5 Behavioural Symptoms That People With Anxiety Want You To Understand

Living with Anxiety is so tough, believe me, I know. Lately I've been really struggling trying to keep my head above the anxious waters. Honestly, I've been drowning. However, what I find even harder to deal with, is the people around you who don't understand. The people who don't even try to understand. So I've put together this list of behavioural symptoms that people may not realise are caused by anxiety.

1. Anxiety isn't always fidgeting and hyperventilating into a brown bag.
Some people who haven't experienced anxiety before seem to just associate anxiety with what they've seen portrayed in the media. I only know this because I used to think of it the same way. Before I experienced severe anxiety for myself, I thought it involved a lot of hysterical crying and rocking back and forth. Now that I've experienced it first hand, I know that isn't always the case. When I'm having a bad 'episode' I tend to zone out. I literally go to another planet. I'll just stare into space as the rest of the world carries on around me. I'll look calm and zoned out on the surface, but my mind is swirling and I'm probably nauseous. Anxiety can also come across as sudden anger, nit-picking, suddenly talking very quickly and stumbling over words. There are many visible symptoms that are associated with anxiety, and it's different for every person.
2. Some days it IS physically exhausting to even think about getting out of bed.
This one seems to be something people really can't understand. When my anxiety is extremely bad, I cannot muster up the energy to even move from my bed. I have even lost a job before because of this particularly annoying situation. What's even worse is the fact that after you've called in to work sick, anxiety starts to make you panic about failing and possibly losing your job, but there's still no energy there to move at all. I've had people call me lazy because of this. That always feels great! *sarcasm*

3. Gagging & dry-heaving is an annoying common occurrence.
This is one symptom that I did not expect to be related to anxiety. When things first started getting really bad, I noticed my gag reflex was getting super sensitive. I would gag at certain smells, certain foods, even just at the thought of certain things. I would just get up too quickly and dry heave. Only when I typed it into google and saw my doctor, they confirmed this is a symptom of severe anxiety. Oh joy.
4. Sometimes we cancel plans, but we really do want to be there.
Ah yes, the fear. The fear sets in on the morning of 'the plan' you could be going out with a friend, going on a date, whatever. Suddenly the fear will set in and your mind will try to come up with 101 reasons to cancel these plans. You have no idea why, but it's all you can think about. These thoughts get worse and worse throughout the day and won't leave it alone. Most times I manage to force myself to get ready and go out, but sometimes cancelling is just the right thing to do. We're sorry, we really do want to be there. It's just, blurgh. Please don't hold back from making plans in future.

5. When you don't reply, we start to feel like we're to blame.
This one is so hard to try and explain without scaring people off. Especially possible dates. However the harsh truth for those living with anxiety is, when our message doesn't get replied to, we start to think the worst. Seeing a message left on 'read' is possibly one of the most gut wrenching feelings I could imagine. I start to panic, my mind wanders and I begin to over think EVERY. SINGLE. WORD I've said. I over analyse everything, scrolling through my texts to see if there was something that could have possibly upset you. Deep down I know that you're probably busy, cooking, on the toilet, in the shower... but I can't think logically right now. Please, if you know you're talking to someone suffering with anxiety, just send a quick message saying you can't talk and you'll text later. Typing that message takes two seconds and puts our minds at rest!
So as a final note, please try to keep these things in mind, and please don't tell us to snap out of it or to grow up. I've been told I'm pathetic because of anxiety before and it seems to be a common thought that anxious feelings can be 'switched off', it isn't that easy. If it were that easy, none of us would be going through it. Trust me.
I hope this has been somewhat insightful and helpful. If you're struggling at all and you feel like you have no one to talk to, I don't care if we've never talked before, please send me a message. I'll be here even if it's just to listen.
Talk soon!G.x


  1. Such a relateable post! I have anxiety and completely agree with all of these, especially the not being able to get out of bed one, some days I literally just don't do anything, I physically can't force myself. Also the amount of times I've cancelled on someone because of anxiety, people say they understand but I never truly believe they do x

    Tiffany x www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    1. Yeah! It's so annoying when they clearly can't understand. You feel isolated. I just wanted to put this post together to try and be there for anyone who is feeling alone :( I've struggled with it so much this year. X

  2. This is so relatable thanks for sharing

  3. I know this exact feeling I have anxiety and tend to do these things.