Updated: Jun 22
Many of us are dealing with anxiety in our daily lives. We all experience it in one form or another and it affects people in different ways. However, there are some similarities.
1. Becoming isolated
This was one of the first things I noticed. Because of anxiety, the list of things I could do was getting smaller and smaller. I couldn’t go to people’s houses, I couldn’t go to cafe’s, I couldn’t go for meals etc. That then meant I was becoming isolated from my friends and after some time, they just stopped inviting me places as they knew I would say no.
I think I can safely say we all want to be invited to places even if we won’t go. The moment you stop getting the invites, you feel like a lost cause.
2. Struggling to get a job or keep it
When you have an anxiety disorder, people aren’t keen to take you on. They can’t say that openly of course because of discrimination, but it’s not a desirable quality. Even if I’m amazing and perfect for the job, they wouldn’t want to take the risk with someone who isn’t reliable.
If you try to hide the anxiety when you get a job, but it comes out, most places will try to get rid of you. They aren’t keen to have a liability on their hands. Don’t get me wrong, some companies are really supportive, but there are still definitely ones that aren’t.
3. Having to explain your situation to many people
This is something that really got to me when I was in education. I felt like I had to keep explaining myself to different teachers or staff. I also had to explain to family and friends. At the time, it wasn’t something that was well-known so most people didn’t get what was ‘wrong’ with me. That then led to feeling like I need to justify myself and get everyone’s approval.
4. Acting weird
I don’t know about you, but whenever I get really anxious, I start acting odd. I get very fidgety and don’t know what to do with my body to shake off the feeling. It’ll start with moving around a lot on my seat (which people often mistake for me needing the toilet), then it’ll go to jigging my legs and then I start shaking my hands (as if shaking water off). All together, it doesn’t look normal and people can think you’re weird.
On a positive note, as time went on, my friends and family got used to my quirks so it’s not a big deal anymore.
5. Being emotionally sensitive
Suffering with anxiety often means that you are more perceptive than people who don’t. That perceptiveness can be great in certain situations but it can also be a burden in others. For example, you notice that someone is more angry one day. Maybe you ask them about it, maybe you don’t, but often you’ll feel it’s directed towards you.
There have been so many instances where I will worry that I’ve upset someone or said something that I shouldn’t have. Or there have been times where someone isn’t in a great mood and I think it’s because of me but can’t recall what I may have done. It comes across as being self-absorbed but it’s not.
Being a bit more sensitive also means that your feelings may be hurt more often, by things that most people would brush off. That’s okay though. I’ve learnt to be honest with myself, process whatever feelings I have and then move on.
There are a lot of negatives with anxiety but there are also a number of positives. You become quicker at doing things, you are more perceptive, you have a good memory, you are more aware of your surroundings etc. Remember, anxiety doesn’t have to be a disability, it can be an ability.
Feel free to write in the comments how anxiety has impacted your life.