Anxiety triggers aren’t always easy to identify—if fact, they could be the ordinary things in your home that you would never suspect.
Home is supposed to be a safe space
Sadly, that’s not true for everyone that suffers from anxiety—which is a sizable number of people. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect about 40 million people—that’s almost one in five people. Women suffer more than men, and children aren’t immune either. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 25 percent of kids age 13 to 18 suffer from an anxiety disorder. Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common form of anxiety, but there are other types such as panic disorders, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Treatments vary depending on the disorder and individual but therapy, medication, self-care and avoiding triggers help. You’re not alone—check out the 14 things only people with anxiety can understand.
Not everyone recognizes their triggers
“The things that make us anxious are different for each person,” says therapist William Schroeder, MFT, co-director of Just Mind, a counseling service. “Some people may not even notice since these things get woven into day-to-day life.” You might pick up on subtle things like the urge to eat or drink more or zone out. Or the trigger could produce a mild panic attack—a tightening of the stomach or back muscles, say, or your heart rate speeding up. For example, here are some silent signs of high functioning anxiety.
Your ex’s clothing
Your ex’s flannel shirt is still hanging on a hook in your closet, or her coffee mug sits in the cupboard. “It’s not uncommon for a person to come in depressed, stressed, and anxious and they aren’t sure what’s causing it,” says Schroeder. “Often our anxiety runs in the background and we aren’t conscious of it.” Items from past relationships can make you feel sad, depressed, or anxious. “Think about removing those items for a bit if they seem to be causing more negative associations than positive ones,” suggests Schroeder.