Anxiety is an incredibly common condition. Thousands of people experience it on a macro level, a response to life circumstances and events that feel beyond their control. Beyond that, there are a variety of different anxiety disorders. These manifest not from direct life stimuli, but from misfiring brain chemistry, causing you to feel panicked and anxious even when there is no particular reason to do so. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and PTSD both find their definitions as anxiety disorders.
Despite how common anxiety is, it can be incredibly difficult to treat. There are various therapies available, but they tend to have a limited scope for success. They can provide a temporary relief but, over time, sufferers are less likely to continue to apply the learned techniques and thus the anxiety returns. Nevertheless, if anxiety is a persistent problem for you, then they’re well worth investigating.
One of the most difficult parts of this whole anxiety cycle is learning to recognize what’s happening. If you’ve experienced an upsurge in anxiety, there’s every chance that you don’t even realize that it’s happening. It can be tough to detect, because you’re too busy reacting to it to even be able to sit down and notice what’s going on.
That’s why a massive part of coping with chronic anxiety is based around learning to interpret your symptoms. Below are six unusual ways that a rise in anxiety might manifest itself; if you notice any of these – and have a history of anxiety control problems – it might be time to speak to your doctor in an effort to nip it in the bud.
#1 – Sleep Problems
Lying awake at night worrying sounds like a classic anxiety thing – so of course you’re going to notice that. However, anxiety can disturb your sleep in other ways. It can make you more liable to wake up in the middle of the night. Conversely, it can also make you want to sleep more. It can also manifest itself as daytime tiredness, even if you slept perfectly well the night before.
As a rule of thumb, any change in what’s normal for you regarding sleeping patterns should be treated as a sign of a potential issue.
#2 – Less Impulse Control
When our brains and systems are pulsing with all that excess adrenaline that anxiety causes, we’re not in a fit state to be making good decisions. That means, when you’re highly anxious, you’re less likely to be able to control your impulse.
This often manifests itself in terms of addictive behavior. If you’re a former smoker who has long since fled the cigarettes for the world of vaping, sweet eliquid flavors, wares from the likes of Vapor Vanity, and mod devices, then a highly anxious time might see you suddenly crave cigarettes again. Or if you’re usually happy to eat healthily with a low-carb diet full of healthy fats, a spike in anxiety will suddenly make all those carbs and refined fats sound delicious in a way they haven’t in years. These cravings – for cigarettes, alcohol, or food – aren’t based in real feelings. You can be happier as a vaper; delighted by the impact of your good diet; thrilled to no longer be waking up with a hangover after a rough night… but you’ll still want to return to the “bad” ways when your anxiety is out of control.
This is because your brain is trying to soothe itself, using old tried and tested methods. If you’ve made healthy changes that you have enjoyed, but are suddenly feeling tempted back to the bad old days, it’s a signifier that your anxiety is back in the driving seat.
#3 – Losing Your Temper
Whether you’re usually a calm person or have always had a bit of a hot temper, a surge in anxiety is likely to cause problems. You will suddenly find yourself flying off the handle at the mildest of stimuli but – most noticeably – the anger doesn’t last. You vent, shout, and within five minutes you’re over it.
This is a sign that you’re not truly angry. If you had a justifiable reason for being angry, it would probably stick around for longer rather than fading away like a spent firework. These spikes of anger aren’t to do with the other person or circumstance; they’re all about you struggling to cope with that excess adrenaline in your system.
If you notice any of these three signs beginning to develop, you should try self-coping strategies such as meditation or breathing exercises. If these don’t bring about results, then talk to your doctor – excessive anxiety is not something you ought to deal with alone.