The Terrifying Symptom of Anxiety No One Talks About

Living with anxiety isn’t easy. It affects your well-being, your behavior, and even your relationships. And since it affects everyone differently, you never know what to expect when you meet someone else with anxiety.

Symptoms of anxiety disorder go way past panic attacks. In fact, there’s one in particular that many people say they were never warned about.

Could you have anxiety and not know it?

Anxiety is more common than you might think. | Antonio Guillem/iStock/ Getty Images Plus

Everyone experiences stress and feels anxious at times. And if you’re going through a particularly hectic situation, it’s understandable to feel downright panicked sometimes. But if you feel nervous and worried frequently for a long period of time, or you’re noticing your thoughts and feelings impact your quality of life, you might have an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is pretty common in America — in fact, many celebrities have spoken out about their struggles with it. But that doesn’t make a diagnosis any easier.

Next: The symptoms of anxiety aren’t always obvious.

Your symptoms can get physical

Woman having stomach pain

Anxiety can cause all sorts of physical problems. | iStock.com/Nikodash

Feeling anxious and stressed is the most obvious sign of an anxiety disorder, but it’s far from the only one. You may also notice some physical symptoms, like exhaustion, abdominal cramps and gastrointestinal issues, chills, back pain, and even itching. Since the physical symptoms aren’t nearly as obvious, some people may mistake their anxiety disorder for something else entirely.

Next: Some anxiety symptoms are downright bizarre.

The most bizarre symptoms of anxiety

Woman yawning while is working on the phone at breakfast in a restaurant

Is she tired or stressed out?  | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

Most physical symptoms of anxiety are easily explainable, despite seeming a little odd. However, some are downright bizarre, like excessive yawning and burping (due to afore-mentioned gastrointestinal issues), cold feet (due to your body’s response to stress), and a burning mouth and tongue. But while these are all annoying, nothing compares to the symptom no one seems to be talking about.

Next: Anxiety can make you a prisoner of your own mind.

You might have uncontrollable horrible thoughts

Young sad mad sitting by the window

| Marjan_Apostolovic/iStock/Getty Images

The terrifying symptom of anxiety we aren’t talking about is intrusive thoughts. People who suffer from anxiety often experience scary episodes where they see an alarming event playing out in their head like a movie. Not only are these thoughts nearly impossible to control, but many don’t speak up about having them due to fear of judgment.

Next: Intrusive thoughts are more common (and scarier) than we realize.

You may feel trapped in a mental prison

It can be hard to share in happy moments. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Imagine being mentally held hostage while a horror scene involving you or your loved ones takes place in your mind. While it’s impossible to say how many people with anxiety disorders suffer from this, it’s safe to say that many of them suffer in silence. Sometimes the intrusive thoughts are triggered by a traumatic event, while sometimes they’re simply a sad part of living with the disorder.

Next: If you have intrusive thoughts, here’s what you can do.

If this information speaks to you, speak up

If these symptoms sound familiar, you should look for a tharapist. | iStock

If intrusive thoughts are a part of your anxiety, you should never feel ashamed. Seeking help from a qualified therapist will help you learn techniques to see through your mind’s scare tactics and eventually stop the thoughts in their tracks. Having horrible thoughts is a terrifying symptom, and no one should have to live with that.

Next: Beware of self-medicating.

Considering cannabis? A word of caution

CBD oil shows promise, but you should speak to your doctor first. | iStock

As we learn more and more about marijuana for anxiety treatment, it may be tempting to try and banish bad thoughts with CBD oil or a joint. But, while many people do successfully treat their anxiety this way, for others, marijuana only makes things worse. Speak to a medical professional first.

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