Bustle – 15 Things People With Anxiety Shouldn’t Feel Ashamed To Do Behind Closed Doors

Anxiety behaviors are hard enough to manage in general, but sometimes a fear of judgment can drive it behind closed doors. Bustle asked me to weigh in on ways people could express anxiety in private, and I was pleased to weigh in on this great round-up of anxious behaviors that are more likely to proliferate in private.

To read the full post, click HERE.

Engaging In Compulsive Behaviors

“Compulsive behaviors of all stripes are … usually done behind closed doors,” licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, PLLC, tells Bustle. “Nail biting, skin picking, hair-pulling … and other compulsive behavior aimed at alleviating anxiety, are generally confined to privacy.”

These things aren’t generally accepted in a social setting, and may feel embarrassing. While the occasional nail biting may not do any harm, speak with a loved one or a therapist if these compulsions become persistent and hard to ignore.


If you have anxiety, you might find that you procrastinate for hours while at home — even though you’re generally able to get things done at work, or while out with friends.

“Everything is easier behind closed doors, where others can’t see and judge,” Dr. Clark says. So you might find yourself putting off chores, or letting important tasks go undone, if you’re anxiety is too intense. While this can be important for self-care, reach out to a specialist or someone you trust if you are finding it difficult to motivate yourself to do anything.

Flaking Out On Plans

If you’ve ever flaked out on plans due to your anxiety, you’re definitely not alone. Many “socially anxious people may … ‘hide’ at home and [make] excuses for not being able to attend a social event or keep plans,” Dr. Clark says. And that’s because it can be tough to admit you have anxiety.

Keep in mind, though, that it may be helpful to open up about your feelings, and share them with friends. More importantly, though, if you feel like your anxiety is holding you back and keeping you from doing things you once enjoyed, it may be a good idea to talk to a therapist.


Posted in ,

Alicia H. Clark, PsyD