30 Things About Anxiety Nobody Talks About


There’s a lot about anxiety on the Internet right now. A lot. But with all this content, what issues are we still not addressing? We asked people in our Mighty community who live with anxiety to tell what’s still missing from all the anxiety chatter.

Let’s start a conversation. Here’s what we still need to talk about: 

1. “It can come out of nowhere, even without a trigger, and overwhelm you at any given time. It’s very powerful and scary. Feels like a heart attack, a dizzy spell and a punch in the gut all at once.”

2. “A lot of people with anxiety disorders are in a constant state of anxiety. It’s not something that comes and goes. It’s a 24/7 thing that can’t be turned off or turned down no matter how hard you try.”

3. “‘Anxiety’ is a term used very loosely. It’s not often that people acknowledge just how debilitating it is.”

4. “It’s hard to have a relationship when you have anxiety… anxiety causes low self-esteem and low self-worth and sometimes we push people away because of it.”

5. “Hypervigilance — some of us are super aware of things going on in our surroundings, whether we’re conscious of it or not. This makes some of us easy targets to scare, and it can take a while to calm down from something like being tapped on the shoulder.”

6. “It’s exhausting. Being tense and on edge is physically and mentally draining. It is so much more than just the mind. It affects appetite, behavior, emotions — everything.”

7. “People with anxiety can feel helpless and suicidal. These thoughts are not only associated with other ‘more severe’ mental illnesses.”

8. “The physical issues that come with it. Constipation. The runs. Puking and much more. All the ‘gross’ stuff that no one wants to openly admit.”

9.Violent and tragic intrusive thoughts, like not being able to stop imagining family or friends you care deeply about dying horribly and painfully.”

10. “A panic attack looks different for different people. I’m good at masking them in public, pretending to be part of the conversation, nodding strategically because I can’t even speak.”

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11. “Sometimes, once you have it under control, you feel a little less like yourself. It’s so all-consuming that when it’s gone you almost don’t know what to. This little devil sits on your shoulder, and when you’re able to brush him off, you miss the company.”

12. “It’s common for young children to be labeled as ‘bad’ because people don’t understand anxiety disorders in children.”

13. “Nobody talks about how everyone experiences anxiety differently. While I may need space, cold water and a tune to hum when I’m feeling especially anxious, others might need a shoulder to lean on and a peaceful distraction. This lack of conversation is particularly harmful because I and many others often have our experiences with anxiety invalidated when we tell someone that we experience anxiety in a way they may be unfamiliar with.”

14. “The guilt is there even when I’m feeling better. I feel such shame and guilt for all of the broken promises, dropped commitments, jobs I had to quit and events I missed. My anxiety is the thief, but I still feel like I’m at fault.”

15. “The physical part, the rapid heartbeats, the numbness, tunnel vision, being completely fatigued and physically worn out after an episode.”

16. “It gets boring. I have the same obsessive thoughts and worries over and over. I replay situations in my head for hours. I write lists to try to get things out of my head, over and over. I turn molehills into mountains until I can’t think of anything else. I get hung up on one detail and it’s all I can see for days. It’s boring, it’s repetitive and it’s overwhelming.”

17. “It can cause you to snap at people when they’re doing something that triggers you. Then later, when you try to apologize or explain, they don’t understand.”

18. “Even if I take medication, it doesn’t mean I’m suddenly free of panic attacks and anxiety.”

19. “Anxiety can make you jump to a wrong conclusion really fast.”

20. “For me, sex/relationship difficulties stem from anxiety.”

21. “It’s just like depression in the sense that there isn’t necessarily an answer to the question ‘what are you depressed about?’ Depression is an illness. It’s ‘about’ an illness. ‘What are you anxious about?’ Who knows?! I just am. The end.”

22. “Anger can come with the anxiety. I show irritability when my anxiety is high and it makes me seem like an unhappy person. I’m not, I’m just spinning out of control in my own mind.”

23. “It affects every facet of my life. The constant tension, irritability and fear seeps into every part of your daily existence. Snapping at the people you love because they’re doing something making you more tense, sleeping so lightly that every noise wakes you up. Anxiety shapes your day.”

24. “Anxiety is such a powerful emotion. It’s hard to explain how it really truly frightens you to the point where is controls your life. It feels like being in an emotionally abusive relationship with the negative thoughts in your head. No escape.”

25. “Anxiety isn’t always people freaking out externally or imagining the worst case scenarios, blubbering out loud about it. It’s more than that. Anxiety can be silent, unheard and internal. You’re freaking out internally and panicking and sometimes, keeping it all in will result in those moments when we just break down.”

26. “The paralyzing self doubt that comes along with anxiety can manifest itself is procrastination when it comes to doing things with your life or certain tasks. It makes you seem lazy.”

27. “There actually is a level of healthy anxiety that helps us to perform well on tests, in athletics, in school plays or similar. The issue is when it starts affecting your everyday life and stops you from doing the things you love or stops you from being successful.”

28. “We constantly swap and wear masks to hide how we really feel. We are human chameleons and masters of disguise, so other people don’t see our panic and pain.”

29. “It’s a nightmare to find the best course of treatment. Medications can help, but they also have side effects. On the other hand, natural remedies don’t always work the same for everyone. Be patient with us while we are trying to figure out what is best for us.”

30. “The fear of anxiety can also cause it.”

*Answers have been edited and shortened for brevity.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

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