5 Responses That Make It Difficult to Talk About My Anxiety


At times, I am reluctant to talk about my anxiety. It can be uncomfortable for me to share about my anxiety with family and friends. I have tried but when I did, sometimes it was difficult to cope with how people responded.

Here are some of the stressful responses I’ve received when I talk about it:

1. Listening to respond.

Some are concerned with planning a response to what you are saying rather than truly listening. This is a huge issue. I don’t want solutions, other stories or suggestions of things to try as potential cures. I just want to be understood.

2. Sharing a story or experience similar in nature.

Unfortunately, this similar tale may be an attempt “one up” my story about someone  who has a more serious illness or worse symptom. If I tell you about my anxiety, please listen.

3. Offering possible solutions.

I have been offered all kinds of cures from referrals to doctors to magical herbs. Right now, as I am sharing my story with you, I simply want to be heard.

4. Offering religion as a cure.

Prayers are wonderful and I gratefully accept them. But I do not want the power of prayer to shut down an open and honest conversation about my anxiety.

5. Questioning my treatment choices.

When I have shared the story of my anxiety and my subsequent choices about how to manage it, not everyone has agreed with my choices on doctors, medication and lifestyle. People have suggested many other options instead of listening to me and giving me options later.

What I am hoping for when I do share my anxiety with a family member or friend is simply for that individual to listen and demonstrate caring and concern by nodding, saying yes or asking follow up questions. That would show me a person is listening to me and that I am being heard. Simply listening would be a big help to me and my anxiety.

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

Thinkstock photo via Lubushka.

TOPICS
, Contributor list
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Anxiety

Watercolor illustration of woman with eyes closed, head resting on her arm

When Anxiety Showed Up in My Life

Anxiety. A seven-letter word that struck me out of nowhere. I can see traits of anxiety in my life before I even knew, but when my anxiety became “a thing,” it took me off-guard. One night while in bed, I felt a crushing sensation on my chest, shortness of breath, hot and clammy hands and feet and [...]
watercolor summer travel concept girl in red sunglasses with sea in her hair

11 Strategies I Use to Keep My Anxiety Recovery On Point

In the recent months, I’ve been really trying to be consciously aware of myself and my environment. Whether it’s watching my thoughts or watching other people’s words, I tap into how specific people and vibes affect my thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. I have cleaned up my environment and realized I am in control of what [...]
blue post it note with I forgive you written in pen and stuck to wall

Dear Anxiety: I'm in Recovery and I Forgive You

Dear Anxiety, How quickly you’ve grown. I remember your birth. I was confused by your arrival yet my mind accepted you – with no input from me. You were an extrovert in the early stages of life: not present during the day but made sure you were home at night. My pillow became your pillow. [...]
Caramel Cappuccino frappe coffee

To the Person Who Brought Me a Milkshake When Anxiety and Sensory Overload Hit

In the middle of a large mall, surrounded by a group of people, I stood. Words I could barely process echoed into my ears. A flashback entered my brain with a shock. Every negative emotion of my past seemed to wish to bounce back inside of me. My hands shook without my ability to control them. [...]