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Blogger Laura Mazza Has Message for Anyone Whose Anxiety Isn't 'Obvious'

Anxiety likes to morph and present itself in a variety of ways. It’s not always panic attacks and a racing heart. Laura Mazza, who runs the blog Mum on the Run, posted on Facebook Monday, sharing some of the not-so-obvious ways anxiety can manifest.

“Lately I’ve been recognizing anxiety in other people who are confused about it or ashamed and think they don’t have the typical symptoms, so they don’t go and get help,” Mazza told The Mighty. “I also wrote it to educate people who have loved ones with anxiety so they can understand that it can manifest in different ways and it’s not something anyone wants nor is it attention seeking. It’s a hard battle that no one should face alone.”

Her complete post, which has over a thousand shares, reads:

Anxiety isn’t obvious. It doesn’t outwardly scream ‘I’m anxious’
It comes out in ways that are confusing to others and confusing to us.
It’s a dull face that’s expressionless
It’s a smile
It’s a frown 
It’s anger and spitting rage
It’s the sudden need to be alone.

It’ll cancel plans last minute
It can be short in a conversation
It’ll be a text instead of a phone call
An email instead of a face to face
Its brushing people off for no reason because you just need to get away.
Needing someone to come with you to do something simple like ordering food.

It’s constant apologies, “I’m sorry I’m rambling”, “I’m sorry I’m just so tired”, “I’m sorry I think I had too much coffee… sorry”, I’m so sorry all the time. I’m sorry I’m making an idiot of myself… because that’s how I feel.

It’s not being able to trust your gut because your gut tells you there is always danger.
It’s not being able to trust that someone doesn’t want something more, has a hidden agenda or doesn’t really love you like they say they do.

It’s picking at your head
Biting your nails, picking your skin, chewing the inside of your lip or mouth.
Sitting still in the car and turning the engine back on because you’ve convinced yourself you don’t really need to go inside

It’s joking, saying something horrible that hurt you and making a joke out of it because you don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

Its so much more than the burning feeling in our chest.

All we know is that we don’t want to be our anxiety, we try not to be our anxiety, we don’t want IT. We can’t switch off, we can’t just get better or not worry, or just not think about it. It courses through our veins and we want to cut off the supply.

We don’t mean no harm, we just want to be understood without being a burden. That even through the confusion we want to know that you still think we are worthy of being in your life.”

Anxiety is different for everyone. For some, it manifests as anger or irritability, according to the Calm Clinic. Anxiety-induced anger may present itself when you’re feeling overwhelmed, powerless, scared or threatened.

“I don’t want to be irritable, or mean, or moody,” Mighty contributor Anonymouse wrote. “I do everything I can to control it, but sometimes that’s not good enough. Sometimes I still snap, for seemingly no reason. The reason is anxiety. Please try to be patient.”

Anxiety can cause a variety of problems, both physical and mental, like gastrointestinal issues or paranoia over things other people don’t think twice about. You may also be sensitive to sounds or other sensations.

“I seem to become hypersensitive to loud sounds,” Mighty member Chantelle S. said. “I jump at sounds that wouldn’t have bothered me that much before, e.g. car door slamming, someone sneezing nearby.”

Recognizing how your anxiety manifests can help you figure out ways to reduce it. However anxiety presents for you, it isn’t your fault, and you aren’t a burden.

“I was ashamed and felt like if I had [anxiety and depression], people would think less of me, but I guess as I got older and started to openly talk about it I realized how empowering it is and how having anxiety doesn’t define you as a person,” Mazza said.