People with concealed anxiety often feel anxiety the most intensely because we tend to suppress it a lot. We don’t like to talk about it, we don’t want to admit when we’re overwhelmed, and we will never say when we’re not okay. In fact, it’s probably our worst fear for someone to see us struggling.
1. We’d rather deal with it alone. We don’t want anyone’s sympathy; we don’t want these labels: The one with anxiety. The one who’s vulnerable. The one with an uneasiness to trust. Because this is only a part of us; but the part that we need to fight every time someone tries to get close to us nevertheless.
2. We’d rather help you with your issues. We’re highly empathetic because we know what it’s like to experience pain. We can literally help you with any problem – we’re hyper-conscious and highly intuitive, one of the positive sides of being so aware of everything.
3. We go out of our way to make people feel comfortable. Since we’re so perceptive, we go off vibes very easily. It’s important for us to make the people around us feel happy and comfortable. This often makes us the life of the party since we can easily make people laugh and feel accepted – which eases ouranxiety greatly.
4. But we can only take so much of social gatherings. Paradoxically, social situations can be both the biggest source of comfort and anxiety trigger for us, depending on the people. Our anxiety is often caused by over-thinking so if you can make us live in the moment, we’ll worship you. Or at least until we start over-thinking again (just kidding.)
5. We hate to admit when we’re struggling so we despise the question, “are you okay?” We don’t need you to worry about us but we do love when you tell us everything will be okay. Sometimes just believing in us and reassuring us everything will work out instead of worrying about us can ease our minds a lot.
6. No matter how successful we are, we are always humbled by our anxiety in a way. It can be stressful, but at least it keeps us grounded.
7. We’re extremely strong. We will never let our anxiety be an excuse for not achieving something. This can often can lead us to think we’re bulletproof, only to face tears in the most unexpected times. We can have misdirected anger, sometimes at you, but please don’t take it personally – we love you to the fullest degree.
8. We have a tendency to worry about every aspect of our relationship at length.You might be blind-sighted by our charming natures but don’t let it fool you – we do need you. And even though we hate to admit it, we need your love more than anyone else.
This Is What It Means to Partner With Anxiety
“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon
You end up becoming BFFs.
There will always be that moment in life where you lose control of everything you thought was in your grasp and fear overwhelms you beyond belief. Anxiety lays its eyes on you and takes control on your behalf. It convinces you that it’s your friend because it understands how you feel. It knows all your fears despite your hopes.
It will always be there.
So you depend on it. Looking at it as reassurance that time is coming faster than the speed of light, so you try to beat it against all odds because you trust anxiety to know time.
It drains the peace out of you.
It’s not long before you realize how much anxiety weakens you. You find yourself avoiding going to the movies with friends, being in big crowds, giving school presentations. Little things like ordering food at Wendy’s fill you to the brim with intense fear you never knew existed.
You’re been robbed of your peace.
You can barely get through the day. You’ve grown accustomed to your stomach doing back flips, your breath being stuck in your throat, your chest squeezing and warming in pain, and your head completely light as a cloud for every irrational fear and you don’t know how much more you can take.
There’s a root for it all.
You’re missing out on life. You watch the world spinning all around you and at the same time, you feel like you’re running faster than it.
You search far and deep for that one spoiling root that gave birth to this demon, hoping that beneath all that thick darkness of panic, there’s a light.
You rebuild your life again.
You realize it’s going to be okay. That though you don’t have control over a lot of things, you do have control over anxiety. You know that though some people in your life fail to understand what you’re going through, you can still overcome it.
So begins the battle to take your life back from it and through those fights, you build yourself again without even realizing it.
15 Problems Only Anxious People Will Understand
I admit that I am an overthinker. Or could the rest just be under-thinkers?
In any case, this is definitely a huge reason for my anxiety and I end up making every situation in my life about 100x more difficult than it has to be. My day normally goes something like this:
Anxiety: Okay but what if – Me: Homie we went over this a thousand times and we totally resolved it. Anxiety: Yeah but I’ve looked at it from a new angle and there are like 15 more reasons why you should worry about it. Me: ……go on.
If you’re also an anxious son of a bitch, you might relate to and understand at least one of these things:
- You’re just doing your thing, getting on with your day and then your anxiety is all like, “Remember me!? MWAHAHAHA!” Coz it’s a bastard.
- Wishing there were an off switch on your brain; your mind is constantly racing.
- You question everything. Your brain is always going, over-analyzing and over-thinking everything.
- You try to trick your brain by doing as many things as you can during the day so you can fall asleep at night – HAHA what were you thinking? This is your brain’s prime time to annoy you; it won’t miss this opportunity.
- You’re never really “in the moment” unless the person or activity is hella stimulating or you’re drunk.
- Well, until the hangover. The next morning you are left in fear of what you could have said to that one person who you’d rather die than act like an idiot in front of.
- Going to the doctor is always fun, cause you can’t stop thinking about every worst case scenario that can happen.
- And any pain in your body leads you to imagine the worst case scenario. “What is that random side pain? Is that normal? *googles symptoms* “WHAT!”
- You hate texting games more than anything. You don’t need any more mental exercise for your brain.
- It doesn’t matter how confident you are in your relationship – if the person you’re with doesn’t call you back right away when they’re out, your mind will play out a bunch of horrible scenarios in which they’ve cheated. Or died.
- You’re not a jealous, insecure, control freak, you’re just constantly thinking.
- You’ve probably never been sure about a thing in your life.
- And you’re also always gripped by the feeling that there’s more that you should be, or could be, doing in your life.
- You can be the most confident person in the room and still get that annoying feeling of unease.
- Boo thang, you’re not alone.
14 Things To Know When You Love Someone With Anxiety
Anxiety is a scary mental illness to have and it takes a lot of strength to deal with it.
You may love someone who has to go through life with the constant feeling of missing that one step on the staircase. It may even be frightening for you as well.
It’s not impossible to love someone who has anxiety, but there are important things to keep in mind while loving them:
- It’s not all in their heads. They’re already struggling with the question of whether or not this is all in their heads and sometimes feel guilt with not being able to get better as a result. The truth is anxiety can’t be cured with a snap of a finger, so try to stay away from the assumption that they can get over this quickly.
- Try not to understand their experience. Anxiety is something you never want to experience. Ever. So don’t try to place yourself in their shoes. It’s okay to not know what it’s like. This is something that’s personal for them and they have to work through it themselves.
- They’re not introverted or anti-social. It’s easy to overlap anxiety with introversion or being anti-social, but that’s never really the case. One of the most frustrating things about anxiety is just how much it hinders the social aspect of life, making it difficult to not want to isolate yourself.
- Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are different. It’s also easy to believe that anxiety and panic attacks are interchangeable but that’s not the case either. Anxiety attacks make you feel like you’re highly overwhelmed (think of nervosa x5). But a panic attack is much more crippling in the sense that you feel like you’re close to having a heart attack.
- But when they do have either one…try not to panic yourself. Take them to a place where they could be alone and allow them to calm themselves, whether it’s taking deep breathes or pacing.
- Don’t do the tough love thing. Never ever try tough love on them because they already feel guilty about their anxiety. Tough love will only heighten their fear and encourage them to hide away from the world instead of get better. On the other hand…
- It’s okay to talk to them about it. It helps to talk to them about it from time to time, so you both could understand the situation better.
- It’s also okay to be honest. If it’s mind boggling for you, don’t be afraid to admit that. Anxiety can be difficult to comprehend, especially if it affects the one you love so strongly. So be honest with them, but try to refrain from being harsh.
- It’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself for their anxiety. It can come from a variety of roots and you’re most likely not one of them. Blaming yourself can add more guilt for the both of you.
- Don’t be their psychiatrist. You end up taking on burdens you weren’t meant to take on and it may lead them down a risky path. It’s easy to want to make them feel better through things like sex or even being a dare devil. But those things can cause them more harm than good if the sole purpose is to cure them from anxiety. So try not to fix them. Allow them to get some professional help if they feel they need it.
- Sometimes, it’s good to simply be there. What you can do to help is be there for them. Support them and give an ear to listen when they need it.
- Never tell them to calm down. “Calm down” is the one statement people with anxiety get sick of hearing because it only makes it worse. If they could calm down, they would but they can’t and that’s what sucks about it. It’s difficult to calm down when you have a million irrational thoughts running a marathon in your brain.
- Try to understand the triggers. It’s good to know what triggers their anxiety, so it doesn’t happen too often. If things like horror films, spiders, pranks, or mentioning intense current events like war and viral outbreaks place them in anxious mode, try to avoid those things when you’re with them.
- It’s never easy…but it can get better. In the midst of all the hardships, always know that you love them and they love you too.
20 Things Your Friends with Anxiety Wish You Knew
With all of the info out there about Anxiety and the plight of those suffering from it, you probably think you know how to interact with someone suffering from this disease, but have you ever found yourself in a situation where a friend starts avoiding you, or limiting contact with you, seemingly out of nowhere?
Unless you did something terrible and are too much of an ignoramus to realize it, chances are your friend has Anxiety and took a casual comment VERY personally, whether you meant it that way or not. For those of us suffering from Anxiety it’s extremely difficult for us NOT to take things personally. What follows is a list of 20 things we wish our loved ones knew:
1. We are not anti-social!
It’s not that we don’t enjoy hanging out, but often doing so comes with so much inner baggage (Will they like what i’m wearing? What if I say the wrong thing? Do they REALLY want me there?) that it becomes easier not to go at all.
2. If we make even the slightest faux-pas we will disappear for weeks.
We’d rather not see the people who witnessed our misstep then risk having to be reminded of it.
3. We are not pessimists!
We are all too aware that our worries border on irrational. This does nothing to quell those worries and neither does trying to label us; in fact, labels make it much worse.
4. Relationships, of any kind, are extremely difficult for us.
Rather, they are exhausting! Interacting with someone, especially someone we care about or whose opinion matters to us, is like navigating a minefield in heels; we are constantly trying to avoid emotional explosions while looking good (or at least normal) while doing it.
5. We are only truly at peace when we’re alone.
Or with that rarest of creatures, someone who “gets” us and truly loves us for who we are, Anxiety and all.
6. The phrase “calm down” makes us want to kill ourselves…and you!
If it were possible to simply “calm down” don’t you think we would?
7. We are terrified everyone will find out how bad it is.
And we go to great lengths to hide it, whether it be going to the restroom to avoid taking medicine in front of coworkers or feigning allergies to explain tears in public, we spend A LOT of time stressing about what would happen if our secret got out.
8. Anything can trigger an Anxiety attack.
A coworker once told me I had a big personality; I spent the next three hours trying to decide what she meant and finally ended up calling my cousin in an attempt to decode it, before I could relax…kind of.
9. There is nothing about Anxiety that you can tell us that we don’t already know.
We spend a lot of time researching Anxiety Disorder. A lot. If there’s a paper or a study out about Anxiety, we’ve read it, probably twice so we don’t need you spouting off Anxiety facts that you read on Facebook, we’ve seen that list too, and, most likely, added to it.
10. Sometimes “leave me alone” means “leave me alone.”
We really appreciate you trying to help but sometimes the best thing you can do for us is give us a minute.
11. We take “self-conscious” to a whole new level.
Has a casual encounter ever made you cry? If not, you have no idea what we’re going through.
12. We swear Matchbox 20’s “Unwell” was written for us.
“We know they’ve all been talking about us and it makes us think there’s something wrong…with us.” Sigh.
13. We feel the same way about “Let it go.”
“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know…”
14. It is nearly impossible to “live in the moment.”
We are constantly either reliving the past or foreshadowing the future, there is rarely an in between.
15. We are not whiny attention seekers!
We are not looking for special treatment of any kind. We know that our Anxiety is our problem, not yours, and we are doing our best to deal with it. In fact…
16. We hate people who use their anxiety as an excuse…
Every time Jason (Ink Master, Season 5) lost a challenge he blamed it on his Anxiety Disorder. Though Anxiety tends to make even the simplest task harder for us, we are still capable of performing them (more often than not) and most of us would rather die than admit we couldn’t do something because of Anxiety.
17. Simple encouragement can go a long way.
Especially for things we constantly struggle with, like making social plans. Sometimes a simple acknowledgment that we’re trying can work wonders.
18. Don’t assume we want help, but ask us anyway.
Sometimes we need to deal with things on our own, sometimes we are in desperate need of help and are afraid to ask. Ask us if we need help with something, and respect the answer.
19. Go easy on the pep talks.
Yes, that kitten holding onto a tree branch with the words “hang in there” scrawled across it is adorable but when we’re in the midst of an Anxiety attack it’s about as useful as a floppy disc. If we could combat our feelings with pep-rally-esq motivational one-liners, Anxiety wouldn’t be a thing.
20. Your problem has nothing to do with ours.
Telling us that you know what we’re going through because you used to hate it when the teacher called on you in class is not only unhelpful, it’s crazier then any thought we’ve ever had (and that covers a lot of ground)!
The human medial (reward-related, OFC13) and lateral (non-reward-related, OFC47/12) orbitofrontal cortex networks that show different …