What Anxiety Feels and Looks Like?

There is no way I am going to pass this paper. I don’t even wanna show up. I was so uncomfortable about that party. It was difficult for me to inhale and I got all sweaty. I had to leave. I won’t go to sleep or leave the house unless I have made sure that the stove is off and the doors are locked. Sometimes I do this three or four times. I have to get to the airport six hours early. You just never know what might happen

These are the voices of people who have experienced anxiety.


Anxiety and Fear is a common reaction to present or live events, like taking a final exam or speaking in front of a crowd. But when it becomes really uncomfortable and makes day to day life hard to live, then it’s a problem, or even what we call disorder. Some people have lived with anxiety for a long time. For them, their own anxiety feels like it’s about everything. They worry about so many things in so many ways. And it impacts their life for a long time. They stress about things that are about to happen or might happen, it means they can’t really focus or where they are or whom they are with. Sometimes it results in pounding of the heart, they speak really fast, and can kinda snap at people. Their family could get really frustrated with them. When it’s really bad, they experience having a knot in their stomach all the time. They can even feel depressed and just want to be alone. They feel like if they do something, they will screw it up or something will go wrong. So, a lot of times those people would just rather avoid it all. They feel much better just staying at home and maybe having a drink. Commute out anxiety is a very common mental health symptom. It can be the main sign for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which they have, or Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), which is when people have a fear of being in public or meeting new people. For those of us with social and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, it’s really difficult to live in the way we want to live. Some people have anxiety about really specific things, are afraid of heights, snakes, spiders or something else. Now, these are called Phobias and when people avoid these things, the anxiety mostly stays away. But when people can’t avoid their phobias, that’s a real problem. Some people experience anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which can make people really overcome with anxiety. In these conditions, anxiety can be so intense, that people are at the risk of suicide and they use alcohol and drugs to cope. Sometimes their lives feel like they have come to a halt. Some people are lucky ones, they reach out to doctors without considering it a taboo who tells them how to get the treatment that would help them. And it does, they understand now what their anxiety feels like, why it happens, what they can do about it. They got to learn some great coping skills. And just naming it helps them keep it in perspective. Sometimes their anxiety can still get pretty big, but it doesn’t seem to last quite as long as it used to. The anxiety is treatable. For most people, this is true. We can get our life back to where we want it to be.
It’s OK, everyone suffers from anxiety, without having worries, life can be too boring.