difficulties concentrating, describing as if they have to go through fog. Others report dizziness or weakness accompanying mental efforts. Because of such difficulties, anxious people have a hard time maintaining any job or even doing household chores.
As already mentioned above, anxiety can modify many aspects in a person’s life, including the exterior appearance. Many anxious people are no longer interested in their physical appearance; they do not wash or iron their clothes anymore. Their hair is not done and they are not interested in personal hygiene. At the opposite pole, however, you can find those who have become obsessed with the way they look. These people are perfectionists and consider that everything about them has to be perfect (no perfection – more anxiety).
#6 Lack of Quality Sleep
Anxiety can keep you awake at night or modify the quality of your sleep. It is simply exhausting, as all that worrying can prevent you from sleeping, no matter how tired you actually are. It is as if you had drunk a lot of coffee and now you are all agitated, finding it impossible to go to sleep. Anxiety stimulates both the body and the mind, hence the lack of sleep.
People who suffer from anxiety have difficulties taking decisions on their own. At the same time, they might avoid taking certain decisions, as they fear the consequences. Because of such fears, they will often seek out reassurance from other people or even ask them to take their decisions for them. It is important not to feed anxious people with the reassurance they seek, encouraging them to take decisions on their own and be independent. In this way, many of the anxiety triggers can disappear and the person in question can resume a normal quality of life.
It is important to understand that we all present a degree of anxiety, as this is one of the reasons that make us humans. However, when anxiety is taken to extremes, it can affect a person’s quality of life. Recognizing the early signs of anxiety, you can help that person overcome such problems and enjoy life for the true gift that it actually is.