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The 2 Symptoms of Anxiety That Don't Get Talked About Enough

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Everyone feels moments of stress and anxiety in their lives. It’s perfectly normal. Generalized anxiety disorder on the other hand feels constant and all-encompassing. Despite how common anxiety disorders are, there seems to be two symptoms no one talks about in any detail.

The first symptom is avoidance. This can manifest in a number of ways. It could be avoiding school, or making an appointment. Avoidance can also vary in its intensity. A mild example would be wearing headphones on the bus so I don’t have to talk to anyone. A more extreme example occurred when I lived with roommates. I was often afraid that they would judge me for what I decided to eat. So I would avoid the kitchen for fear they would be in or near it. Which means I didn’t eat. My anxiety felt more important that my wellbeing.

The second symptom is trouble sleeping. In my experience, I am unable to sleep because of thought spirals. The spirals start with one worrisome thought, that inevitably leads to another, and so on. Soon my thoughts have spiralled out of control. I can’t possibly sleep when my thoughts are going too fast for me to keep up. I find that sleeping problems are often ignored or swept under the rug as one of the less important symptoms. But lack of sleep affects the way you function on a day to day basis. That seems pretty important to me.

I think all symptoms of anxiety should be discussed. Everyone experiences anxiety differently and putting importance on some symptoms over others leaves people out of the discussion. And that’s unhelpful when people need support and understanding.

Unsplash photo via Crystal Shaw

Originally published: July 13, 2018
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