How to explain anxiety to those who just don't understand

Having an anxiety attack is always a tough situation to be in. When you have one of these episodes, most likely, multiple underlying issues triggered it, and you remain clueless of those reasons in the end.

Still, not everyone experiences anxiety the same way, and that is one of the reasons why it’s hard to explain it to someone who doesn’t seem to grasp the concept.

Those who don’t understand anxiety, here are the most frequently asked questions about it.

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WHAT IS ANXIETY?

It is “fear or nervousness about what might happen, according to Webster’s Dictionary. At any moment, you can just feel overwhelmed, and you feel panicked over something, but you have no clue why.

Usually, there are underlying issues that cause anxieties, and it may not always be known to us. There are also times that attacks are triggered by overthinking every little thing.

WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?

As Emily McClure of Simple Most put it, there is no specific cause but “it’s more like a collective of bad thoughts I can’t escape from.”

When you experience it, you have this extreme desire to overcome your stressors before it’s too late and you’d end up getting consumed by them.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE ANXIETY?

Generally, the feeling is very overwhelming. It’s like you are trying very hard to overcome something and it seems that you can’t escape from it. Most of the time, you feel helpless, and you can’t function properly because you are too consumed by your thoughts, worrying about what might happen. Towards the end, you just feel tired and not in control.

WHAT IS THE AFTERMATH OF AN ATTACK?

Mainly, after having an anxiety attack, you feel guilty about letting it take control of yourself again. No matter how badly you want to control it, you can’t because you have no idea how. As a result, you feel sorry for yourself sometimes.

Hopefully, there are others who feel more empowered to overcome it one day.

NEVER MAKE THEM FEEL BELITTLED

The most important thing to remember for those who don’t understand anxiety is that you must never invalidate how people with anxiety feel no matter how crazy they sound.

If they choose to speak to you about it, just listen. Don’t make them feel small or worthless. Their feelings and thoughts are valid and don’t make them feel otherwise.

Just because you’re not going through what they are going through, does not mean that you have the right to make fun of them or feel the need to correct them.

Just be there for them. Make them feel that everything will be okay and they can surpass it one day.

ANXIETY AS EXPLAINED BY SCIENCE

According to Healthline, “Anxiety is the natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come.”

You might feel it during a job interview, when you are about to meet your partner’s parents for the first time, or just anything that you have been looking forward to but have been really nervous about.

These are typical scenarios when one might experience anxiety. Although, some people suffer severe anxiety. If they have experienced it for more than half a year, or if the attacks had been terrible and they can’t function well every day, they might have an anxiety disorder.

Some types of anxiety disorders include panic disorder, phobia, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and more.

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