I recently spoke about the things you shouldn’t say to those that suffer from anxiety, but what if you aren’t sure if they are actually suffering? You may be surprised by this, but according to the ADAA, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States, or 18.1% of the population every year. What this means is, someone, if not multiple people in your life, are suffering from some type of anxiety or depression. And they may be doing such a great job of hiding it, you don’t even realize it.
As someone that has suffered with both anxiety and depression for many years, I can tell you that there are signs that your loved one is suffering. While not everyone who exhibits these characteristics is having mental health issues, it’s quite possible that those who are, exhibit many of these characteristics as a result of their anxiety and/or depression.
If you ask my family and friends, they will probably tell you that they’ve witnessed me experience each of these symptoms at some point of my life. When my anxiety and depression is at its worst, I may experience all of them at once.
It’s important to mention that I am not a professional or a doctor. I’m just a Mom who speaks publicly about my struggles with anxiety and depression. These warning signs are largely based on my own experience. I’m hoping that they will help others to identify what may be happening to themselves or their loved one.
- Loss of Interest
- Lack of Urgency for Personal Hygiene
- Trouble Sleeping or Fatigue
- Difficulty Concentrating and/or Remembering
- Avoiding Social Gatherings or Crowds
- Worrying Excessively or Irrational Fears
Do any of these symptoms look familiar to you?
I am personally well aware of each symptom, as it’s happening, but my anxiety doesn’t allow me to do anything about it. In most cases, when I realize any of these are happening, I panic and it makes my anxiety even worse.
I often feel like a different person than I was before my anxiety and I don’t recognize myself. These feelings push me until I give in and take a personal day. Other times, when I know that I have a deadline or something that has to be done, I push through them, but usually find myself in bed for a full day afterward.
It’s important to remember that anxiety and depression is different for everyone. There is no easy fix. There is not one remedy that works for everyone. We all have to figure out what works for each of us and if it stops working, learn to adapt and make the necessary changes. The most important thing we can do is not ignore the signs.
While meds weren’t the answer for me, they do help a lot of people. For some, it’s a matter of changing their diet and their routine. For others, yoga and meditation are key. I haven’t found my magic combination yet, but I know I will. It’s a constant battle, but a battle that I will never stop fighting.
If you or a loved one needs help with mental health issues, please consult a physician.
Follow along on my journey with anxiety.