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What It Really Feels Like When Anxiety Manifests Itself As Anger, Not Fear


This sneaky monster called anxiety has been with me for quite a long time. It’s been with me since my childhood. My parents tell me that I’ve been a pretty anxious and impulsive child back then.

I was struggling with anxiety and depression – that was a fact. But I was always blaming it on the hormones, especially when I hit puberty. Only later did I learn how serious my condition really was. And at present, I am a grown-up person who fights anxiety almost every day.

Having this condition doesn’t necessarily mean being scared or worried all the time. Anxiety can show itself in a variety of ways. When you start feeling pressure on your chest, that’s anxiety. When your mind begins racing with confusing, illogical thoughts, that’s anxiety.

When you start shouting and yelling at your co-worker for no reason, that’s anxiety. When you feel like you’re constantly on an emotional roller coaster, that’s anxiety. When you spend the entire Saturday night worrying whether you’ll say something stupid in the bar and embarrass yourself in front of your friends, that’s anxiety.

When you are constantly worried about what may happen in the future, that’s anxiety. When you randomly begin laughing or crying, that’s anxiety. When you constantly wonder whether your friends think you’re weird, that’s anxiety.

Yes, anxiety can show itself in all these ways and in others that are not that obvious. And in my case, the way anxiety presents itself in is – anger.

This means that when I get anxious, I get very angry and fly off the handle. I remember that even when I was little, I was having angry fights with my brother and sister because they were always making me lose my temper.

When they beat me at some video game, I’d yell at them and throw the controller.  And when they teased me, I’d sometimes even hit them because their behavior was driving me crazy. And because of this behavior of mine, I looked bad in my parents’ eyes. But it was just really difficult for me to keep my anger under control and stop allowing ordinary things to make me lose my temper.

Today, I’ve managed to control my anxiety with the help of medication. Today, my anxious thoughts are not as intense as they used to be. Yet, they can still make me fly off the handle at times.

It can still make me say something without thinking and then, of course, regret it. And sometimes I get too anxious to admit my mistake and correct it.

It can still make me think negatively of myself and those surrounding me. It can still make me complain about my friends, my family, my job, and my life.

It can still make my chest hurt.

I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t want to be irritable, moody, rude, or mean. I’m doing my best to keep my anxiety under control. I’m trying the hardest I can to prevent it from interfering with my life. Sometimes I manage to control it and sometimes nothing works, and then I just hope that everyone around me is patient with me.

Riley Cooper