FACT VS FICTION: Signs Of Anxiety

We are back with another fact vs viction post!

A week ago we did a post on “Debunking Signs of OCD” and this week we are discussing signs of anxiety!!

Anxiety is one of the most common human body stress responses. It can occur due to feelings of fear or apprehension of the future. According to research, globally an estimated 284 million people experienced an anxiety disorder in 2017, making it the most prevalent mental health or neurodevelopmental disorder. However, we all experience anxiety without it being a disorder.
To put it simply, there is a range of anxiety disorders that we can develop.

They include:

  • Separation Anxiety- Excessive fear about being separated from loved ones so much that it effects development (if a child) and daily life.
  • Selective Mutism- The inability to speak in certain social situations (usually seen in childhood) but can also be seen in adults.
  • Specific Phobia- Is a marked fear/anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights & animals are the most common).
  • Social Anxiety- Is a marked fear/anxiety about social situations. It can be in both professional & personal situations as it’s a fear of being scrutinised by others (e.g., family, friends, & colleagues).
  • Panic Disorder- The main sign of PD is recurrent unexpected panic attacks that produce physiological symptoms like increased heart rate and sweating, to name a few.
  • Agoraphobia- Involves marked fears of the outside world (e.g., taking public transport, being outside alone, & being in open spaces).
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder- Is characterised by having excessive worry more days than not for at least 6-months that also produce physiological symptoms like restlessness, fatigue, and disturbed sleep.
  • Substance/Medication Induced Anxiety Disorder- Basically the same type of symptoms as Generalised Anxiety Disorder however, substances and medication is the cause (e.g., caffeine, cannabis, alcohol, & illicit drugs).

Please note that many other diagnostic criteria have to be met to have any of these anxieties. Do not self-diagnose, instead make an appointment to talk to a psychologist so they can assess your symptoms and help you out.

Now that we have explained that anxieties, let’s get down to the facts!

We are going off a post from @wearepsychology on Instagram (not linking them due to them providing people with misinformation) that isn’t entirely correct.

The context of anxiety they are talking about is vague.
In their post “10 signs of anxiety” they have stated:

  • May overthink- True! People with excessive anxiety may overthink about problems in their life or about things that could happen in the future.
  • May seek routine and structure- False. This is common among people on the Autism Spectrum and not with people experiencing anxiety.
  • May avoid new experiences- False. People with social anxiety may avoid social situations but generally, people with anxiety won’t avoid “new experiences”.
  • May revert back to comfort- True! This is only somewhat true, typically people with anxiety will avoid situations that spark their anxiety which in a way could be seen as reverting to comfort.
  • May seek extra reassurance- False.
  • May socially withdraw- True! People with social anxiety or generalised anxiety may socially withdraw or avoid social situations to decrease their anxiety.
  • May seek quieter environment– False.
  • May cancel plans- True! Somewhat true, however, it depends on the type of anxiety. People with social anxiety may do this.
  • May overanalyse- True! Well, somewhat true, people with social anxiety are likely to do this after being in uncomfortable situations.

There you have it SMP community, another fact vs fiction post down!!

We hope you enjoyed this post if you did please like & subscribe to our site to join our growing SMP community!

Reference: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

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