Anxiety: the seven warning signs

Anxiety sufferers often choose to hide what is happening to them from others. For those suffering from an anxiety disorder, it can be very difficult to open up and tell others about their experiences of anxiety

Often, people suffering from anxiety try to hide their psychological distress even from the people closest to them, because they do not want to show others their weaknesses and because they fear being judged negatively.

Anxiety, the seven signs of change

Let’s look at the seven signs of change, with respect to the behaviour that took place before the onset of the anxiety disorder, that can signal whether a loved one or friend is suffering from anxiety and therefore needs our help.


Anxiety can generate escape behaviour in sufferers as well as an enormous difficulty in engaging in the usual tasks of daily life.

People with an anxiety disorder can often avoid contact with others by devising many subtle ways of doing so, such as avoiding public transport or going to places where there are very few people.

They often find excuses to avoid social situations (such as going to a party, cinema, theatre, etc.).

Changing eating habits

People suffering from an anxiety disorder may start to eat a lot or, conversely, very little.

People who begin to eat less do so because they become inappetent or because anxiety makes them suffer too much.

Conversely, people who start eating significantly more than before very often use food as a distraction from their worries and may experience a strong and constant craving for sweet foods.

Physical symptoms

Ordinary people believe that anxiety is something that has a basically mental impact, but in reality anxiety has many annoying physical manifestations.

Symptomatic anxiety can manifest itself in various ways: it can result in a headache or stomach ache, a dry mouth and a feeling of a lump in the throat, feelings of nausea, gnashing of teeth or the need to urinate constantly, tachycardia and shortness of breath.

Difficulty with attention and concentration

The constant worry that an anxious person experiences makes it very difficult for them to concentrate or pay attention while performing a task or activity.

Some people also experience disorientation and dizziness.

The vortex of anxious thoughts then distracts from performing even an easy task.

All activities that were previously carried out without difficulty can become very demanding and almost impossible to perform.

Poor sleep

The worries that crowd an anxious person’s mind can keep him or her awake at night.

Mental ruminations stimulate the mind and body and make it very difficult to fall asleep.

Another problem for anxious people are night wakings caused by the same anxiety.

Changes in appearance

In addition to changes in weight, the appearance of a person with an anxiety disorder can change in several ways: some people start neglecting their appearance, not washing their clothes or ironing them, going out with unkempt hair or having poor personal hygiene.

Conversely, other anxious people may become even more obsessed with their appearance.

In fact, anxious people are often perfectionists and thus also become obsessed with their appearance.

Excessive need for reassurance

Anxiety is often linked to the difficulty of making decisions and thus the attempt to avoid making them.

Most anxious people feel the need to delegate responsibility for their decision-making to others, asking for reassurance that their eventual choice is right.

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