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Mental Health March – Signs You Might Not Realize are Symptoms of Anxiety

Mental Health March is the month I have dedicated to writing HC articles solely with the purpose of bringing awareness to different aspects of mental health! Today’s article; indicators of anxiety.

When thinking of anxiety symptoms, most people imagine heart palpitations, hyperventilation, nervousness, or anxiety attacks. That being said, anxiety happens to be more common than people think. There are small behaviourisms that are products of anxiety and are displayed in our actions without us even realizing it. 

Note that none of these behaviours are meant to be used to self-diagnose, I am not a health care professional. If any of the following behaviours have a significant impact on your day-to-day life, please seek help from a professional for a medical diagnosis.

woman holding mans hand
Photo by Emma Bauso from Pexels

People pleasing

Anxiety may make someone conform to the people around them – not because they are trying to ‘suck up’, but because their anxiety makes it difficult to say no and they are afraid to say no. Instead of attempting to disagree or express their own opinion around others, the easier way out is to simply agree with what everyone else has to say.


To be controlling is sometimes a by-product of anxiety, because more often than not people who suffer from anxiety have issues with control. It is scary not knowing or being able to predict what will happen next, or when things don’t go as planned. Anxiety can incite controlling tendencies in someone because they are afraid of things becoming out of their control. Although anxiety may explain such behaviours, we must remember that it does not excuse them. To be controlling of others to an unhealthy degree is an issue in which, like anxiety, we must find a way to improve.

Needing reassurance 

Reassurance can become addicting. One may find themselves constantly looking for reassurance from others in order to validate their own decisions because they are unsure of themselves.

Woman on instagram
Photo by Kate Torline from Unsplash

Procrastinate answering calls/texts

If someone suffering from anxiety receives a call or text message, it may take them a while to respond. They may find themselves putting off responding because they dread the experience of socializing because it is so mentally draining, so they would rather avoid it than exhaust themselves.


They may find themselves unable to make decisions, but not because they are picky.

They aren’t trying to make the best decision, but rather they are trying to not make the worst decision. They are weighing their options to make sure they are not putting themselves in a bad position.

Asking for things to be repeated

People who suffer from anxiety don’t always have their mind in the same place. Their thoughts tend to wander and they sometimes need to have things be repeated to them. This is often referred to as ‘brain fog’ and makes it difficult to concentrate on the stimuli around you, as well as process information.

Woman sitting by the river at sunset
Photo by Toni Reed from Unsplash

Talking too much

They might not be talking too much simply because they have a lot to say, but rather because it is a response to being anxious. When surrounded by large groups of people or strangers, they sometimes feel the need to talk more to avoid any unwanted awkwardness.

Are easily agitated

One may be very easily irritated or snappy without meaning to because they are constantly on edge. Anxiety can make people feel like they are walking on eggshells and have a negative effect on their mood, so even the slightest push can offset them over something that may seem small.

I hope this article has helped enlighten you on mental illness! Everyone must take care of their mental health, and often at times that is not easy to do. If you need immediate help, please reach out to emergency psychological services. Good2Talk for is available for Ontario residents at 1-866-925-5454 or you can call Crisis Services Canada at 1-833-456-4566. There are always people willing to support you; you are never alone.


Olivia Onesi

U Ottawa '24

Olivia enjoys binge reading her favourite young adult novels and going for evening runs. She is a second year psychology student at the University of Ottawa and can be found scrolling endlessly on TikTok.
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