There are so many signs and symptoms of anxiety that I never would have thought was related to my anxiety, but that I continue to experience either daily, weekly, or monthly. There are some that give me a clue that a downward spiral is coming… I also like to call that a mental breakdown. This is when I also become depressed, stressed, and have a hard time finding any positivity or motivation.
I am going to list the symptoms that I have experienced. I typically experience at least one of these things on a daily basis, but usually more than that. Next to each, I will add the letters: M, W, or D for monthly, weekly, or daily occurrence. I will also add a * for those that point toward my “mental breakdown” if combined or feeling like its ocurring more and more throughout the day or week.
-Hard time concentrating….. D
-Feeling on edge… W, *
-Worrying more than I should….. D
-Easily tired, or tired all of the time….. W
-Difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep….. W
-Troubel controlling my nerves….. W
-Easily startled….. W
-Hard time swallowing….. M
-Chest pains….. W, *
-Loss of sight/feeling in face….. ********* (has only happened once during a FULL BLOWN panic attack)
-Jaw muscles tense up BAD….. M
-GI issues- nausea and pains….. W
-Feeling weak….. M
-Increased heart rate….. M, *
-Sense of panic….. M, *
Let me first point out that when I don’t get proper sleep… My GOSH it is not a good thing. I can’t function, I am super cranky, I don’t respond well to circumstances or people, etc. When I am on a streak of no sleep, forget about it. Just stay away from me and don’t talk to me… it is better for you, trust me. I get irritable and irrational. All of that being said, I like to sit in silence when I get like this, but I also crave companionship at the same time. Being hugged, cuddled with, or just in company of someone else makes me feel better even though you would never be able to tell. I absolutely hate asking anyone for anything. I get selfish and unreasonable because I expect people to know what I need and want without voicing it. Even when I do voice it, my physical actions may not convince you that it is what I want or need. This has been a serious struggle for a long time. I get great sleep one week, and terrible sleep the next two weeks. My anxiety, stress, and depression play a big role in my lack of sleep. If there is anything on my mind at all that I am overthinking (especially multiple things) I will not be able to sleep. So pretty much, if I want to sleep, then I need to feel like my life is going well… Let’s be real here… when does anyone’s life go as planned? Pretty much never. The difference being, some are able to be happy with life as it comes and not allow their emotions to be too much involved in the negative. I am not that way. I am completely and emotionally invested in all aspects of my life, and it’s not always a great thing.
I’d like to take some time to describe my experience with some of these symptoms. Feeling on edge and having a sense of panic doesn’t happen on a daily basis, but it is still serious for me. Even though I can’t pin pont the root of the issue or feeling, I still am feeling like I forgot to do something important, that I will forget to do something important, and even with the little things- I worry ALL OF THE TIME about it! I spend hours trying to uncover the root of my feelings and emotions and it just makes me panic and worry even more. These often are accompanied by chest pains and a racing heart rate. When all of these come together, I usually have a mild internal attack. There have been very few times where I have actually had full attacks. Most of the time I was by myself and just called my dad, who would just talk about nonsense, so that I would forget about what I was feeling or why I was feeling that way. The only time I have ever had a serious full blown attack that ended up in me passing out in my dads arms in front of a LOT of people. I was having a conversation with him from across the table and the next thing I knew I was having difficulty breathing, my face went numb, and I couldn’t see a thing. I woke up with my dad holding me telling me to breathe. I was having a bit of anxiety that day. I went to a cafe and decided that I would get a coffee (BIG mistake). A little while later, I was really feeling the effects of the caffeine, and then BOOM. Down I went. I haven’t had coffee since and that was years ago. The other symptom I wasn’t aware was related is difficulty swallowing. When it happens, it is like my brain just forgets how to swallow and I start to get a little paniky, which of course doesn’t help! But that is what happens with anxiety… one thing happens, and then it just seems like the symptoms start to pile up, so you end up feeling so so so much worse.
I could not tell you how many people thought or asked if I was pregnant over the past years. I have been battling with severe nausea I think since high school. I have seen many doctors who have found no explanation for it. I have had to try medications, and get multiple invasive tests done… guess what? Nothing. It is so frustrating when you feel something that is debilitating you and you feel crazy because there is no logical explanation for it from a medical stand point. Well… it is anxiety… mostly. I just recently found out that I have food allergies, so that took a part, but I still experience the nausea. It gets so bad that I start dry heaving, or have to run to a toilet or trash can because I feel as if I am going to puke my brains out. It happens out of nowhere, with no warning. No, I am not pregnant. I just have bad anxiety. So many people asked, including doctors, that I almost started to believe it myself. Isn’t it crazy what others thoughts can do to your own? It can be such a toxic thing.
The trembling and twitching happens when I am in a place where I am not fully comfortable being. This is one of those symptoms of my anxiety that I had no idea was related to my anxiety. One place I really notice the twitching is in movie theatres. About half way through the movie, I start to feel physically uncomfortable, so I will start moving in my seat every minute or so. Once that starts, my foot and leg start going crazy! I love going and seeing movies, but for some reason I just feel really uneasy being in a large space with strangers in the dark. This probably sounds crazy, but it is something that has been a common occurence when going to see a movie for a while. This also relates to my trust issues. I have very little trust, especially when it comes to strangers. Not fair, and I can’t explain it fully. I have had many people from my past just walk out of my life with no explination, and some of these people were my very best friends who I trusted with every part of me.
Let me just put it out there that being scared/startled does NOT help. When you tell someone that you don’t like something, why do they immediately just do that thing you don’t like!? It’s so infuriating, isn’t it?? Being scared though rustles up other symptons of anxiety. There have been times where I felt so on edge after someone purposely scaring me… for DAYS. It really does suck. So let’s work on not doing those things that people tell you they don’t like. 😉