What Anxiety Actually Is. It’s More Than Just Worrying.

What Anxiety Actually Is.  It’s More Than Just Worrying.

Lots of people are under the misapprehension that anxiety is simply another term for worrying about something, and that people with anxiety are simply making a big deal out of nothing.

The truth, however, is far more terrifying.

Those of us who suffer from anxiety know just how debilitating it really is. We know how crippling it can be, how it can make whole days, weeks, months, and years of our lives slip past in a grey blur, our strongest memory being that sinking, gnawing feeling we get in our gut that leaves us unable to fully enjoy life or feel the full spectrum of emotion that other people do.

Anxiety is that feeling that something is badly, deeply wrong, and that if we don’t sort it out something awful is going to happen – we just can’t work out what it is that’s so wrong in the first place. 

Anxiety is feeling tired every waking moment of your life. It’s feeling exhausted by the tiniest obstacles, and totally worn down by the constant barrage of minor difficulties that life presents us with. 

Anxiety is obsessing over the details of the past and fretting over the things that haven’t yet happened. It’s wondering if people hate you, or if you were weird the other night when you saw your friends. It’s sitting there quietly, unable to speak because you’re afraid of what others might think about you. 

Anxiety is feeling pushed to tears overs unanswered texts or not being able to get a hold of the people you love.

It’s apologizing for everything, even when you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s noticing every slight change in someone’s tone, and then obsessively thinking about whether or not a shift in their voice means that they secretly dislike you.

It’s lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling, replaying the same thought loops over and over again in your head and feeling yourself falling deeper and deeper into that pit inside of you that makes you want to give up on life completely. 

Anxiety is the process of slowly imploding in on yourself. It’s mental self-destruction that a sufferer simply can’t help but perform. This is the paradox at the heart of anxiety; someone who’s drowning can’t help but try to fight and thrash themselves up towards the surface. In the exact same way, someone with anxiety desperately worries and obsesses over something as they try to keep themselves afloat. In the end, though, all this does is make their situation worse and strengthens their anxious habits. The more anxious they feel, the worse their anxiety becomes, until every day is torture and it’s all they can do to get out of bed.

Anxiety is the need for certainty, the need for control. It’s far, far more than nervousness or worrying; it’s a powerful, destructive medical condition, and it needs to be taken seriously. 

It’s thinking too much. Caring too much. Fearing too much. It is loving too much.

Anxiety is caring more than anything;  not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, not wanting to do anything wrong.  It’s wanting to be loved and accepted as who you are. Anxiety and all.

Written by Maverick, Staff writer at Lessons Learned In Life Inc. ©

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  1. Anxiety is such a terrifying medical condition. As a therapist, I have so much empathy for my clients who have serious struggle with anxiety. As your article suggests it’s not just about worrying, it’s so much more, and then some. And not to mention the physical debilitating components that go along with feeling as if you are dying with absolutely no rational belief or situation to back up those symptoms. Anxiety must be treated one moment at a time. Anxiety must be taken and treated seriously. Life over anxiety matters tremendously.

    1. Oh Lord you are so right! I had my first anxiety attack last year when I had a complete mental breakdown. Neither of which I’ve ever experienced before.

      Talk about debilitating oh my goodness… your entire chest feels like it’s going to implode. there is a shaking vibration within your entire core so that when you speak you don’t even sound like yourself it is but a whisper of what you were normally capable of.

      It is the pain of not knowing. You are frayed a board is coming even though you don’t know what it is.

      Anxiety is just awful and I found for myself, breathing exercises are incredibly helpful and absolutely necessary to tamp it down. I would always advocate for anybody who has anxiety to learn these simple techniques that are highly effective!

      God bless all! 😉🙏🏻🥳

    1. If more people understood this it would make such a difference!! I HATE when someone says “just calm down” or “don’t worry about it”. OH I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT OF THAT!! I’ll just stop thinking about it, duh… It’s like a slap in the face. Do they think i like being this way or it is just so much fun i can’t stop?? Does anyone else come across these people??

      1. Not sure where to go for help. Doctor told me to go and see mental health services, but I was ashamed and embarrassed so I never went. That was 10 years ago. Hard to find joy in anything anymore. Some days are lighter than others, though, so that gives me hope.

        1. Hope you ended up finding help because this certainly is not a way to go through life in a mental health therapist is a wonderful wonderful secure place to go. Also simple breathing techniques that can bring immediate relief.😉🙏🏻


          Breathing techniques are physiologically scientifically proven to help lessen the severity of the anxiety we physically feel. Trust me on this! I thought it was ridiculous when somebody first suggested it to me but I decided to try it. And I am forever grateful to that person for suggesting it! 😉🙏🏻

  2. This absolutely helped me understand myself. I have suffered with anxiety since I was a very young child. I believe my anxiety disorder started with being molested before the age of 5 🙁
    I need help but my doctors treat me like it’s all in my head.

  3. Like what you are sharing with this article.

    As i’ve been in that same situation, and have that feeling of always tensed unnecessarily.

    There are fear of failures,futures expectation, lack of support (Inner and external)…all things result in the decreasing the Self confidence.

    All the need there, is a self believe and someone by your side who just enough to make you feel that:
    Everything will be fine soon.

    Writer of Monk at 25

  4. I have been there and sometimes I still fall in, but with the loving support of my husband, I learned how to pull myself out and I learned that there is a stronger part of you that you can nuture and learn to cope with the anxiety. I still fall in, but I have learned to swim! I know there is hope. I think many others could learn to cope like this too. You just need one good friend who always encourages you to hold on through it all and reminds you that you always come out, eventually. It does not mean that your problems are gone, just that you found a different, more hopeful way of going through them. I hope this helps someone. I can not explain it better than this, unfortunately, but I hope you learn how to swim despite the waves.

  5. I am the spouse and supporter of someone who suffers with this. I love him so much and I know that it is not his fault. I’ve been tirelessly supportive while he is mostly too unwell to contribute to any household activities (tired, stressed, upset and physical ill from stress as well, like headaches and stomach issues). In the past 2 years, he has even become unable to keep steady employment because he ends up becoming so overwhelmed by day to day workplace issues that he quits on the spot and walks away. I think I’ve done everything that a great, supportive person would do; someone who understands all the things described in this article. But that means that I carry an incredible load. And I NEVER get a break, or a turn to be ‘taken care of’ in any way. His illness makes him very self-focused, so it seems that he is largely oblivious to the fact that I am being completely drained. Now, in the past 3 months, I have finally become so depleted that I am personally ill (mentally and physically) and have been completely drained financially (all of my savings gone; I’m going without things I need to keep the roof over our heads and food on the table) and he still doesn’t seem to notice and tells me everyday that he is going to quit the part-time (his preference) job he finally got. So is there a point where it’s reasonable to say, “I feel really bad for the suffering you experience and I’m not mad at you and I don’t ‘blame’ you, but supporting you is literally killing me” ? Or does that mean I’m just one of “those people”; failing to give the compassion that this article demands?

    1. I reviewed your comments and I identify and sympathize with you. This has happened to me for the past three years dealing with my 30-year-old son. We support his every financial need and he has not had a job for three years. He’s finally seeking treatment under Medicaid for depression anxiety and other things brought on by a life full of bad choices. I’m burnt out and drained and I identify with you. I hope you get help for yourself.

  6. I largely disagree with this article. Trauma. Insecurities. Worry. Are not anxiety.
    You can care or not care what anyone thinks and still have anxiety or panic attacks.
    Thinking, caring, fearing or loving too much is not anxiety. While those can also be debilitating in other ways, those are really a whole other conversation,not anxiety. These can anchor as triggers for anxiety but caring too much for example, in and off itself is not the problem.
    The problem is when you are triggered and the fight or flight response kicks in and won’t shut off despite any use of intellect, breathing exercises, or relaxation techniques you try.
    No matter the effort or logic, your body has the foot fully on the gas and the brakes, shifter in neutral all at the same time, and no one can pull you away from behind the wheel.
    Just had there’s no knowing what can trigger it there’s no way to know will our last minutes hours days months or years.

    That’s what I wish people would understand.

  7. What’s really bad about it all is that the drug abusers made it impossible for us that suffer to not get the proper treatment due to them abusing the drugs we NEED to survive 💔

    1. I started with panic attacks, hyperventilation, fight/flight response and obsessions with trying
      to remember EVERY detail of my life (peoples names, phone numbers, actors faces and names, routes through cities, you name it!) Suicide was ever present, I was tired of fighting the urges.
      Then one day I let it happen. I didn’t fight or give in and act out the obsessions. I just layer down and rode out the evil surging through my body until it went away. I sat up and realized I lived through it! I kept riding them out and it got easier each time. Try it. It will get better.

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