Anxiety is a pain in the butt, and its worse when friends and family don’t understand. Those with anxiety want to be functional, understood and loved. If you are wondering what it feels like have anxiety, you can read: Anxiety – A True Story. The following is a list of things we wish people understood:
- We can’t control when anxiety pops up – there isn’t a magical remote control that stops anxiety.
- We can easily get startled – don’t get get mad if you walk past by and we flinch. Anxiety makes us hypervigilant.
- Panic attacks are terrifying – we truly believe we are dying. Instead of telling us to stop exaggerating, help us.
- Having anxiety doesn’t make us weak – in fact facing our demons daily makes us strong.
- We have a lot on our mind – stop assuming something is wrong because we are quiet.
- We don’t use anxiety as a ticket out of situations – believe it or not those with anxiety want to be functional and not being able to do things or go to places makes us feel worthless.
- We don’t need a reason to be anxious – at times anxiety can be confusing. We may feel anxious and not know why.
- Anxiety comes with physical symptoms – such as headaches, dizziness, muscle tension, and gastrointestinal problems.
- We celebrate small victories – it may seem silly to you, but the things you find easy to accomplish can be difficult.
- Telling us to exercise won’t solve the problem – although exercising can help lower the severity of the symptoms we face, it won’t completely fix our anxiety.
- Having a friend or family member present won’t make anxiety disappear – but being there during stressful events can help us deal with the situation.
- Don’t try fix us – we appreciate you trying, but all we need is comprehension, love and support. If you want to help, feel free to read: The Ultimate Anxiety Guide.
- We can’t “just” get over it – anxiety doesn’t work that way. Telling us, “It’s all in your head” will make us mad. You don’t tell an asthmatic person, “It’s just in your lungs”, so why tell us that?
- We are not attention seekers – we get frustrated if you think that. On the contrary, we yearn to be functional.
- We are sorry for being rude – most of the time its unintentional and we feel crappy afterwards.
- The thought of being anxious worsens anxiety – we live in constant fear of what anxiety can make us do, so when we feel anxious we start to worry.
- Anxiety can be combined with depression – it doesn’t mean every anxious person is depressed, but it can occur.
- Don’t stop inviting us – even if we decline, feeling wanted makes us feel good. We truly want to see our friends and family, but sometimes the thought of what may happen affects us.
- Forcing us into situations doesn’t improve our anxiety – it may worsen it.
- Our anxiety can be irrational – We know we are hyping it, but it’s challenging to not think about worse case scenarios.
- We can become distracted – our brain doesn’t shut off, so it’s difficult to pay attention. It doesn’t mean we don’t care.
- Anxiety comes in different forms – just because you experience it one way doesn’t mean the other person will feel the same.
Anxiety is cruel and unforgiving, ask how you can help. You may not understand what we go through, but your presence means the world to us. Most importantly never give because slowly, but surely we will come around.
Did you know Psych2Go has a book about Mental Health Recovery?
Check it out here: Mental Illness Recovery Book, “Something I truly enjoyed about this book is the simplicity and the variety of stories which are all focusing in one subject; mental illness. It’s amazing to see how this book connects each story to one another and to the reader. It provides a direct insight of living with mental illness and tips on how to overcome some disorders. If you feel lost, or if you want to help a friend or family member then this is the book for you.” -Carelyn