In general, why can it sometimes be hard to tell if someone has anxiety?
People with anxiety often already worry about the judgement of others. While you may have an idea that someone you know is suffering from symptoms of anxiety, it can be very hard for them to open up about this.
Back in October, I collaborated with Bustle on a few signs of anxiety that people can miss - you can read a few other cues over on their article.
As an anxiety specialist, I frequently work with people who are high performers, successful at work and at school.
Their anxiety about failure, judgment, or consequences drives them to have a very hard work ethic. So, their performance can mask the underlying stress that fuels them.
Other times, people with anxiety may just seem quiet, even though they participate in group activities.
A few clues that there may be anxiety, with your friends...or for you:
1. Failures cause big reactions: People who have anxiety around performance or perception of others may have a really big reaction to a small failing, from a big outward meltdown to staying at home for the next few days.
2. Spacing out: It may seem that someone with anxiety often drifts off, even in the middle of conversation. Their anxiety may be causing them to dissociate some from their situation, meaning they're less connected to the world around them.
3. Frequent illness: Constant stress has a huge effect on immune systems. People with hidden anxiety can experience frequent illnesses because their immune system is compromised. On top of this, hiding their anxiety from others can cause even more stress on their system, due to keeping this information only to themselves, and worrying about being open with others.
4. Criticism of others: Being critical of others often comes from people who are very critical of themselves, especially when there's underlying anxiety. When someone with hidden anxiety holds others to high standards, they probably have even higher standards for themselves.
5. Fidgeting and curling up: Anxiety has a physiological impact on our bodies. Its outward expression can include fidgeting with hands, wiggling or tapping feet, curling arms around our bodies, or wrapping legs around one another multiple times.
Curious to hear more? Wondering if you or your teen has anxiety? Contact Kelsey to set up a free phonecall assessment and discuss next steps. You can reach her at 314-339-7640 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kelsey works with kids, teens, and college students in St. Louis, Webster Groves, Brentwood, Town and Country, Creve Couer, and surrounding areas.