By the title of this article, I’m guessing you opened it because you too suffer from anxiety, or maybe you love someone who has anxiety. Whatever the case may be, these are just a few things you will be able to relate to/ know to be true. We’re not crazy or neurotic we just have a different life than you. When you’re done reading this you will probably become overwhelmed and be put under the impression that our life consists strictly of anxiety. That is not the case. Yes, our anxiety plays a major role in our day-to-day life, but it does not define us. If you do not suffer from anxiety, then hopefully this will give you a better insight of what it’s like, and if you do suffer, then these will probably hit home and ring true.


  1. Our symptoms just show up. One day you’ll be fine, living like a “normal” person almost forgetting your anxiety. The next you’ll wake up or be in the middle of a conversation and you’ll have been struck. The best way to explain this – it's like a light switch in your brain, it turns on and off as it pleases, and suddenly you’re not the same person.
  2. Plans aren’t valid until you’re actually doing them. If you have anxiety then you know the drill. Someone will try to make plans a week in advance. The plans will sound good at the time and you’ll have all intentions on doing whatever it is they’re asking, only hoping you will feel good that day.
  3. Depression. A major stigma of anxiety is depression. Once you’re diagnosed with anxiety you’re automatically considered depressed. Although this is the case for some, it’s not the case for everyone. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrated it makes me when I tell someone I have anxiety and they say “ohh…depression” and if they don’t say it, you know they’re thinking it. No you insensitive a$$hole, I’m not depressed, I just do a lot of worrying. There really needs to be an end to this labeling, both are serious illnesses, and its ok to be depressed, but I am not that.
  4. We're really good listeners. I’m no scientist, but I think it's because we know what its like to have a bad day so often that were basically pros. Sometimes listening is exactly what someone needs and we understand that. We know the value a good listener holds, and we are more than happy to be that person for you.
  5. We know how to be empathetic. We are thankful for sympathetic people, but were not trying to be, “felt bad for”. It means so much more to me when someone actually tries to put themselves in my shoes instead of giving me a weird, uncomfortable look and a tagline such as, “things will get better.” We know the difference between feeling bad for someone and actually feeling for someone. The difference between the two is a thousand miles and they have totally different effects on us.
  6. We share an unspoken bond with each other. Knowing there are other people who are going through the same thing is actually reassuring. When you don’t have to explain yourself to someone it’s a really great feeling. They know what you are going through and actually understand.
  7. The annoyance of hearing someone who doesn’t have anxiety say they do. No hunny, you’re just stressed. I wouldn’t wish this illness on my worst enemy, but if they could live how we live for just one day, they would throw the word anxiety out of their (dramatic) vocabulary.
  8. “Calm down.” If everyone could understand and accept that although we wish with every fiber in our being that we could just, “calm down,” we cant. These two words are so annoying and make us feel even crazier than before.
  9. The hatred of a pill bottle. Knowing that the one thing that actually controls and helps your anxiety comes from a tiny orange bottle is so frustrating. The envy I have for people who can be themselves without taking drugs is unspeakable. I often find myself wondering what my life would be like if it didn’t revolve around a single pill.
  10. Reasons. Most of the time there is no real reason for our anxiety. My mom can always tell when its just one of those days for me, and she knows the struggle because she also goes through it. She try’s to make me feel better and usually starts by asking the question, “what’s bothering you?” Sometimes I can answer this question but for the most part, I cant. My answer usually goes something like, “if I knew what was bothering me it wouldn’t be bothering me.” A majority of the time there is no apparent reason and you’re left feeling blah until it goes away.
  11. The way we come off. No, I’m not trying to be rude, I’m not lazy, and I’m most certainly not looking for attention. On the days we’re tip toeing around our anxiety were doing our best not to wake up the devil. If it means being reserved or staying within the boundaries of our comfort zones, that is exactly what we are going to do. Everyone deals with it differently and the last thing we are worrying about is your perception of us. Our anxieties are scarier than your judgments.
  12. “Leave me alone.” It’s not said to be mean; it’s just that sometimes we need to handle it by ourselves. We appreciate your yearn to help but its not going to work.
  13. Your pep talks are annoying. We know, “life is great” and “there’s more to life than the problem you’re facing right now”. We hear it way more than we should for our own good. Contrary to popular belief, we agree with you, we know life is good. We do have good days and for the most part, we are genuinely happy. We enjoy life just like you, we just have a significant more amount of stressors and they affect us differently.
  14. A big “LOL” to the “live for today” notion. We would love to live in the moment, but instead we’re busy reliving the past or predicting/foreshadowing the future. I’m sure its great to unconsciously live in the present. In fact, we wish we could, but 9 times out of 10 other things are consuming our thoughts.
  15. One word: coffee. Coffee for people with anxiety is a blessing and a curse. Before we order a cup we need to assess how we are feeling that day. On good days, it has the same effect on us that it would for anyone else. On bad days, it will cause difficulty breathing and in turn, enhance the chest caving feeling.
  16. We know most of our fears aren’t rational. We still can’t help it and are still going to obsess over them. Your logical reasoning for them to be thrown away is a waste of time.
  17. Trying to describe how you feel. It’s honestly equivalent to describing color to a blind person. You’ll only understand what it feels like if you, god forbid, experience it. The feeling of being a prisoner in your own mind and body is unexplainable and trying to relay the feelings we experience won’t do any justice. If we could explain what it feels like we would just so you could see anxiety is real and we’re really not attention seekers.
  18. We’re thankful for all of the relationships we have. You’ve seen us at our best and our worst, and you still stick around. I can’t even begin to explain just how thankful I am for everyone in my life. I know I’m not easy to deal with yet you still refuse to jump ship. Thank you for being you, I hope you know how much you are appreciated.