14 Unexpected Symptoms of Anxiety – Have You Experienced Any?

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While some of the most well known symptoms of anxiety are feeling fearful and nervous, there is more to it. We gathered some reader experiences with unexpected symptoms of anxiety, and added some of our own to help people get an even more complete image of what it can encompass. There might even be more unexpected symptoms of anxiety (otherwise they wouldn’t be unexpected), so feel free to add your own! As an added note: please be kind and respectful. Some people might find some of these symptoms logical or straightforward, but for the people who sent in their contributions they were more unexpected. Please stay aware that anxiety is different for everyone. What might be unexpected symptoms of anxiety for some, might be expected for others. Some contributors preferred to stay anonymous, which is totally fine!

  1. It’s not just fear…

    “One of the most unexpected things about having anxiety, at least for me, is that I will become incredibly sad and cry over nothing. When I have an anxiety attack I will get nervous which makes the attack even worse.”

  2. Sometimes it’s not that obvious

    “I get slight shakes and to me I pause more in speech but everyone denies seeing both. I never knew anxiety could be so… hidden when I was younger and I always thought my panic attacks and sensory overload were normal but… it turns out they’re the end result of ignoring my more minor symptoms.”

  3. More than just emotional symptoms

    “The most unexpected symptom from anxiety: I have had so much anxiety for so long that it is difficult to go to the bathroom.”

    “My bowels absolutely went mad. Whenever my anxiety was high I’d get horrible painful stomach cramps.”

  4. Never knew I’d get more anxious about this one

    “Anxiety for me always revolves around time. It’s like a clock that forever controls my life. I worry about everything I do because I think about what might be the worst outcome in the future. It also feels like that same clock is constantly crushing and weighing you down in life until you can’t get back up.”

    You might also like: What is Your Best Personality Trait QUIZ 

  5. Sleepless nights

    A lot of people expect that you might feel most anxious during the day. An unexpected symptom of anxiety can be the loss of sleep.
    “One of the most unexpected problems I’ve had is being so anxious it causes insomnia. countless number of times I’ve stayed up for days straight because I’m too anxious over things happening around me.”

  6. Overactive insides

    “A symptom of my anxiety is the constant need to use the toilet before I go anywhere, after reaching a place and sometimes on the way. Knowing there is toilet and it being accessible without causing embarrassment is when I am calm. I even have to return home or go to a random toilet somewhere on the way due to it.”

  7. Sometimes it lasts so long it seems like a personality

    “The most unexpected thing about my anxiety was how my fear seemed to alter or control so much of my personality (e.g. optimism, how much I spoke) Although now this seems obvious to me, I realize I will never quite been seen for who I really am.”

  8. The way you speak

    “One unexpected problem that I’ve started to experience is stumbling on my words, and stuttering so much that I kind of shut down can can’t even complete the sentence.”

  9. More than just shyness

    “Sometimes my anxiety gets to bad I just go mute for a while. I just can’t get the words to come out.”

  10. …and when you’re finally sleeping

    “However, one of my unexpected symptoms of having anxiety is waking up in a panic from deep sleep, not knowing why I’m freaking out and just sitting there until I can go back to bed. Sometimes I’ll sit there for 3 hours.”

  11. Never knowing when it strikes, which makes me even more anxious…


    “For me the worst thing about anxiety is the sudden rush of bad feelings I get sometimes. Like one day I felt I was doing something poorly and the phone ring made me feel like someone was calling to reprimand me so I felt this terror/guilt/shame all at once for a second before realizing it was just my wake up alarm.”

  12. When your mind is going 100 miles an hour


    “Something surprising about anxiety to myself: I simultaneously love and hate everything I’m doing. I love bring at home but hate that I’m not saying that time with with someone I’ve been wanting to see. Or I’m enjoying some people and still wishing I could go home and stop spending so much energy trying to properly socialize. Balance is almost impossible.”

  13. Caught up in trust


    “When I started going to counseling and healing I was able to analyse the symptoms I experiences that were not normal. Some that were unexpected were: picturing something bad happening with every scenario and not being able to escape that thought, fainting, and not being able to trust myself or others.”

  14. The eyes, the eyes


    “When my anxiety is high, I get trouble focusing. My eyes just go a bit blurry and my mind is racing.”

You might also like: What is Your Best Personality Trait QUIZ 

Have you ever experienced anxiety? What were some of your unexpected symptoms of anxiety? Tell us about it in the comments or leave us a message on Tumblr or Facebook.

Thanks to tumblr users; fairskyangel, lacommunarde, travellingshadesblog, spoopy-floofy, tiny-puddles-of-blue and all our anonymous contributors.

We also have a youtube channel! 

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  1. When my anxiety is high, I get angry seeming and very very brusque. Now, I’m 6’3 and over 300 lbs with a voice that effortlessly carries way too far. I intimidate people with out meaning to.

  2. I have ocd, and sometimes my thoughts will race so much and so fast that i become unable to speak. Like, i dont have enough brain power to form words or i cant concentrate? I dont know. But its always thrown me off when it happens cause i have to respond to people around me without using words, which they know im fully capable of speaking so it makes me more anxious. Its comforting to know im not the only one who goes through that.

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