4 Things You Don’t Realize Are Anxiety

There are usually many psychosomatic and physical symptoms of anxiety. Common symptoms that are discussed are palpitations, excessive sweating, restlessness, among others. But, anxiety also impacts your social life. The obvious sign is isolation, but there are other ways anxiety can impact your social life. 

Below there are a few signs of anxiety that you might not realize. 

  • Looking for all the exits. 

There is a popular meme referring to this. You know the one where the car swerves to the exit. While it’s become a running joke, there is some truth behind it. People with anxiety may look for an exit in social situations, especially if they have social anxiety. Perhaps they may not literally count all the exits, but they will make a mental plan of how to leave a potentially embarrassing or stressful situation.  

This aspect affects their social life because it limits their social interactions and desire to be around others. However, If they do decide to 

  • Dissociation

Another sign of anxiety is dissociation. While it is not a sure symptom, it can happen. Stress also causes anxiety, and to cope your brain dissociates. Dissociation is a mental process that where you experience a disconnect between yourself or your surroundings. There are various signs of dissociation, such as depersonalization and derealization. Dissociation is a byproduct of increased stress and works to alleviate potentially overwhelming emotional experiences.   

Dissociation is a coping mechanism. While it works temporarily, it has negative repercussions in the long run. Dissociation also affects your social life since it can happen during conversations or outings with friends. Unfortunately, people may interpret it a not paying attention or being unfocused. 

  • Canceling plans at the last minute. 

Canceling plans at the last minute is typically a sign of social anxiety or agoraphobia, but it can also affect those with general anxiety. For someone with anxiety, canceling plans at the last minute is a form of self-protection from potentially stress-inducing scenarios. 

While it is a legitimate reason for those with anxiety, canceling plans at the last minute is often interpreted as inconsideration or rudeness. Consequently, people tend might think twice before making plans with you. If this is something you have or are experiencing, reach out to a therapist for guidance. 

  • Hypersensitivity

Those with anxiety experience bouts of hypersensitivity. According to Jim Folk of anxietycentre.com, it is a symptom that varies from person to person. It can manifest itself via sensitivity to external stimuli such as light, sound, and smell. But, it can also manifest in emotional sensitivity, such as irritability and crying easily. 

While it may not seem like much, it can also affect your social life. You may find yourself feeling more sensitive towards critiques and negative comments. Thus, more willing to retract from your social group. 

Anxiety, like most mental health issues, comes in many shades. While they all have identifiable signs and symptoms, it does not always affect people in the way. People and our opinions of them are largely based on what they choose to reveal to you. But, if a friend or someone reaches out to you, be empathetic and understanding. 

Sources:

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dissociation-and-dissociative-disorders
https://www.verywellmind.com/dissociation-anxiety-4692760
https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/dissociation-overview
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/dissociation-and-dissociative-disorders

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