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20 Photos That Show the Reality of Having Anxiety at Night


When nighttime falls, it seems like the entire world is asleep. But when you live with anxiety and nighttime falls, it can seen like the entire world is asleep — except for you. Why? Because for many, nighttime offers no break from anxiety.

To help others understand the truth about nighttime anxiety, we asked members of our community to share photos and some words that describe this reality. Nighttime anxiety can look different to everyone, but if you can relate, use these photos as a reminder that you’re not alone.

Here’s what our community shared:

1. “This is what my anxiety looks like after another failed job interview. I start feeling like I’m not good enough for any job I apply to. This is also in the middle of my  non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP) acting up due to anxiety and I’m trying to not have to go to the emergency room.” — Kimy B.

2. “I hide my anxiety so well. I have to. That smile is just a way to tell everybody I’m OK. This particular picture, I was just fine, until a few minutes later. Trying to make supper for the kids, do laundry, sweep the floor, break up arguments and I just broke. I couldn’t breathe. My heart raced so fast I thought I was going to pass out. I just bawled. I couldn’t help but to fall to the floor. It took a while to come back. The attacks are was worse than they have ever been. I black out and can’t see straight. I lose all focus on everything.” — Chrystal S.

3. “I stay in bed at all times when I’m really anxious. I usually push my pillow under my arms, and use it as a support.” — Joanna L.

4. “Hiding my pain/distress. I only cry when alone and can give in. Wishing the ground would just swallow me up and do everyone a favor.” — Catherine W.

5. “My wife works second shift and sends me pictures of her being cute and goofy. After a panic attack tonight, this is all I could muster to send back.” — Chisa P.

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6. “Doesn’t show much, but I’ve been battling my anxiety. It’s so bad that I’m obsessing over a word I couldn’t find. I’ve been attacking my family. I don’t know why I’m so broken. Keeping it inside. Getting ready to take my nighttime pills.”–Cheyenne B.

7. “This is what anxiety at night looks like. I feared socializing. I feared myself.” — Tia S.

8.One of my many sleepless nights. She calms me down.” — Dustin S.

9. My anxiety means me taking a shower at 2 a.m. because I am unable or unwilling to try to sleep, knowing that my brain won’t stay quiet anyway. It also means trying to get work done and being unable to because I’m so tired.” — Erika K.

10. “Anxiety has always been a part of my life. Anxiety doesn’t have a look; anxiety is simply a face of a person because anyone and everyone experiences it. This photo was taken after having a panic attack in the middle of the night that woke me up. Anxiety is so controlling.” — Emma-Louise J.

11. I actually keep an album of pictures of me throughout panic attacks, bipolar mania and depression so I can see how far I’ve come when I look bright in the mirror. It’s an album only for me.” — Summer P.

12. “In this specific photo I wasn’t tired, but my husband was already in bed and I was struggling. I laid next to him and he did this in his sleep. It made me feel loads better and I fell asleep not long after.” — Katt C.

13. “Saw a spider, set off my anxiety. Too alert to calm down and go to sleep. Everything out of place looked like spiders crawling. Too alert and shaky. So, I shuffled through my new oracle deck and gave my friend an oracle reading, hoping we could just chat and I would calm down enough to sleep. I felt guilty for keeping her up, though. But the cards helped me slow down, connect and slowly forget the spiders that I had been scanning the walls and floors for.” — Alysia M.

14. “A selfie that was taken after I got thrown out of a nightclub because I was having a panic attack on the dance floor. All my friends were inside and I was scared out of my mind.” — Jenn H.

15. Can’t sleep. I just hide from the world. It’s like a cloud of fog. I ignore the phone and tell my friends I’m busy. I just want to shut the world outside. I want to just curl up in a corner.” — Mish R.

16. “This was me trying to sleep at a program last year where I was living away from my husband. Terrible separation anxiety/co-dependency.” — Kayla T.

17. It’s invisible but definitely real, racing thoughts like a hamster on a wheel. That voice that tells you what’s real isn’t real and what you feel isn’t what you feel. That doubt you don’t go a day without. All the words you’ve said that got taken the wrong ways, the words left unsaid that are now stuck on replay. Tears fill the room as you’re gasping for air. You know you can swim but your drowning instead. Nothing can take back the harsh words in your head, so you cry and you cry as you beg for your strength. Keep taking deep breaths hoping the pain blows away.” — Tonia O.

18. “Some people survive and talk about it, some people survive and go silent. Everyone deals with unimaginable pain in their own way, and everyone is entitled to that without judgment.” — Heidi M.

19. “I make Tik Tok videos when I can’t sleep due to anxiety. It gets me out of the anxious head space by focusing on something positive and forcing my brain to be creative. The goal is to make someone else smile and help them cope with their illnesses or whatever issues they may have that day.” — Ashé V.

20. “Silent cries, every night.” — MaKenzie W.

Whatever anxiety at night looks like for you, just know that we see you and that you’re not alone. In you’re struggling to sleep tonight, check out the stories below: