To those who don't understand anxiety,
Anxiety sucks. Unless you suffer from an anxiety disorder yourself, you don't have the slightest clue about anxiety and how it affects those diagnosed. Anxiety is like a little monster in your head that keeps telling you that everything is wrong. It keeps feeding you bad and negative thoughts until you are consumed by them.
One of the worst parts about anxiety is that we know that the anxieties and fears we are feeling and thinking are totally and utterly irrational. We know the little monster feeding us negative thoughts is wrong, but we can not control the monster. Knowing the thoughts we are thinking are totally irrational and crazy makes everything one hundred times worse.
When people tell us to stop being anxious, it makes us even more anxious. Don't people realize that if anxiety sufferers had the opportunity to just stop being anxious we would in a heart beat? Don't they realize that by telling us that we are crazy that they are just feeding into the monster inside our head?
Some think that people who are diagnosed with anxiety don't actually have anxiety and are just drama queens/kings looking for attention. The only way the people who think we are doing this for attention would learn first hand that we are NOT attention seekers would be to have them experience some of our anxious thoughts or a panic attack. Even if someone doesn't believe that my anxiety is REAL, I would not wish my anxiety or a panic attack upon them.
If there are two things to take away from this article, let it be this:
Do not tell an anxious person that their anxious thoughts are crazy. Chances are, they already know that and were looking for someone to disprove the monster feeding the anxious thoughts to them.
Do not tell an anxious person to stop being anxious. By saying this, you will increase their anxiety and make them feel even worse about themselves. Instead, offer an ear. Let them know that the thoughts they are thinking are not true. Let them express their anxieties to you without you judging them.