July 11, 2022

10 Slightly Embarrassing (& Often Uncomfortable) Signs of Anxiety.


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I’ve written quite a bit about my relationship with anxiety.

It’s something I’ve struggled with for a while, but I wasn’t able to put a name to it until a few years ago when I had my first panic attack.

The more I learn about anxiety, the more I realize that so many of my quirky behaviors, even from when I was a child, are directly related to either having anxiety or trying to hide the fact that I have anxiety.

Things like: being the fixer or peacekeeper, having difficulty setting boundaries (or setting too many boundaries to protect myself), avoiding conflict, staying firmly in my comfort zone, watching the same shows or listening to the same music all the time, making decisions based on fear, creating stories in my head so I’m prepared for any outcome, and generally overthinking everything.

And while many of those quirks are internal or manifest in the way I show up emotionally with myself or in relationships, there are some behaviors that are purely physical, and uncomfortable—and sometimes embarrassing.

Need an example?

I have to pee…All. The. Time.

I will be late for plans just so I can use the bathroom one more time. I will step away from meetings or conversations or even fights if I feel the urge to pee. The advice that most parents give to use the restroom before you leave the house, “just in case,” is something my adult self still firmly believes. And don’t even get me started on how many times I pee before I finally get into bed at night.

Friends, partners, and family members have all commented over the years that I pee more than anyone they know. Truth be told, I pee more than anyone I know.

I always assumed I just had a small bladder, although no doctor has ever confirmed this assumption. And there are days I congratulate myself because I obviously must be incredibly well-hydrated. But what I now realize is that my constant need to use the bathroom is an outward, physical symptom of my anxiety.

Here are nine more slightly embarrassing, often uncomfortable signs of anxiety, via psychotherapist Tannia Duenas:


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>> Excessive sweating
>> Nausea and vomiting
>> Shaking
>> Talking too fast
>> Skin rashes or blushing
>> Sweaty palms
>> Pacing
>> Nail biting
>> Skin picking

I am 5 for 10 on this list, and ever-so-grateful for clinical strength deodorant, chewable antacids, and at-home skin care masks so that I’m not constantly walking around looking like a billboard for my anxiety.

How many of these symptoms do you struggle with? And what tips do have for dealing with them?


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