I’ve been pretty open with my struggles with anxiety. Unfortunately, it’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. And recently, I’ve been struggling quite a bit. I haven’t been sleeping well, I’m nervous about things that didn’t bother me a few months ago and I find myself worrying a lot more than usual. It’s okay, I’m doing what I need to do in order to take care of it, but it’s still kind of scary.
I’m happy to talk about my anxiety because I don’t want anyone to feel alone if they’re struggling too. I didn’t have anyone to talk to for a long time. And people also didn’t want to discuss mental issues before. I think we still have a long way to go in terms of discussing mental illness, but I’m glad that it’s slowly becoming less taboo.
One thing that bothers me though is that people don’t take the time to understand it. It’s frustrating and some people can be really insensitive. In general, just don’t say things like this to people with anxiety.
“Just calm down.”
Oh okay! Yeah, I’ll just calm down right after this panic attack. It’s not a big deal, I’m just sort of hyperventilating a bit. Yeah, you telling me to calm down is exactly what I needed to hear, thanks so much!
“Are you nervous?”
Are you going to keep asking me that every time we do something? If so, I have other less annoying people I can hang out with.
“It’s okay, I get anxious about things too.”
O RLY? YOU DO? Maybe you do, but being anxious and having anxiety are not the same thing. You being a little nervous before presenting in class is not the same as the crippling fear I have when I walk outside every morning, kthanks.
“But you HAVE to come!”
Yeah, no I don’t.
“It’s just a party.”
And you’re just irritating me. Anxiety attack plus party plus people does not make for a good time to me.
“There really aren’t that many people here.”
One person can feel like a million people to me at any given time so yeah there ARE that many people here. And you do not feel crowds the same way that I do so just stop talking.
“Why did you even come?”
Why would you even say something like that? Maybe I wanted to hang out and see people because I was feeling okay and then was overwhelmed and couldn’t help it. Or maybe I’m reacting to your ignorance, I don’t really know.
“But you’re not always like this.”
Yeah because some days are better than others. And some days I hide how I’m feeling so I can avoid jerk statements like the one you just said.
“You know [insert dumb statistic here] is more likely to happen, right?”
You know I’m more likely to ignore you for the rest of today, right? Having anxiety means I have irrational fears that seriously bother me and make it hard to live my life like a normal person. I don’t need you to give me some BS statistics about how sharks are more afraid of me than I am of them.
“Are you medicated?”
Are you? It’s none of your business.
“You should try being more positive.”
You should try shutting your mouth. Do I want to be able to see the world in your rainbow colored sparkly glasses? Sure. But I can’t sometimes because I literally think I’m going to die 75% of the time. I can tell you a million things that will go wrong with an activity because my brain is convinced that something bad will happen.
“Conquering your fears is the only way you’re going to get rid of them.”
LOL OKAY. One of my exes tried that by throwing me into the ocean unannounced and there was a shark in the water. I had a full-blown panic attack on a boat.
“Anxiety isn’t a real thing. It’s just in your head.”
Did… did you really just say that?
Do you have anxiety? Do people ever ask you stupid questions? What’s the worst thing someone has ever said to you? Tell us in the comments!