When a Simple Question Can Bring on a Spiral of Anxiety


It all starts with a question. Doesn’t have to be anything specific — just something big enough to send you spiraling. Like for instance, when someone wants to video chat with you. Or when a loved one asks what you want for dinner. Or when a stranger approaches you to ask for directions. Or when your boss asks if you can handle the pressure and you’re smiling but inside is chaos.

It’s like all of a sudden you’re lost in the middle of the ocean in the middle of a hurricane and you aren’t quite sinking but every now and then your head dips just enough under water to remind you death could happen at any time. Except in everyday life these questions don’t usually cause death – or any harm for that matter. Usually a person would just answer the question, but suddenly it’s like someone just asked you to give them the meaning of life at gunpoint.

I think in some way, wires got crossed in our brains and suddenly they think answering these questions is life or death. Suddenly saying whether or not you want steak is like telling a bank robber you can’t give them what they want.

Unfortunately I don’t have a solution for these situations – but I think it’s important to know you’re not alone. We’re not alone. There are others out there who can relate, and maybe you don’t know them but they understand.

We understand.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Transfuchsian

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Anxiety

stressed business man looking at computer

3 Things I Learned About Post-Graduation Anxiety

In a June 2016 article by Sarah Schuster, she describes what it means to have “high-functioning” anxiety. People related to it instantly. I am one of those people. I skated through college as an over-achiever. I was involved with the student government, the newspaper, did research, wrote a book, and the list goes on and on. [...]

People With Anxiety Share Their Biggest Fears

People in The Mighty’s mental health community who live with anxiety disorders share their biggest or most irrational fear. Read the full story.
Hidden face in the shadow.male person silhouette.

The Different Forms My Anxiety Takes

My anxiety comes in two forms. It used to be three, but I’ll come back to that. There is the slow build. The always-there, low-level panic that feels like there are little gnomes living inside of my chest that have chains wrapped around my lungs and are pulling them ever tighter. It can last for [...]
little girl in an aquarium

Will My Daughter Be Anxious and Sensitive Like Me?

Before my husband Rodney and I decided to have children, we met with a physician for counseling. I was worried about having a child given both our histories of anxiety and depression. Would the poor kid would be doomed? Do we have a child anyway? Would having a child be selfish? How can we create [...]