Anxiety makes even the most basic of things seem overwhelmingly hard. While most things we encounter and experience during the day seem normal to us, those with anxiety can suffer serious episodes over seemingly benign issues at any time of the day.
Most people have been taught by popular culture that when an anxiety attack happens, the victim hyperventilates, in which case all they need is to breathe into a brown paper bag. While this is one of the signs of this condition, there are other less obvious signs many people miss when an anxiety attack strikes.
With studies putting the number of Americans who suffer from an anxiety attack at 18%, you can be sure that a lot of people suffer from this condition every once in a while, we are just not very good at spotting it. Here are some subtle signs that someone is suffering from an anxiety attack.
1. Being overemotional
Anxiety attacks can magnify emotions, which means that even small issues can result in huge dramatic emotional reactions. This involves getting easily upset and getting overly excited the next moment. Basically, the emotional strain an anxiety attack puts on people makes their emotions come to the surface much faster since they have less control over them.
2. Inability to focus
During an anxiety attack, someone is usually dealing with lots of thoughts all at once. Therefore, these people can seem unfocused because they are constantly distracted by what is going on in their own heads. Unfortunately, these thoughts can even make anxiety worse. Therefore, anyone experiencing this symptom of an anxiety attack can try to focus on something else to free their minds.
3. Irritability and testiness
Anxiety makes people edgy. And these people have been known to “blow their top” so to speak; acting with vicious force upon an imaginary or minute problem that most people would walk away from without an incident. When you notice that someone is quite edgy, you should not pry them to get answers to their reaction as the anxiety might mount. You could even give them some space if that is what they need.
4. Being quiet
A lot of people cannot imagine that anxiety attacks can manifest themselves in form of silence. However, when you see a usually talkative person go silent and become withdrawn, then it’s possible that they are in the throes of an anxiety attack. While helping, remember not to push too hard as that often makes things worse.
5. Obsessive tendencies
Anxiety can cast everything around you in a different light. Therefore, a house that someone was sitting in comfortably before might seem like a huge mess to the same person once they get an anxiety attack. Such a person might start putting everything “in order”, and overreacting to anyone who seems to get in their way. The obsessive behavior can also happen in the form of nail-biting, hair twirling, and doing an activity over and over again even when it was done right the first time.
When it’s all said and done, anxiety attacks only last for a moment. Additionally, with time, you can learn the symptoms and as you get better at dealing with them, you will also get better at preventing and reducing the impact anxiety attacks have on your life.