Anxiety Doesn't Make You A Bad Friend
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Health and Wellness

Anxiety Doesn't Make You A Bad Friend

A true friendship won't fall apart because of your anxiety.

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Anxiety Doesn't Make You A Bad Friend
The Royal Diva

Anxiety sucks. It really sucks. Unfortunately, too many people describe themselves as feeling anxious without understanding the connotations of the term they've chosen to use. Now, though I haven't been officially diagnosed with anxiety, I have been diagnosed with depression. The two often go hand in hand.

I didn't start dealing with the anxiety until last year when my change in medication prompted more energy, but not in a good way. I randomly began to feel incredibly scared and shaken up over what seemed to be nothing. At times I would suddenly begin to panic -- my breathing would become shallow, my hands would tremble, and my head would pound. In the moment, I couldn't figure out what was going on. Now I know to call it what it is -- a panic attack -- but at the time, I thought I was going crazy. My mind raced with thoughts of "I know I would rather die than feel like this" or "I should just kill myself -- no one wants me here anyway." Sometimes I really thought I'd lose so much control that I would end up doing just that. The fear overwhelmed me so much that I couldn't clearly explain what was happening.

Some of you know exactly what I'm describing. Maybe you've watched someone you love go through that terrifying experience, or maybe you've experienced it yourself. Either way, you get it. For those of you who don't, take note; you just might be next.

Anxiety looks different to everyone whose minds have fallen victim to its grasp. Regardless of how it manifests itself, though, some of you react the same way that I have. You don't want to hurt your friends with your pain. You want to be a good friend, so you pretend that everything is great until you find yourself somewhere alone where you can let it all out. You scream, cry, cut, doing whatever you release the pain you've let build up inside your mind. Let me tell you something that a friend told me that I didn't truly believe until recently.

Being anxious doesn't make you a bad friend.

Did you catch that? Let me repeat it: anxiety does NOT make you a bad friend. For far too long, I thought that admitting my struggles and my hurts to my friends meant that I failed as a friend because I couldn't always handle their burdens the way they handled mine. I thought I would become too much for them to deal with and that they would eventually abandon me because my anxiety stressed them out. These are lies.

Every last one of these thoughts that have haunted me for months are completely false. For those of you who are struggling with anxiety and are afraid to tell anyone, please believe me when I say that someone loves you and cares that you're hurting. Telling them does not make you a bad friend. In fact, being honest means that you trust them, which is a sign of true, meaningful friendship.

For those of you who know someone who deals with anxiety like this, be a friend to them. Remind them that your friendship is not contingent on how much they struggle with feeling anxious. Love them through their hurts. Encourage them to be honest with you when they're in the midst of terrible pain. No one wants to deal with the hurt that anxiety causes, but we usually don't have a choice. Anxiety is scary, but you don't have to deal with the fear alone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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