I've experienced various forms of anxiety throughout my life. I remember small moments scattered across my childhood. The moments were rare enough I could write them off as glitches. Something shifted when I was in college and I made an appointment with a therapist who later confirmed that I was suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Here are a few things that I didn't know were anxiety:
1. The feeling of being unable and too afraid to speak up
2. Not wanting to come off as stupid
3. The feeling that overachieving and being the best at everything and knowing everything is considered intelligent
4. Criticizing my every movement
5. Worrying about every word choice I use while interacting with people
6. Resenting myself for not living up to everyone's standards
7. Believing everyone is silently judging me
8. Thinking I have to be perfect to avoid judgment
Anxiety can be challenging. It's hard to understand what anxiety is and how it relates to what it feels like. Ignoring the feelings often makes it worse. Reach out to a friend or talk with a counselor. Find resources that work for you. You're not alone and you can and will overcome this.
Have you ever dealt with anxiety? What does it feel like for you? Let us hear your anecdotes in the comments below.