7 Difficult Facts About Anxiety

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Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States. It affects 40 million adults every year, and can have a variety of symptoms, as the facts below will indicate.

Chances are, you know at least 1 person with anxiety, if you do not suffer from it yourself. I personally know at least a dozen people in my close circle that suffer from some version of it.

7 Difficult Facts About Anxiety

It can be very lonely.

When a person lives with anxiety, it can feel very lonely. For one thing, when our brains are in a state of mental illness, they tend to tell us a lot of lies. One such lie is that our suffering is unique. While each person is different, we are far from having a unique struggle. There is always someone else out there going through something similar to you.

For another thing, anxiety makes socializing difficult. You feel as if leaving the house will make the world crash down around you. This is why a lot of people with anxiety shy away from social situations.

What can you do? Find a friend you can trust to talk to about the way you feel. See if they will come to you. Invite them over for a cup of coffee, and just commit to 30 minutes of small (or big) talk. Doing this whenever you feel up to it can help re-establish a sense of normalcy.

It can affect your sleep.

Anxiety can affect your sleep in a couple of ways. Maybe the most common is the fact that it can keep a person up at night. The racing thoughts. The irrationality. The racing heart. The sweaty palms. This can make it hard to fall asleep. Or, if you do fall asleep easily, it can make you wake up repeatedly.

Another way that anxiety can affect your sleep is by making you want to sleep too much. This is my particular issue. The only thing that helps my anxiety sometimes is to shut my mind off by going to sleep. This leads to people sleeping too much, which is bad for your circadian rhythms. That can, in turn, exacerbate any existing mental health conditions.

What can you do? There are a few things you can do to help get a better night’s sleep when you are suffering from anxiety. I would recommend unplugging from social media earlier in the evening. I would also recommend cutting yourself off from caffeine and alcohol earlier as well. You could also try meditation or breathing exercises.

It can make you irritable.

This is one of the ways my anxiety presents, so I definitely relate to this fact. When I am feeling anxious and worked up about something, I tend to get cranky. When my mind is racing with too many thoughts, it has a tendency to all come exploding out.

Irritability is a common symptom of anxiety, so if you find that you are overly cranky, do an emotional inventory. Are you overworked? Do you have a lot on your mind? It could be the case that you are suffering from anxiety. Make sure to check with your doctor to confirm this.

What can you do? I would definitely recommend some breathing exercises. Counting backwards from 10 or even 100. You could also try a grounding exercise. The most common example of this is thinking of 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.

It can make your stomach ache.

A lot of people know that their anxiety is flaring up because they find themselves getting stomach aches or other digestive issues. This can also include the frequent need for urination.

One of my triggers of anxiety is long car rides (anything over 45 minutes). I always feel like I need to go to the bathroom or feel like I have a stomach ache. This is very common in children also. If they are anxious about going to school, they might think they are physically ill, and attempt to stay home.

What can you do? If you get triggered by travel like me, bring things to distract you. It is all about distracting your brain. I bring books in the car, or have games to play on my phone. Make sure to keep your mind moving so that it doesn’t latch on to whatever thoughts are making you anxious

It can start in childhood.

My anxiety started in 6th grade. At least, that is the earliest I can remember. I would have to go to the bathroom constantly during school. It was difficult to get up and get ready for the day without my mom singing a song made up of positive affirmations to me. I was teased and just didn’t want to go.

This is very common in children. They might complain of frequent stomach aches. If you have ruled out a bunch of biological causes, it is possible that they are suffering from anxiety. Take them to a psychiatrist that works with children to get the most accurate diagnosis possible.

It can affect your job.

Because of all the facts I already listed, it can make work difficult. Either you are so tired that your performance suffers, or you find yourself getting irritable with customers. Whatever the case, anxiety can certainly affect you professionally.

What can you do? I would talk to a trusted supervisor about how you have been feeling and have a candid talk about your recent performance. If you are honest about how you feel, they may have some company sponsored resources that can help.

It can last a lifetime.

This is probably the most difficult of the facts. There is no cure for anxiety. Unfortunately, when you suffer from it, it is usually there to stay. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot live a rich, fulfilling life.

What can you do? Connect yourself with a therapist. That is a relationship that will benefit you more than you might expect. It is helpful to have someone to talk it out with. They can also offer you coping strategies so that your days are more manageable.

Anxiety can be managed

If you follow all my advice above, I truly believe that anxiety can be managed. These facts might seem scary, but they do not have to be.

I might have days that are very difficult, but I am still able to have a fulfilling life. I am married. We have two wonderful children. I am able to blog part-time. I go to the gym a few days a week. Also, I have close relationships with my family. Mental illness does not mean life is not a beautiful thing.

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34 thoughts on “7 Difficult Facts About Anxiety”

  1. Such an important post and I relate heavily to a lot of these, especially irritability and stomach stuff! I don’t have a very good temper at the best of times but you can usually tell when my anxiety is bad as my fuse gets even shorter. I’ve also had stomach issues since I was a kid and it’s such a vicious cycle with anxiety it’s hard to know what triggers what. Thank you for sharing ?

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article. I just recently did an article of how to overcome social anxiety using cognitive behavior techniques. I personally suffer from performance anxiety from time to time when I’m preparing for a motivational speech I have to present. Come check my blog out too if interested. Made You Smile Back

  3. Wonderful post on anxiety, it took me awhile to figure out why I was always feeling so anxious. I figured let me google how I am feeling and google said it was anxiety and it usually self diagnosed because who knows your body better than you but yourself. Also, after reading your post I know my anxiety start back in school. It goes all the way back to my mind building up that anticipation when I knew the teacher would call on me and then I become so flustered and shaken lol wow. Great post!

  4. It’s so good to share these points for people who are unaware.

    I suffered with anxiety for years and although it’s been better lately I remember how awful it is.
    The physical symptoms can be so bad including stomach cramps and sweating, but once you’ve found the best ways to help you manage it, it really can improve.

    Love Lozza xo

  5. Such a good post! These are all facts about anxiety that I wish everyone knew. Especially the irritability and the stomach issues one. When I’m really anxious, I’m an irritable mess that people DO NOT want to be around, haha. And the stomach issues one can be really rough. When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, I was soon after diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, and it’s been a constant, along with my anxiety, for years now. Doctors keep telling me that once I get my anxiety under control, my IBS will go away, but my IBS makes me anxious! It’s a terrible vicious circle. But thank you for this awesome post! I hope it helps more people and your last point, that anxiety can be managed is such a ray of hope at the end.

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

  6. Anxiety is awful and because I go into fight/flight/freeze my stomach decides to completely empty itself as well as ache so I’m ready to run from the sabre toothed tiger :-/
    It’s definitely not a sexy condition!

    I’m glad to hear that you are managing your anxiety well and have found things that help.

  7. When I was hit with anxiety, I wasn’t able to get some sleep, stomach problems and I shut off myself away from people. It was hard but your tips (something I did too!) really can help. Thank you for sharing this!

  8. This hit the nail right on the head when describing the difficulties of anxiety. Discovering why I feel the way I feel is such a relief when trying to understand my anxiety. It makes managing it a little easier. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Not only can it last a lifetime, it can creep up on you when you’re well into your adult years, despite no signs of it in earlier life. Now that’s a whole pile of fun to get used to.

  10. karenonlineblogbusinesshelp

    Thank you for this post. I have a family member with very high anxiety. This helps me understand things a little bit better.

  11. Excellent post and full of great advice. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and using it to bring awareness and advice to others.Anxiety can affect people at different stages of their lifes.

  12. This is such an important topic. As someone with anxiety who is also a parent and grandparent to kids who have anxiety I wish there was more awareness. My son’s anxiety was so bad at his checkup one day the doctor sent him over for a heart exam because his heart rate was through the roof.. Scary stuff. But so many people don’t understand. 🙁

  13. Great post. You always have such great info. I suffer from anxiety as do several of my children. My doctor told them that it was a hereditary tendency due to genetics. :/ I wish I had given them better genes. I am trying to set a good example of finding good coping tips so I can teach them to manage it better.

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