When My Anxiety Questions Itself

For years I have experienced different manifestations of anxiety. From OCD to generalized anxiety, to feelings of panic. I have had triggers that come and go and triggers that stick around for the long haul.

For anyone who has an anxiety disorder or who has loved someone with an anxiety disorder, it can make for an unpredictable life. New worries crop up as old ones fade. Anxiety is a mystery in many ways.


But the most baffling feeling is when my anxiety questions itself. When it looks at itself in the mirror and questions its own existence. That is when it starts to get scary.

There is a feeling of dread when I’m deep in a spell of anxiety and suddenly I think to myself, “Maybe I’m just making all of this up. I’m not really anxious.” Bam! All of my feelings of credibility are out the window. I suddenly feel as though I’m over-exaggerating my anxiety. As though I’m making all of this up for attention.

“I’m not really anxious…”

Then, the feelings of guilt come in. I feel terrible for allowing myself to stay in, lounging on my couch and watching my favorite reality shows to ease my anxiety. I feel disgusted for crying to my boyfriend, ranting about my anxiety and the frustrations I have with myself. I feel awful for having made him worry about me. “Why am I making such a big deal out of this? I’m not really anxious.”

Some might say this is a result of stigma. That I’ve internalized what the world says about anxiety and mental illness. And that may be true, but that doesn’t make this feeling any less real.

I need to learn how to give myself credit. Not only for what I’ve accomplished, but also for what I feel. I feel how I feel. I have an anxiety disorder. I am anxious.

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

Thinkstock image by Grandfailure

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

Illustration of three students walking together

How My Friends Support Me Through Rough Times With Anxiety

I consider myself relatively personable. I’ve never had problems making or keeping friends. I’m not terribly outgoing or social, but I have plenty of friends and a comfortable social life. I’ve never quite been comfortable telling others about my anxiety. But currently, I have four friends who know about my anxiety and help me through [...]
Woman looking out window

When Anxiety Makes Me Antisocial

I used to be such a social butterfly. When I was a teen, I constantly had plans, and in my early 20s, I loved going out every weekend.  Even on weekdays after work, I’d book up most of my nights. Crowds were no problem at all. I absolutely loved concerts and loud music. I worked in [...]
mad girl by bryony gordon

The Books That Help Me Face the Anxiety That Used to Keep Me at Home

I live with anxiety and depression on a daily basis. This is something I have to live with for life now, which I haven’t quite accepted yet. This also makes the thought of traveling to the other side of the world quite daunting. I’m scared of leaving the handful of extraordinary friends who understand me and love [...]
illustration of a woman

I’m Anxious Nobody Will Ever Understand My Anxiety

“What are you anxious about?” the nurse asks, placing the blood pressure cuff around my arm. I am at a routine physical exam, but there is nothing routine about the way I panic before medical appointments. On the morning of a doctor’s appointment, my heart races the minute I awaken from sleep, my body acutely [...]