Anxiety is internalized fear that aggravates in great measure the painful symptoms of any kind of arthritis, including OA. It is normal to feel anxious before a major event in your life, but what is not normal is to be, every day of your life, in constant alert; you may have an anxiety disorder and not be aware of that. These are some of the most common symptoms of an anxiety that goes above the “normal”:
- Unreasonable fear? If your feel fear that is not proportional to the cause, let’s say your feet ache and sweat and you feel paralyzed in front of an ordinary event, like a dog on the street or a crowd, you may be facing severe anxiety, in many cases phobia.
- Constant stomachache? If you feel indigestion all the time, like diarrhea, gas, bloating, your body may be trying to tell you that there is something going on in your mind, the two are close and connected. Therefore anxiety can be the cause of problems like IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome).
- Not sleeping well? The length and quality of your sleep is probably the best anxiety thermometer. If you have trouble falling sleep and you wake up extremely agitated by no particular reason, you should talk to your doctor about anxiety.
- Tightness in your muscles? It is possible that you don’t notice how intensely you clench your jaw, or not even know for how long you have done it already. Tension in your muscles can be anxiety in disguise; this constant tension will make your OA pain only worse.
Don’t ignore the signals of anxiety, because this condition can make your OA pain unbearable physically and mentally.