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5 Times the Animated TV Show 'Daria' Spoke to My Anxiety

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So, I love the animated TV show “Daria” but I didn’t discover the pint-sized, cynical realist until I was out of high school and entering college. With my undiagnosed anxiety, I felt that no one could understand me so I turned to watching shows where I could see a small glimpse of myself. I feel that “Daria” was one of those few shows out there, with key moments that talked straight to my anxiety with full force.

Here are five times Daria spoke to my anxiety:

1. Literally having anxiety about everything.

Scene from "Daria" animated TV show about anxiety
via “Daria”

Each day there is a mild feeling of anxiety about everything. In certain social situations, my anxiety is higher, but most days I’m still anxious about something. It could be waking up too late, making sure the cat is alright, worrying about if we’ll always have gravity on earth and if I’ll figure out my purpose in life. Anxiety plagues my life and here “Daria” got it totally right.

2. Wanting to stay home because it is my safe place.

Scene from the animated TV show "Daria" about staying home
via “Daria”

With having anxiety, I feel that every place except my home is filled with danger. It’s strange but home is where the people are not and that is comforting to me. I am always more timid to go out to new places where I don’t know anyone or I don’t know the directions well enough. You never know what could happen and that is both scary and enchanting.

3. My anxiety about the future.  

Scene from the animated TV show "Daria" about career anxiety
via “Daria”

My anxiety for the future started in high school. I worried about exams, the best college to go to and what I wanted to major in. I was going through a crisis and didn’t know it. Now I know that was my generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) on high alert about my future plans. I still have anxiety about the future because it’s unknown and unexpected things could come up. The future isn’t as bleak as I thought it to be, just unwritten.

4. When “Daria” explained my “high-functioning” anxiety.

Scene from the animated TV show "Daria"
via “Daria”

“High-functioning” anxiety is when you function and go about your day like regular, but deep down you are not OK. I had a corporate job for a few years and I went about my day like a good worker bee concealing all my anxiety and depression until one day it got too bad. The face of “high-functioning” anxiety is one that is always smiling, always appeasing and always compromising. That face tore me up and had me not knowing who I really was. I can “fix up” my external so I blend in with the crowd, but my internal is something that contradicts the physical.

5. When “Daria” summed up my life in five words.

Scene from the animated TV show "Daria" about "just not like them"
via “Daria”

“I’m just not like them” are words that I live by. I’m not like a lot of people and that is OK. Most of my childhood and even early adulthood, I’ve always wanted to fit in and be part of a crowd that was cool. Everyone wants to be in the “in” crowd, but it doesn’t always work out like that. I know now that I’m just not like that. I think differently, I feel differently and I need to find my own people. My own tribe of people are out there and they may not be the “in” crowd I so tried to fit in with. I’m just not like others and that doesn’t make me special or anything, just different. Different isn’t good or bad, it’s just not like them.

If you haven’t seen “Daria” yet, I advise you to do so. “Daria” is a show full of moments that will make you laugh, make you think and make you appreciate the power of pizza.

Header image via “Daria” Facebook page

Originally published: April 28, 2019
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