Having anxiety is an awful thing that can literally take over your life.
It can push friends and loved ones away and you will constantly blame yourself for this. Sometimes you just wish you could scream at the top of your lungs when you can’t go to social events or even leave your house for the day because of how debilitating the anxiety is.
So to get a better understanding of someone suffering with anxiety, here are 12 things people with anxiety want their friends to know.
1. We need you to reach out to us, when we are so anxious we probably won’t even leave the house. We need to know someone still cares and wants to see us. Please don’t shut us out.
2. Anxiety can happen at any time, and when it does they only need one thing, and that is support.
3. Whatever causes their anxiety might seem irrational to you but it is very real to them.
4. Decisions are really difficult for us, when making decision,s even small ones, we get this urge to avoid the situation and somewhat panic if we feel the pressure is on us to make a decision.
5. Most of the time you won’t know that we have anxiety unless we tell you.
6. If we are not comfortable in doing something, let it go. Don’t make a massive scene or try to convince us, it just makes the situation worse.
7. We are not ‘flakes’. Sometimes anxiety stops us from going to social occasions and forces us to cancel at the last minute. It’s never because we are ‘lazy’ or because we ‘can’t be bothered’ – we really do feel awful when things like this happen.
8. Anxiety isn’t just a mental illness – it can affect you physically too. It can cause headaches, insomnia and worst of all: panic attacks.
9. Anxiety isn’t worrying about whether you look a bit chubby in your new top or being nervous for an exam. Please don’t patronise us and tell us how it was so ‘easy’ for you to get over it.
10. We don’t have a reason for feeling the way we do. Anxiety chooses who it wants to. It doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or poor, successful or unsuccessful – it takes who it takes, and we have to live with that.
11. We are not weak. We are simply fighting a never-ending battle that believe us, we wish we weren’t fighting.
12. We understand that you don’t always get it, but trust us, we don’t even know what’s happening in our heads either. As long as you make the effort and understand then that’s all that matters to us.
Words by Danielle McCormack