Anxiety Is NOT Any Of These 10 Things

Anxiety is something that grips the lives of millions of people, and yet it is rarely understood by those who do not suffer from it. There are so many misconceptions about anxiety and this article will aim to uncover some of the things that many people think it is, when, in fact, it is not.

If you have experienced anxiety and/or continue to suffer from it, this will not be news to you, but for those who sit on the outside, you might be surprised by some of what follows.

Anxiety is NOT…

1. A Choice

Nobody chooses to have an anxious mind, just like nobody chooses any other mental illness. Anxiety can have its roots in many different places, but whichever way someone develops it, they have certainly not made a conscious decision to do so.

Anxiety is NOT…

2. A Cry For Help/Attention

People are not anxious because they want sympathy; they do not endure the anguish that it brings just so they are fussed over or given attention. Yes, they may ask for help from you or from medical professionals, but they never treat this as some sort of reward for their suffering.

Anxiety is NOT…

3. Easy To Explain

If the anxious mind could be so easily explained, it would be easy to treat and overcome. Instead, the feeling of anxiety can arise within an individual for no obvious reason and the confusion over its source often serves to compound the problem. You may think you know why someone is anxious, but if they, themselves, can’t pinpoint the reason, chances are you are far off the mark too.

Anxiety is NOT…

4. Always Obvious To The Outside World

You may like to think that a close friend, family member, or partner would discuss their anxieties with you, but quite often you won’t even know they are anxious. As an illness of the mind, sufferers do not always exhibit outward signs of their inner turmoil. You could see someone who appears totally in control of themselves on the surface, but be blind to the torrent of emotion running through their body and mind.

Anxiety is NOT…

5. Nervousness

Virtually everyone suffers from nerves from time to time; perhaps they arise before a presentation, a date, or a bungee jump. But anxiety is not the same as nervousness because it does not fade away instantly after an event, it does not feel anything like excitement, and it does not have any real usefulness. You may equate one with the other and, thus, think you know what anxiety feels like, but until you have experienced it first hand, it’s like thinking you understand a book by the title alone.

More essential reading on anxiety (article continues below):

Anxiety is NOT…

6. Predictable

Yes, anxiety can be brought on by very specific events, thoughts or memories, but it can also jump out and surprise someone from behind the bushes. It doesn’t stick to a timetable and it doesn’t adhere to any rules; it can appear at any moment and last for hours, days, or even weeks at a time.

Anxiety is NOT…

7. Who You Are

As much as it can impact someone’s life, anxiety should never be confused with the person themselves. It is not a definition by which you can label a person; it is a part of them, but it does not make them who they are.

Anxiety is NOT…

8. Introversion

Anxiety can impact people in different ways and one of the most common symptoms is that a sufferer may decline invitations and seek solitude when they don’t feel able to face others. But anxiety does not necessarily make a person an introvert; it is not uncommon for otherwise outgoing personalities to go through bouts of anxiety that would make them appear shy and introvert when seen in isolation.

Anxiety is NOT…

9. Me Rejecting You

Anxiety can make someone seem distant or preoccupied, even disinterested at times. This should not be taken as a sign that they do not value you or need you. It may feel a bit like rejection, but it really isn’t and they certainly don’t intend to make you feel this way.

Anxiety is NOT…

10. Something You Can Just Stop Thinking About

If you haven’t ever suffered from anxiety in any moderate or severe form, you may be tempted to tell someone to ‘get over it’ or ‘calm down,’ but if it were only that easy. If anxiety could be cured by trying to relax or stopping a particular thought process, it wouldn’t really be an issue at all. But it’s simply not something you can just flick a switch with and turn off.

Anxiety is a multi-faceted condition that is not easily understood by others. It is complicated and often messy, and it can cripple someone who suffers from it. Hopefully you’ll now go away with a better understanding of what anxiety is and what it is NOT.

Do you suffer from anxiety? What do you think of this list? Would you add anything to it? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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