3 Simple Things to Tell Someone Who Doesn't Understand Anxiety


Anxiety is like being at war with your mind. You’re fighting an internal battle tougher than some outer battles. For someone who suffers from the same problems, it’s easy to understand. For someone who has never dealt with it, not so much. There will always be those people who don’t understand, and it’s tough to explain what goes on inside your brain when sometimes you’re not even sure.

Here are three things you can say to help those people understand what you’re going through.

1. “It’s not just worrying.”

Sometimes, being anxious for a presentation at school or a huge final exam is comparable to anxiety. But, other times, it’s a lot more than just a sense of worry. The worry starts and then turns into something that’s scary and uncontrollable. Your brain is fighting itself, and everything is happening so fast you lose it. There’s not a magical switch I can flip when I freak out. Anxiety is uncontrollable and definitely not something I chose to deal with.

2. “Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”

People often tend to think if they can’t see it, it’s not there. Anxiety starts on the inside. Your brain goes into fight or flight mode, and then some symptoms do transfer to the outside. While these symptoms may seem fake to you, they’re very real to me. When you see someone in the grocery store, you never know what’s going on inside their brain. Some people with anxiety are good at disguising it so you’d never know they dealt with it. But just because they wear a fake smile and act like everything is OK, doesn’t always mean everything is actually OK.

3. “I don’t have to be in a stressful situation to be anxious.”

Being in an anxious situation is extra tough for an anxious person. But, even if I’m not in an anxious situation, that doesn’t mean I’m not anxious. My brain is constantly at work. It doesn’t stop for anything. Thoughts and fears are running through my head at any given moment, anxiously anticipating the next reason to have a panic attack or feel like I’m in danger. The brain is a very complex organ, and sometimes it just fights it self.

I know it’s difficult to deal with anxiety. I also understand how tough it can be to attempt to explain anxiety to someone who doesn’t know. You’re fighting a very difficult battle. But, you’re doing great. Things will get better. You will make it through. You’re a warrior and nothing less. Keep on fighting. The battle is almost won.

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