Several anxiety symptoms are common enough that even those who don’t struggle with anxiety can recognize them. Panic attacks, excessive worry, and an inability to sit still can all be signs of an anxiety disorder. However, many uncommon anxiety symptoms exist, and you might not realize that these seemingly unrelated issues could be indications of anxiety.
Learn more about these unusual anxiety symptoms to determine if anxiety could be the root cause of your teen’s mental health struggles.
Top Uncommon Anxiety Symptoms
These unusual anxiety symptoms can be signs that you or your loved could be struggling with their mental health.
1. Gastrointestinal Issues
Did you know that anxiety can impact digestion? By triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety can actually make it harder for your body to digest food properly. If your body cannot digest food properly, issues like diarrhea, upset stomach, and bloating become common. Persistent digestive problems with no change in diet or illness could be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
2. Jaw Pain
Many people grind their teeth or clench their jaw when they’re stressed, and they might not even realize that they’re doing it! This uncommon anxiety symptom can lead to jaw pain, tooth shifting, and lockjaw. If you wake up with a sore jaw, it could be from grinding your teeth throughout the night. If sleep doesn’t bring relief from anxious thoughts, reaching out to a mental health professional can be the first step towards healing.
Do you have trouble making decisions? For some of those with anxiety, even small choices can cause stress. Feeling overwhelmed by choices or worrying that making the wrong choice will lead to devastating consequences is a sign of anxiety. Talking with a therapist can help you understand why making choices triggers anxiety and can help you learn how to make choices more effectively.
4. Cold Hands and Feet
This final unusual anxiety symptom occurs because of the same fight-or-flight response that affects digestion. The nervous system directs blood flow away from hands and feet and towards vital organs to ensure the body is ready for anything. Redirected blood flow can leave you cold and shivering, even when the temperature is warm. Similarly, numbness or tingling can be an uncommon symptom of anxiety, as well.
When to Reach Out for Anxiety Treatment
When should you reach out for help? While anxiety is a normal human emotion, persistent, overwhelming, or debilitating anxiety symptoms can make it hard to function. If anxiety persists even after the challenging situation or trigger has been resolved, this can indicate an anxiety disorder.
An anxiety disorder can only be diagnosed by a mental health professional. Although anxiety can’t be cured, treatment can help. The most effective anxiety treatment options include:
- Residential Treatment – Time away from anxiety triggers could allow teens the space they need to reset
- Therapy – Cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, and even experiential therapies can provide coping mechanisms for those struggling with anxiety
- Medication – Certain medications can provide teens relief from severe anxiety symptoms
- Family involvement – Having the support of loved ones is crucial for teens to feel like they can face anything
Help for Anxiety at Ascend
If you’ve noticed these uncommon anxiety symptoms in yourself or a loved one, don’t hesitate to reach out to Ascend. Our anxiety treatment program for teens incorporates therapy, academic support, and mental health education so that the teens in our care can build healthy coping skills that will help them thrive.