Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in the world, affecting more than 284 million people as of 2017. When left untreated, anxiety can increase a person’s risk of heart disease, weaken immune system, or lead to gastrointestinal disorders.
Being diagnosed with anxiety can drastically change a person’s life, which is why it’s vital that you know and identify the earliest signs of this mental health condition. This information will help you determine when you should consult a medical professional.
If you suspect that you’re suffering from anxiety, look out for the symptoms below.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The colon is controlled by your nervous system, which means that anxiety can affect your bowel movement. Moreover, anxiety can cause your brain to produce hormones that trigger stomach spasms. Over time, these stomach spasms can lead to chronic diarrhea.
If you’ve been experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, be wary because this is one symptom of anxiety. Some of the most common symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome or IBS include abdominal cramping and pain, fatigue, food intolerances, and sleeping difficulties.
- Excessive Worrying
Life is unpredictable, which is why people often worry about what will happen next. Every human being in the world worries every now and then, but if this worry becomes too extreme to the point where you can no longer focus and complete simple tasks, that’s another story.
Excessive worrying is another symptom of anxiety, so if you’ve been seeing yourself worrying too much every single day for the last six months, consult a doctor right away. When left untreated, excessive worrying can trigger the never-ending cycle of anxiety because it can cause the body to release more stress hormones, which can eventually worsen your anxiety.
- Feeling Agitated
Regardless of how positive your outlook in life is, there will be times when you get irritable. Being around people you don’t like, for example, can cause some people to feel agitated. This emotion is normal, but only if there’s a reason for you to feel this way.
Feeling agitated all the time without any reason is actually a symptom of anxiety. This happens because whenever you feel anxious, your sympathetic nervous system starts to become hyperactive because it senses danger. This process can cause sweaty palms, racing pulse, and shaky hands.
How your body reacts to threats can be helpful when you’re actually in danger, but this reaction can be very debilitating if the threats are ‘all in your head.’
Getting enough sleep every night is important to one’s overall health and wellness. Your efforts to live a healthier lifestyle won’t give you results if you deprive yourself of sleep. But, if you’ve been trying your best to sleep, but end up twisting and turning until the wee hours of the morning, anxiety might be the culprit.
Anxiety can cause restlessness because this mental health problem can make you feel on-edge and nervous all the time. These symptoms can become the reason why you’ll have a hard time falling and staying asleep every night.
- Avoidance Of Social Situations
Human beings are social species, which means that they need other people to survive and thrive. You also need to have friends to improve your mental health as they can help relieve your stress and build your confidence.
Spending time with your social circle should be fun, but if you’re always fearful of upcoming social situations or worried that your friends and family will only judge you, be wary. Being too uncomfortable with the idea of going out with friends and family to the point where you’d rather isolate yourself from them is a sign of anxiety.
- Eating Too Much Or Too Little
Feeling anxious all the time can have an impact on your eating habits. For people who are always anxious, they would either eat too much or not eat at all as an attempt to cope with their anxiety. Some might even force themselves to vomit after eating in order to lose weight and improve their body image.
Looking after your diet is actually healthy, but if you’re taking extreme measures to eat more or less, be careful as this is usually a sign of anxiety. Anxiety can cause eating disorders that can eventually take a toll on your overall wellness when not treated as soon as possible.
Time Is Of The Essence
Once you’ve ticked off any symptoms from the list, schedule an appointment with a medical professional right away. The sooner you can get yourself checked, the easier it’ll be for your doctor to prevent your anxiety from worsening and recommend solutions to improve your mental health.