Anxiety attacks are among the most common psychopathologies. It is estimated that 25% of people experience a panic attack at some point in their life. It is therefore likely that, even if it does not affect you personally, you will certainly know someone who suffers from this problem. The situation is so serious that anxiety has been classified as the "silent epidemic of this century". But what are some of the symptoms of anxiety?The person suffering from anxiety experiences a feeling of permanent discomfort from which he does not know how to get out, even though he is aware that many of the worries that afflict him are not rational. The anxious person lives in a state of constant excitement, always waiting for something terrible to happen. Obviously, this level of tension is very harmful and ends by presenting the bill, not only emotionally, but also physically. Interacting with anxious people is also complicated because they can be very irritable and tend to make risky decisions. Furthermore, their apprehension can be really annoying and intrusive. The key, however, is to understand them, to be able to put yourself in their place. Melissa McGlensey, director of The Mighty, decided to ask people living with anxiety to summarize their condition. Their words can help us understand the damage this condition creates and how those who suffer from it feel. Let's try to put ourselves in their place for a moment.
1. “We don't need someone to look at us like we're crazy. We need someone who is compassionate ”- Kristen Cunningham
Sometimes the best balm for healing soul wounds is understanding. Other times we just have to be present, to make the person who is suffering understand that he can count on us, without criticism, without reproaches, without complaints.
2. “I am attacked by something I cannot escape” - Sherri Paricio BornhöftThis person has not chosen to be anxious, rather it is the anxiety that has chosen them. The anxious person wants to get rid of these uncomfortable symptoms, but doesn't know how to do it, and no matter how hard they try, they fall back into anxiety. Sometimes she can feel like she is trapped in a dead end maze, because often, after a period of stability, she suffers a relapse.
3. “Sometimes, even the simplest of tasks exhaust me” - Rhonda BodfieldAnxiety is a monster that steals energy. In many cases, the anxious person is overwhelmed with seemingly simple tasks, as they do not know where to start or the fear of failure paralyzes them. In that case, the best thing to do is not to criticize or try to minimize the problem, but only to offer help to fix the problem.
4. “The fact that I can't explain the feelings that cause me anxiety doesn't make it any less serious” - Lauren ElizabethPeople living with anxiety find it difficult to put into words how they feel. But that doesn't mean her concerns and feelings are any less real. Indeed, the tendency to downplay this state does more harm than good. The anxious person does not need someone to tell them that what they are feeling is not real, but someone to support them.
5. “All the logic in the world won't stop the heart beating in my chest” - Rebecca V. CowcillPeople with anxiety often have panic attacks. At that moment, their hearts go crazy, they struggle to breathe and they are afraid of dying. These intense symptoms cause a real emotional sequestration. The emotional brain takes over and disconnects the rational part. Thus, even if the anxious person is perfectly aware of the fact that everything happens in his mind, this is not enough to contain the symptoms.
6. "I know I worry about ridiculous things, but I can't help it" - Erika Myers StrojnyAnxious people tend to worry about details that are irrelevant to most others. Often this happens because they anticipate events and always consider the worst case scenario. But just being aware of this doesn't mean they can avoid it, sometimes it's as if their worries take on a life of their own. So the best thing we can do is help them take the first step, without complaining to them.
7. "Just because you don't understand what my fears mean doesn't mean they're not real" - Vicki HappJust because we don't share the anxious person's feelings and concerns doesn't mean they don't exist. When something is real in his mind, it becomes real in his daily life as well. If we think that we cannot control a situation or we will not be able to overcome it, it will turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Finally, a person perfectly sums up what he needs from others: “My mind is my enemy, so I need to have you by my side. Sometimes I just need you to fight with me ”.