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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Question How to describe anxiety to someone who doesn't have it? - June 6th 2015, 04:17 AM

When people ask me what is wrong with me, I usually say that I'm in a constant state of panic, but that seems to broad to me. When someone asks you what anxiety is, what do you tell them to make them understand?
   
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Re: How to describe anxiety to someone who doesn't have it? - June 6th 2015, 05:11 AM

I had to describe it to a school counselor once, and I told her it was a constant state of nervousness that I couldn't shake the feeling of. I explained it as constantly feeling the 'butterflies in your stomach' kind of feeling. I talked about my pounding heart and my inability to breathe, too.


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Re: How to describe anxiety to someone who doesn't have it? - June 6th 2015, 05:58 AM

I've found that the best way to try to explain it to people is to compare it to a situation where they might have felt a bit of anxiety. For example, you could say "You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach before you have to make a presentation in class? The butterflies, the nerves, the fear that something is going to go terribly wrong? Imagine feeling like that all the time. That's what anxiety is." By comparing it to a feeling that the person you're explaining it to may have felt in the past, they're more likely to understand it.


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Re: How to describe anxiety to someone who doesn't have it? - June 6th 2015, 09:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elixir. View Post
I've found that the best way to try to explain it to people is to compare it to a situation where they might have felt a bit of anxiety. For example, you could say "You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach before you have to make a presentation in class? The butterflies, the nerves, the fear that something is going to go terribly wrong? Imagine feeling like that all the time. That's what anxiety is." By comparing it to a feeling that the person you're explaining it to may have felt in the past, they're more likely to understand it.
I completely agree with this. Other examples you could use would include feeling nervous before an exam or being on stage. Most people have gone through anxious feelings in these situations, so they know the feeling, but general anxiety is that feeling on a continual basis, and that's the bit that other people might not understand properly.


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Re: How to describe anxiety to someone who doesn't have it? - June 6th 2015, 01:50 PM

This is the best metaphor I've seen so far
   
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Re: How to describe anxiety to someone who doesn't have it? - June 14th 2015, 10:08 PM

I think how you describe your anxiety changes from person to person. I have generalized anxiety disorder, and for me it feels like a constant state of tension in my chest. I'll get irritated and frustrated over seemingly minor things because I feel overwhelmed. It's like looking at a situation and thinking the worst. I find that a lot of my problem is when I worry about things that don't even matter or aren't even problems. It's like having to click the lock button on my car keys 6 times and watch the lights flash again and again because "oh god, what if the car isn't locked". I've walked 5 minutes back to my car because I was filled with an overwhelming panic that it wasn't locked (even after the many button clicks).

I feel like I can't relax a lot. That too, it's like feeling constantly tense and stressed. I can't just sit and watch a movie. I feel unproductive, my mind wanders and worries about all the things I need to be getting done. I have trouble spending a night out because of all my work. I have trouble traveling cause what if a potential jerky boss says no, or if my cats get sick, or the pet sitter forgets about them, or if someone breaks in and steals my stuff, and so on. It's ridiculous really, and sometimes I feel highly stressed in a situation (or eve just sitting on my couch) and I can't even say why or what is causing it, even while I dig through my head to figure out why.

I guess that's anxiety for me.




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Re: How to describe anxiety to someone who doesn't have it? - June 14th 2015, 10:37 PM

Depending on the situation mine is visible to people because I become very tense and start shaking so they can tell I'm freaking out. I've never really had to describe it to people because of that. I would say it's like a mild version of (something you know gives the person anxiety) all the time with incidents of that feeling being more intense when confronted with certain situations and sometimes you don't know what's causing it.


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