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Anxiety - is it visible?

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bluefox
bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
I was having a discussion with my brother about anxiety this morning. Is anxiety something you can see? Or is it invisible? 

I was trying to walk 10 yards further as part of exposure therapy and he said I just be doing fine and I said but you can’t see how I’m feeling?

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  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,782 Scope online community team
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    Hey @bluefox!

    I'm speaking only from personal experience, but depending on the levels of anxiety and how the individuals body copes, it could be visible through other functions.  Some days I'd start shaking and sweating loads if my anxiety was really bad.  Other days, I'd feel anxious, but I could hide it really well. 

    I hope the exposure therapy is helping you though.  :)   
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  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,683 Disability Gamechanger
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    There are definitely some symptoms of anxiety that are visible.  But anxiety itself is invisible.

    I think it depends on the level of empathy from the other person as well.  I spent many years masking anxiety...but when I stopped, I realised no-one noticed anyway!

    Have to remember that anxiety is just a feeling, it doesn't actually mean anything and doesn't prevent anyone from doing anything.  It's the physical and practical symptoms of anxiety that can be debilitating.  Important to understand the difference as it means you may not 'know' how much you can manage...  If you're not showing any anxiety symptoms, you may be able to keep pushing through a task that the anxiety alone is telling you you can't...
  • bluefox
    bluefox Community member Posts: 636 Pioneering
    edited September 2023
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    I think as well, my brother was stigmatising myself and those who suffer with anxiety conditions. 

    I get blurred vision, nausea, feel dizzy/faint, pounding and racing heart, sweating, shaking, fidgeting, restless. I sometimes tic too. 

    But can anyone see me feeling sick, having blurred vision, my heart racing etc.  

    My therapist said I go into a freeze state, which is very noticeable. Even if I endure my anxiety or push through it, the after effects are complete exhaustion and the need for rest for many hours. 

    Most of these are not visible:

    • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
    • Sweating
    • Trembling or shaking
    • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
    • A feeling of choking
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Nausea or abdominal distress
    • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
    • Feelings of unreality (derealization) or being detached from oneself (depersonalization)
    • Fear of losing control or going crazy
    • Fear of dying
    • Numbness or tingling sensations (paresthesias)
    • Chills & hot flushes
  • Bettahm
    Bettahm Community member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
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    Anxiety is invisible, in my experience. It does produce physical symptoms; upset stomach, headaches, shortness of breath, shaking, sweating etc. 
    But in itself its invisible. It manifests to others in me unfortunately as irritability, bad temper and anger.
    I have agoraphobia and finding it increasingly difficult to deal with people. 
  • markwilliams12345
    markwilliams12345 Community member Posts: 12 Connected
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    Bettahm said:
    Anxiety is invisible, in my experience. It does produce physical symptoms; upset stomach, headaches, shortness of breath, shaking, sweating etc. 
    But in itself its invisible. It manifests to others in me unfortunately as irritability, bad temper and anger.
    I have agoraphobia and finding it increasingly difficult to deal with people. 
        I suffer with anxiety and the things you have described are just the same what I get im finding it harder &harder each day to do every day things Evan sitting here now watching tv I feel scared as if something bad is going to happen. I’m. Going to have my first session with a mental health nurse. and im feeling very scared about going there …………. We can all try and help each other I guess by writing how we feel each day,    I hope that everyone on this thread who wants to share there thoughts will,  nobody has to I just thought it might be a good idea, keep safe everyone and try and get the best out of every day ….. mark 
  • Bettahm
    Bettahm Community member Posts: 1,443 Disability Gamechanger
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    Bettahm said:
    Anxiety is invisible, in my experience. It does produce physical symptoms; upset stomach, headaches, shortness of breath, shaking, sweating etc. 
    But in itself its invisible. It manifests to others in me unfortunately as irritability, bad temper and anger.
    I have agoraphobia and finding it increasingly difficult to deal with people. 
        I suffer with anxiety and the things you have described are just the same what I get im finding it harder &harder each day to do every day things Evan sitting here now watching tv I feel scared as if something bad is going to happen. I’m. Going to have my first session with a mental health nurse. and im feeling very scared about going there …………. We can all try and help each other I guess by writing how we feel each day,    I hope that everyone on this thread who wants to share there thoughts will,  nobody has to I just thought it might be a good idea, keep safe everyone and try and get the best out of every day ….. mark 
    Yes, we can support each other. I'm finding my mh is deteriorating and currently getting no help though starting phone sessions with a transforming care psychologist tomorrow and currently looking for an advocate with Voiceability to make gp, dental, clinic appts for me and come with me to them.
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