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We often hear the term manipulation thrown around a lot. However, did you know that manipulation doesn’t always come from outside factors and that sometimes, it comes from within?

Those who suffer from anxiety know that anxiety isn’t just worrying. Anxiety is a terrifying, all-consuming sense of panic, dread, and fear that can be paralyzing. And while it may not always begin that way, slowly but surely, it can spiral out of control.

Manipulation is defined as handling or control. Put simply, if your anxiety is controlling your life, it’s manipulating you. If you don’t believe me, here are 9 warning signs anxiety is manipulating you.

1. You are afraid to try new things.

Anxiety can make us fear the unknown. While it’s okay to proceed with caution during a time of uncertainty, it becomes another when your anxiety becomes so powerful that you stop trying new things. Trying new things is how we grow, and if your anxiety is preventing this, it’s manipulating you.

2. You isolate yourself frequently.

You’ve become so consumed with anxiety that you often spend much of your time alone. You don’t go very many places, if anywhere. And when you do, all you can think about is getting alone again.

3. You often turn down invites.

When your friends and family invite you out, even if you have nothing else to do and want to join in, your worries tell you not to. You may find yourself thinking it over and over and over again, and the more you think about it, the more worried you are.

4. You have missed out on career opportunities.

In the past, you have found or been offered new opportunities. But, due to your anxiety and fear of the unknown, you have turned down the new opportunities or ignored them altogether. You have a lot of regrets over what could have been.

5. Sometimes you go without necessities because of your anxiety.

Sometimes, your anxiety becomes so much that when you go to the store to pick up food, water, and other necessities that you turn around and walk out. You promise yourself you will get what you need later, but later ends up turning into days.

6. You miss out on meeting new people.

You are so ridden with anxiety, that you have a hard time talking to new people. When you have an opportunity to make a new friend, or go out and meet new friends, you often turn down the opportunity or retreat inward.

7. You spend hours each day worrying about unlikely events.

You find that negative thought patterns spiral quickly, pushing you to worry about things that you either have no control over or unlikely things. One example of this is spending hours each day worrying about a home invasion or worrying about a gas line exploding. You might spend hours researching the topic and imagining with fear what such an event would be like.

8. You forget important dates/ tasks.

Your mind is so overrun with worry that you can’t think clearly. You often forget very important tasks, events, and dates because of this.

9. You have a hard time falling asleep.

When you lay down to sleep, your worries consume your mind. No matter how tired you may be, you lay there for hours thinking about scary things or things you are worried about. Due to this, your sleep is falling behind.