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14 Words of Advice for Anyone Newly Diagnosed With Anxiety

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If you’ve just been diagnosed with anxiety, it can feel pretty overwhelming. You might be relieved to finally have an answer for your struggles, feel scared about what this means, or be confused about how to manage your anxiety going forward. It’s always helpful to have somewhere there, though, who has been through it before.

That’s why we asked our community for advice, tips, words of wisdom, or reassurance they would give to someone newly diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

Here’s what they think you should know:

”Anxiety tends to be a liar. It often tells you things that aren’t true or will very likely never happen. The more you can quiet the lies, the better!” — Mighty staffer @xokat

“Although it’s terrifying, it is usually manageable, I’m 58 and have been dealing with it all my life. Just take it slow, breathe, and try to slow your breathing.” — @mikeastle

“Take comfort in the fact that it’s not ‘all in your head’ like some people say. Anxiety is real, and it can have physical effects, too. And know that you are safe to talk about it here!” — @sjbarto

“Try not to take it out on others whether they are trying to help you or not. I know it’s hard to be kind to yourself. It can be overwhelming. Be overwhelmed until you’re ‘whelmed.’ Breathe. Distract yourself. Talking helps. Hugs are great! Sing a song you like. Do an activity you like or enjoy.” — @sadbearissad

“There will be good days and bad days. Don’t give up after giving in to anxiety’s lies on a bad day. Tomorrow will be a new day. It will be especially rough when you’re replacing anxiety’s lies with truth. Anxiety tends to sneak into your thoughts, habits, and routines. When you root out the lies, it will be hard, but it’s so worth it.” — @modernpoet1618

“Your thoughts do not define you; it’s OK if you need medication, even if it’s lifelong; deep breathing can actually help; it’s OK to pick a buddy to help you face difficult things; it’s OK for your life plan to change; mistakes do not mean you’re a failure.” — @mfplodek

“First step for me is to focus on my breathing; it takes me out of my head and externalizes my energy.” — @martharich2

“Anxiety doesn’t stay in your head. It can creep into your entire body, causing sensations that don’t make sense and make you worry that something else is wrong with you, then worsen your anxiety. On the other hand, don’t let doctors tell you that every physical symptom you have is ‘just your anxiety.’” — @kyliera

“Be patient with yourself and others. Reach out, learn what works for you, and don’t get frustrated if trying to determine patterns or reasons takes time. My anxiety is now a fantastic gift — a red flag. But I’ve had it for 32 years and still have challenges.” — @advocate4truth

“Know that you will work with it, breathe through it, over it, and you will learn better how to recognize it with time. Try as many strategies as you can to help ease you through it. You’ve got this!” — @forevers

“You are not defective, damaged, or wrong. You are a human being with a medical condition that is not of your making. Ignorant people may say otherwise but that says so much more about them than you. There are no quick fixes but a mountain of very helpful solutions. Therapy is a great place to start and can be very helpful. Meds are an option if required and can be a lifesaver.” — @ozrick333

“Work with your therapist even if you ‘think it’s stupid.’ Therapy works if you want it to. And don’t be afraid to tell people. Soo many people are more understanding than you might think” — @kittycatsnuggles

“You are not alone. Reach out, especially at night!” — @jusme

“Practice breathing when you’re not anxious so that it is a mastered skill, and then it’s the number one tool in your anti-anxiety tool kit.” — @quirkywoman

Getty Images photo via Emilie Barbier

Originally published: April 14, 2023
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