8 anxiety symptoms that are especially common for women
If you've experienced anxiety symptoms, you're not alone. It's one of the most common mental illnesses people are affected with, yet it's something that isn't always taken seriously.
Unfortunately, there's still a stigma attached to mental illness in general. And with something like anxiety often being brushed away with an "oh, you're over-reacting", or "stop taking things so personally", many people still don't realise how problematic it can become.
While it's normal to feel anxious before something like a first date, there are many of us who downplay our nerves and worry in scenarios that aren't necessarily stress-inducing. Maybe you're feeling particularly sensitive, you're always wondering "what-if", or you just have a really hard time making decisions about things. Anxiety disorders shouldn't be shrugged off because seeking treatment can prevent it from getting worse over time.
Women are more likely to be affected by anxiety symptoms
What many people also fail to realise is that women are far more likely to be affected by anxiety than men. Our hormones fluctuate differently, we've got different brain chemistry, and our serotonin levels are generally lower than theirs.
It's okay to admit that you might have an anxiety disorder, not just because it's so common but also because it's treatable. Read on for some common symptoms...
1. You're constantly worrying
You might be feeling uneasy all the time, and excessively ruminating. It's also common to be feeling anxious for no reason at all, as if it's just a "mood" that's hard to get out of. You can tell it's more than normal anxiety when your emotions are interfering with school, work or your social life.
2. You feel detached
Sometimes you might just feel indifferent about everything - feeling "nothing". Being very indecisive all the time can also be related to this. Perhaps you feel less interested in hobbies and activities you normally really liked before.
It's a tough one to deal with because even if you know something is wrong, you might be thinking about it for hours, yet you still don't feel the issue is resolved.
3. Social situations are something you dread
This isn't just about preferring to stay home on a Saturday night, it's to the level of really dreading the idea of leaving your safety zone. Standing in a room of strangers or approaching a crowd might give you sudden overwhelming fear. Or maybe you feel really panicked at the idea of having to deal with people at the supermarket. If so, speak up to someone you trust.
5. Anticipating something bad to happen
You just have this irking sensation of impending doom. Like something bad will happen – unless you can do things a certain way. It comes from constantly judging yourself and being afraid of making mistakes or disappointing people. Maybe you even do some kind of ritual try to prevent that bad thing from happening, even if it's illogical.
6. Anxiety symptoms can lead to panic attacks
All of a sudden you get this overwhelming feeling of helplessness. Sometimes, it's completely unexpected or otherwise brought on by some kind of flashback to a traumatic event.
Panic attacks cause heart palpitations, trembling, trouble breathing, dizziness, chest pains, cold sweats and even numbness and tingling in the limbs. They're not always related to anxiety disorders, but they are a symptom.
7. You don't sleep well
It's really difficult to fall asleep because you struggle to calm your mind when you're lying in bed. You might feel more and more helpless the longer you can't fall asleep, and even when you do, you'll probably wake up a few times in the night. It leaves you constantly tired and drained.
8. You have digestive problems
Your gut and your mind are well connected, meaning the stress from your anxiety affects your bowel movements, and can trigger tummy aches and general nausea. If you're experiencing these problems on a regular basis, chances are it's because your mind is messing with your digestion.
While we might experience any of these things from time-to-time in different circumstances, if you're experiencing any of them very frequently and in an extreme way, it's recommended that you seek advice from a close friend, a counselor or a doctor.
It's tough to admit that you might need help, but addressing your problems early means you'll be able to overcome them faster. It's going to be alright.