Overthinking And Overanalyzing: What It's Like To Live With Anxiety

Overthinking And Overanalyzing: What It's Like To Live With Anxiety

Anxiety is a way of life, not an attention-seeking mechanism.
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Having anxiety is not something I chose.

It began in high school as a result of pressure I put on myself to perform at the highest possible level in the classroom, on the track, and outside of school so that I could be accepted to my top choice university.

Having been at Emory University for almost two full semesters, I can tell you that anxiety does not go away; it just finds crevices through which to slip. Anxiety is not something people use to seek attention. It is very real.

In fact, there is much evidence that the basis of anxiety is biological and lies within the brain, where issues with the amygdala and neural pathways can arise.

Anxiety is not an attitude, behavior, or personality. Rather, it can almost be described as a way of life. We see things differently. We overthink, overanalyze, and pick apart every situation. Could there be an ulterior motive behind some small action performed by a friend? Why did my other friend only reply with an OK? We can’t rest until we have the answer.

Basically, we cannot turn off our brains. It can affect our sleep, mood, and performance. On top of this, anxious people typically deal with some form of anxiety attacks, whether that attack brings tears, sweating, shaking, screaming, panting, or all of the above.

Mine typically involve pacing, heavy breathing, and a temporary on-edge persona. The worst situation plagues those whose attacks are invisible -- with zero physical signs of distress.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that those of us who have anxiety are more than this. I am a lover of social justice, Thai food, and making new friends. I am outgoing and love making people smile. Instead of stigmatizing people who suffer from anxiety or depression, we need to reorganize our beliefs.

Even worse, people glamorize anxiety. Why? It’s basically hell. Instead of shaming or glamorizing what you cannot understand, try understanding it. And if you can’t understand it, then accept it and learn from it because, although anxiety beats at the back of my mind, anxiety has not kept me from accomplishing things I am proud of.

There’s something else you should know about your friends with anxiety --we care in ways that other people do not. We care so much. Yes, sometimes we need validation. But your smile is enough. Your laughter is more than enough. As someone with anxiety, I can attest to the fact that I love deeply and care greatly about those close to me. My anxiety does not prevent me from being that one friend who gives advice to everyone. It does not prevent me from loving my friends, my teammates, my sorority, or my boss.

There is one final thing I need to say: looks are deceiving.

Those who are smiling could be suffering. Have you heard the story of Madison Holleran? If not, I suggest you look it up. Even if it seems that someone is beautiful, talented, brilliant, or all of the above, they could be suffering. Images splashed across Facebook and Instagram do not reflect reality; they reflect whatever variation of reality people want you to see.

If you have marched through anxiety the way I had to, with people telling you it isn’t real or that you made it up, I am with you. I know how it feels. It is real, and it is terrifying.

But if you can get through this, you’re already stronger than 80 percent of the world’s population.

Cover Image Credit: caffeinatedconfidence.wordpress.com

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Tanya Gold, Your Fatphobic Article Is Uneducated And Arrogant

BREAKING NEWS: Women come in all different shapes and sizes!

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Just recently, Nike released a plus-size mannequin at one of their stores in London that showed off their plus-size leggings and sports bra. And, because we live in a world where being fat or overweight or obese is somehow the worst thing in the world to some people, this has sparked a lot of discussion.

Tanya Gold wrote an article for The Telegraph saying that this mannequin “cannot run" and is “likely pre-diabetic" and “on her way to a hip-replacement." Not only is Tanya's article uneducated and poorly written, it's completely fatphobic and embarrassing.

What I would like to know is this: why can't plus-size women work out in Nike clothes just like a size 2 woman? People want to scream from the rooftops that plus-size women are fat because they don't exercise and when companies FINALLY start catering to plus-size women with clothes they can EXERCISE IN, people lose their minds and think that they're promoting obesity.

What are plus sized women supposed to work out in if they can't even wear Nike leggings without being fat-shamed?

Would you rather them wear jeans? Overalls? A parka, maybe? What about a garbage bag?

Let's also discuss the fact that being overweight doesn't equal being unhealthy, just like being at a “normal" weight doesn't make you healthy. Did you ever stop to think that some women have diseases that make them gain weight that they, in return, can't lose? Some women can eat salad for every single meal, seven days a week and they still can't lose weight.

Let's all say this together: SIZE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FITNESS. Being thin doesn't equal being healthy and being overweight doesn't equal being unhealthy.

Everyone (and yes, I mean EVERYONE) should be able to be comfortable in their own skin AND in their clothes.

You can't sit and pout saying that fat people don't care about their health and then when they want comfortable clothes to wear while they're EXERCISING, hell has frozen over and how dare Nike cater to people who aren't a size 2.

Tanya, be honest with yourself. You aren't anywhere near a size 2, either, so where is all of this coming from? Are you self-loathing? Do you have some kind of internal fatphobia?

Pick a side, Tanya. You can't hate people who are overweight because you think that they aren't exercising and then when they do exercise and they get clothes that cater to them, it's all of the sudden wrong and horrible.

We are damned if we do, damned if we don't. As if women (and men) weren't already being shamed enough for being plus size, we're now being made to feel bad because a brand caters to our size so we can wear the same clothes all of the other sizes can wear.

Thank you, Nike, for making your brand more inclusive for all shapes and sizes so we can ALL feel confident in our clothes.

I think it's worth mentioning that Nike released their plus-size line in 2017 AKA 2 years ago... Why weren't you mad then?

Oh, and, Tanya Gold, you might want to stop smoking since you're all about being healthy, right? You don't want to get lung cancer or anything, do you?

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