Discomfort is a fairly broad term, but it's one of the main words that people use to describe what their anxiety symptoms are like. Anxiety discomfort is often difficult to explain. In some cases, the discomfort is more general, like a feeling that something is off. In other cases it's more specific, like back pain, neck pain, and so on.
In this article, we'll explore various types of discomfort and look at some of the links this discomfort has to anxiety.
Your Discomfort = Anxiety?
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Different Anxiety Disorders Create Different Discomfort
Despite falling under the header of "anxiety," each anxiety disorder is very different, and can create vastly different symptoms that may lead to different types of discomfort. If you haven't done so, make sure you take my anxiety symptoms test to understand more about what your symptoms mean.
Consider the following:
- Panic Disorder Panic disorder can lead to severe discomfort in the chest, especially chest pains. It may lead to feeling something is "off" in your head, along with countless physical sensations that range from rapid heartbeat to feeling like nerves are firing in random parts of your body.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) OCD often leads to a strong psychological discomfort, where the person ends up feeling as though they are on edge and uncomfortable if they are in certain situations, such as seeing disorder, avoiding a compulsion, etc.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) GAD can cause physical discomforts like back and neck pain, stomach discomfort, and possibly headaches. GAD can also create uncomfortable thoughts that may lead to some types of psychological discomfort.
- Social Phobia Social phobia creates severe discomfort when in groups, and may lead to very similar symptoms as GAD or Panic Disorder when faced with social situations.
Describing discomfort can be very difficult, and occurs differently for each person. For some, it is pain, where the pain is dull, sharp, or barely there but irritating. For others, it's a weird sensation - like feeling as though your leg needs to move or that your fingers are tingling. For others it's psychological, and the discomfort comes from feeling like something is wrong in any given situation.
Recognizing Your Anxiety Discomforts and Addressing Them Directly
It's very important that you learn how to identify what these discomforts are so that you can make the necessarily changes to direct them directly. Consider the following tips:
- Start by making a list of all of the discomforts you have, both physical and mental.
- Make sure you've taken my anxiety test too, to see what type of anxiety you seem to display.
- Figure out what makes these discomforts so stressful
- Is it a fear over what they may mean?
- Is it a fear over the discomfort itself?
- Address each issue individually, so that you can figure out how to counter them one by one.
- Make sure you're also working to reduce your anxiety in the long run, because your anxiety will continue to cause these discomforts and symptoms as long as you keep experiencing it.
No matter what it may be, these can all be related to anxiety. Ideally, you should strongly consider taking my anxiety test now. The test will look at your symptoms and your specific types of discomforts and give you an opportunity to learn more about what they mean and how to stop them.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Sep 28, 2017.