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13 Myths People With Anxiety Want You to 'Just Get Over'


It’s time to “just get over” some myths about anxiety disorders (you know, like the myth that you can “just get over” one). The Mighty asked our readers who live with anxiety to share with us a myth about anxiety they’d like to see busted once and for all.

This is what they had to say:

Myth #1: It’s super easy to just “stop worrying” or “get over it.”

“These words happen way more than they should.” — Erin Attracta Degner

Myth #2: Anxiety is something to be ashamed of.

“The more open we are about [my son’s] condition, the more understanding and accepting other people will become. It’s not shameful to thoughtfully accept and treat any medical condition, and a mental condition is no exception.” — Lauren Swick Jordan

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Myth #3: You’ll absolutely grow out of it.

“I’m 35. Don’t think [growing out of it] will happen.” — Jennifer Rushton

Myth #4: You’re a weaker person because of panic attacks.

“I’m not weak, my mind just doesn’t work like yours.” — Shannon Handy Marrs

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Myth #5: Anxiety means you can’t be successful. 

“Just because I have moments where I can’t function very well doesn’t mean I spend every second that way. I’m anxious, not incapable.” — Michelle B. Landers

Myth #6: People who suffer from anxiety are all jumpy and constantly in a state of panic.

“We have good days and bad days, just like any other person. Some days I do really well with just a few anxious thoughts I’m able to push away. Other days, I’m completely consumed by my anxiety, and the thoughts spiral out of control to the point that I end up completely paralyzed.” — Hayley Lyvers

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Myth #7: Anxiety is just you being dramatic.

“[Anxiety] means I’m in a personal crisis and usually need help… even if it’s just a listening ear.” — Christina B. Lewis

Myth #8: Anxiety isn’t physical.

“I have spent more time being physically ill and in pain as a result of my anxiety than most people can imagine. It may be ‘all in my head’ but that doesn’t mean the continuous stress and fear isn’t taking a physical toll on my body.” — Hayley Lyvers

Myth #9: Anxiety attacks are always visible.

“Most of my anxiety attacks are completely silent.” — Arianne Gaudet

Myth #10: If you ‘just don’t think about it,’ you won’t worry about it.

“Yeah, like that’s even possible. Even though I know I’m anxious over nothing, I can’t stop [anxiety] from happening.” — Peggy Edge

Myth #11: You can control your anxiety.

“Many believe you can control your anxiety. Just choose not to feel it. Don’t let things get to you. Try to think of something else. They don’t realize how debilitating and paralyzing it can be. No one would choose to feel this way.” — Amanda Smith Martin

Myth #12: Anxiety is a choice.

“No one chooses general anxiety disorder.” — DeAnna Wry

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Myth #13: People with anxiety want to be alone all the time.

“I am a daughter, a sister, an auntie six times over, a best friend, a confidante, somebody’s soulmate, a caretaker and a kind stranger among many other things. My anxiety has no bearing on my very, very big heart.” — Lyss Trayers

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*Some answers have been edited and shortened.