11 Manifestations of Anxiety
It’s likely that almost each one of the readers of this article knows the feeling of being anxious, worried, nervous, scared, or full of panic. In other words, we all know what it is to feel anxiety.
As we have said on other occasions, feeling anxiety is normal and helps us maintain defenses to protect us or have the energy to perform some tasks.
However, sometimes it can incapacitate and prevent us from living and developing as we intend. To find out if it is affecting us and to find a solution, we must first know the shapes it takes.
Its 11 fearsome disguises, the 11 faces of anxiety
The first thing we should know to start to losing the fear of anxiety is that it can come in different masks. Once you’ve understood anxiety, it can no longer use the strategy of hiding from us because we’ve uncovered it.
Let us see what its masks are:
Anxiety can manifest as incessant concern about family, health, academic or career goals, financial situation, etc. It is likely that with these concerns we feel that our stomach is in full spin and we have the feeling that something bad will happen, but do not know what or why.
Fears and phobias
Excessive fear of needles, blood, medical processes, heights, elevators, dentists, water, animals like spiders or reptiles, dogs, storms, enclosed spaces, etc. This is another mask that anxiety chooses to show itself.
Sometimes anxiety causes us to freeze up during an academic exam, a performance, a sporting event or any other situation involving good performance in the execution of a task.
Public speaking anxiety
The disproportionate fear of public speaking is one of anxiety’s “favorite ways” of showing itself. We feel that the world is spinning a thousand revolutions per hour, we tremble, we seem nervous and we believe that our minds go blank at the time when the ridiculous things we do is more than evident.
Feeling nervous, tense and unable to speak at social gatherings is another mask that anxiety uses to greet us. Things go through our mind such as “I have nothing interesting to say,” “I can’t talk to anyone,” “They’ll think I’m a strange and unsuccessful person,” “I’m not worth anyone being interested in me,” etc.
Sweating, dizziness, blocking, stiff, strong palpitations, intense fear… Have you ever felt this all of a sudden and thought you were dying? If so, this time anxiety has put on the cruel disguise as the panic attack.
Are you afraid to be out of your home? Do you have the clear conviction that something terrible can happen on the street, in line at the supermarket or on the city bus? Do you feel that you will suffer, for example, a panic attack and that no one can help you? Anxiety has dressed itself as agoraphobia which is the same as an intense fear of being in public spaces.
Obsessions and compulsions
There are thoughts that haunt you incessantly that you cannot get out of your head. At the same time something inside you forces you to do constant superstitious rituals in order to control your fears.
For example, you may feel the need to constantly wash your hands, check several times that you closed the door or pray 10 Our Fathers to protect your family. Anxiety has disguised itself in the form of obsessions and compulsions: one of its darkest suits.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Have you experienced a traumatic event (sexual abuse, physical abuse, witnessing a murder, etc.) months or years ago and the images of that horrible situation come back to your mind again and again? Do you not sleep well or do not feel safe because of this? Consult a mental health specialist because your anxiety may be manifesting as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Concern for physical appearance (body dysmorphic disorder)
Your physical appearance will seem extremely abnormal but only you see what you feel. Other people around you tell you that your nose, your body or your hair are normal.
It is likely that you feel the need to put yourself in the hands of cosmetic surgery and you look in the mirror constantly with the intention to correct your defects. Anxiety may manifest in the form of body dysmorphic disorder. Keep this in mind and seek a mental health professional to speak with.
Health concern (hypochondriasis)
Aches, fatigue, dizziness… you are sure there is some disease that is creeping on your health but the doctor doesn’t see anything from the tests they’ve done on you. It may even be that their explanations don’t reassure you.
You may be a victim of anxiety in the form of hypochondria. For a cure, look for a good professional psychologist to examine your beliefs and the way you think about your health.
Notes to the reader
In no way should the content of this article be taken as a diagnosis. The idea is to bring the reader the possibility that anxiety is present in one’s mind without it being noticed. It is essential that if you have any suspicion of this that you contact a health professional to assess and treat you if necessary.
Reference sources “Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders” and “Goodbye, Anxiety” by David Burns.
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