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6 Secret Signs of My Anxiety

Anxiety is a different experience for everyone. Some people have panic attacks, some avoid social situations and some who have anxiety show signs nobody on the outside can see. I show six signs of anxiety that are subtle and secret to me because they are hard for those close to me to notice.

1. I bite my lips.

My lips are usually broken and chapped because when I’m feeling anxious, I bite them until they bleed. It hurts a little and leaves my lips looking torn up, and I don’t usually realize I’m doing it.

2. I pick at my face.

I have scars all over my face from relentless picking and scratching when I’m experiencing anxiety. The scars affect my self-esteem, but even though I end up feeling badly about myself, I can’t seem to stop.

3. I can’t sit still.

Pacing, fidgeting and tapping my feet are all things I do when I’m anxious. I’m restless and it bothers me because my racing thoughts are showing outward.

4. My muscles are tense.

I’m almost always sore because when I’m anxious, I can almost never relax. My shoulders feel like they are as high as my ears, and my fingers get sore from clenching my fists so tightly.

5. My stomach gets upset.

For me, nausea always comes with my anxiety. I constantly feel like throwing up and feel like I want to physically buckle over and hold my belly. I get heartburn, as if my anxiety is coming up from the pit of my my stomach and burning my throat.

6. I clench my jaw shut.

I know I had an anxious day when I wake up the next day with a sore face. I clench my teeth in my sleep when my anxiety had been particularly bad that day, and have continuous pain because of it.

These six signs aren’t easily recognized as signs of anxiety, but they are mine. I decided to share my secret signs because I don’t want to hide when I need a little extra help or encouragement. I don’t want to keep my anxiety in, because it could manifest into something more. So, no more secrets. These are the signs of my anxiety.

The Mighty is asking the following: What is a part of your or a loved one’s disease, disability or mental illness that no one is aware of? Why is it time to start talking about it? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

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6 Secret Signs of My Anxiety