Thursday, 1 September 2016

Anxiety In All Its Glory

When reading about anxiety we all told the same things; the heart palpitations, sweating and the difficulty concentrating but I thought in this post I would explain the side effects that I have experienced through my battle with generalised anxiety that are not discussed all that often.

Lack of sleep - When your mind is constantly racing it becomes very hard to fall asleep.  In my case this triggered insomnia, I would go weeks on end with only 3/4 hours of sleep a night. It becomes extremely hard to function without sleep. To try to help with this try to get into a bed time routine - have a bath, read a book and go to bed at the same time every night. If i feel very anxious i also use lavender oil on my wrists to help to calm me down. 

Feeling sick all the time - Constantly feeling sick lead me to being unable to eat food, I lost quite a bit of weight, weighing 6 stone 5 at 17 years old. The only food that was ok with my sickness was apples, however that was clearly not enough. I had to get in the habit of eating little but often to sustain myself so that i could continue to function. 

Hair condition - Through constant worry the condition of my hair drastically worsened (i did admittedly bleach the bottom of my hair) but I also formed the nervous habit of pulling off the ends of my hair which in turn created more split ends. Eventually I had to have my hair cut short. Unfortunately with anxiety you come up with weird little ways to externalise that anxiety, mine were pulling off the ends of my hair, biting the skin of my thumbs and shaking my legs. The best way to deal with these are to become aware of these behaviours and then to try to stop yourself from doing them. When it came to my hair, i would tie it up and make more of an effort to look after it so that there were less split ends to pull at. When it came to my thumbs, its a habit i still haven't been able to rid myself of, however, sometimes i do put plasters on so i can't pick at my thumbs, and as for the shaking of the legs i let people around me know it was an anxious tick and every time they saw my legs shaking they would kindly let me know so that i could try to get control of it. 

Nervous sh*ts - I am being 100% real, there is no need to sugar coat it. Everyone discusses the constant need to pee but nervous sh*ts are also a common symptom of anxiety and it is probably the most annoying and embarrassing symptom. Unfortunately i am not sure that there is all that much you can do to avoid this. I very much wondered if it was normal but it is so thought i would share it with you. (You are welcome) 

Shoulder pain - I am a frequent sufferer of shoulder pain from where i am so tense from the anxiety that as soon as i relax, all my muscles do the same and the pain begins. The only thing i can advise is to try to do relaxing exercises often to try to relax your muscles so that they don't become too badly tense in the first place.

As you can see, whilst anxiety is a mental illness it can affect you physically as much as mentally. I hope you have found this post helpful. 


  1. It is true that the majority of people in our society are still unaware about the symptoms of anxiety, so I would like to introduce them to ‘The Anxiety Guy podcast’, the best health related podcast on iTunes. It will help learning the real facts about depression and anxiety, and help curing the disease as well.

    1. This is great, i recommend everyone to check out this podcast to further educate themselves