Unless you suffer from anxiety, it’ll be very difficult for you to understand the things that those who suffer from this disorder go through on a daily basis. And this is not because they’re lazy, irresponsible or crazy, but because they live with constant feelings of worries and fear.
We all get nervous or anxious from time to time. Whether it’s a hectic schedule or worrying that you won’t fulfill all your responsibilities at work or at home, a little bit of nervousness or anxiety can help you get more motivated and organized to complete the tasks ahead and be more productive. But, for those suffering from anxiety, this is certainly not the case.
To them, anxiety is not a low-level feeling of stress and apprehension – it’s so much more. It’s frustrating, overwhelming, and debilitating. Their mind is constantly preoccupied with worries and fears that things could go wrong or won’t happen as they planned.
People with anxiety get afraid even when they’re not in danger and when there’s no reason whatsoever for them to feel that way. As a result, they often experience panic attacks and phobia reactions as well as physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, rapid breathing, chronic indigestion, and nausea, among other reactions.
So, if you want to understand why people with chronic anxiety behave the way they do, make sure you read about the 11 things that only they go through.
1. They experience excessive paranoia.
People with anxiety tend to worry that things could go wrong or not as they planned, no matter how positive or promising the situation can be. Instead of enjoying every present moment, they imagine that the worst scenario is on its way.
2. They’re mentally exhausted.
This is not surprising at all, considering the fact that they start and finish their day worrying and struggling with fear. Constant worries about their present infest their mind. Additionally, not knowing what tomorrow will bring makes them fear their future as well. Even when their bodies are rested, their minds are constantly busy creating all kinds of scenarios.
3. They have difficulty socializing with other people.
Unfortunately, most people with anxiety seem like they’re not interested in going out and meeting new people. But, this is not necessarily true. They want to go out and hang out with you, but their anxiety prevents them from doing that. The thing is, they don’t feel comfortable holding long conversations because they’re afraid you’re going to judge and criticize them. They feel like all eyes are on them.
No matter how bad they want to be social, they’ll turn down your invitation to go out because they worry you’re not going to like them and because they are afraid to speak up in conversations when they disagree.
4. They tend to overanalyze every bit of their conversations.
People with anxiety analyze every word they’ve said in their conversations because they want to make sure they didn’t say anything wrong or bad or anything that could be considered embarrassing. The constant stress and pressure the overanalyzing creates can be quite damaging to their emotional and physical health.
5. They constantly feel guilty.
It’s normal to feel guilt when you do something bad or hurt others, but people with anxiety feel it on a whole new level – they’re overwhelmed with it. When something bad happens or things don’t turn out to be as they expected, they feel like it’s their fault. They blame themselves for not doing something to prevent the situation and it’s not uncommon to blame themselves even for things they haven’t done.
6. They frequently compare themselves to others.
People with anxiety very often compare themselves to others, especially to people close to them. They tend to think that other people are better and more successful than them and as a result, they focus on their successes while downplaying the importance of their own achievements.
7. They have difficulties sleeping.
This isn’t strange at all, considering the fact how much they worry and overanalyze things. Not sleeping enough at night makes them struggle to get out of bed in the morning. This negatively affects the quality of their sleep and exhausts them mentally even more. As a result, many of them tend to sleep or just lie in bed for many hours during the day.
8. They take other people’s opinions to heart.
We’ve all needed someone’s advice at some point in our lives, but most people know which pieces of advice are good for them and which ones aren’t. This means that they’re able to make their own choices and decisions. But, people with anxiety take everything you say to them to heart. If you tell them your opinion about their condition, they’ll take it as a professional diagnosis.
9. They take their mistakes way too seriously.
We all make mistakes but also learn from and try to forget them. But, people with anxiety don’t see mistakes that way. They give them way too much importance and beat themselves up for them, no matter how small or big they are. They concentrate and magnify their flaws and mistakes far beyond what is normal.
10. They obsess over the smallest details.
People with anxiety overanalyze their conversations and behavior and the way others behave as well. They can obsess over the way someone looked at them or said “hello” to them days or even weeks ago. And they will rewind that moment for many days. The reason for this is that they worry they’ve said or done something they shouldn’t have and that things aren’t right in their world.
11. They’re scared of their future.
No one knows what will happen in the future and this uncertainty is stressing them out and makes them anxious even more. It’s already very difficult for them to deal with the present and they can’t help but thinking how much tougher their future is going to be. They create different kinds of scenarios about their future, mostly grim ones.
Image: Alfred Johansson