10 Things Your Friend With Anxiety Wants You To Know

We only have a limited amount of control over it.

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Dealing with anxiety sometimes feels like an uphill battle. It doesn't matter how hard you try to shake off your nerves; it leaves you feeling drained, zonked, or guilty for even feeling that way in the first place.

Even worse, anxiety is an "invisible" disease — and a chronic one at that.

Being friends with an anxious person isn't easy for you, either, and that's why it's important to know that you can make the burden a little lighter for them. Or, at least you can understand anxiety and anxiety symptoms a little better.


Here's what your friend with anxiety wants you to know.

RELATED: How To Tell If Your Anxious Feelings Are Actually An Anxiety Disorder

1. We can't just turn our anxiety off like a light-switch. 

Anxiety manifests itself in our brains in strange, odd ways. One minute, we're chill, but the next, our brains have flicked onto "crisis mode" and we've run through every potential worst-case scenario, accompanied by Oscar-worthy visuals.


2. Xanax is our friend.

Don't judge us or tell us to meditate, do yoga, or go for a run. Those have their own special medicinal qualities, but sometimes we just want the medication to calm us down.

3. Anxiety makes us physically ill.

When I was in elementary school, my parents took me the hospital because of constant stomach pains. When they put me under to find out what was going on, turns out it was... nothing. Well, not nothing — I had actually worried myself sick.

4. We like to have a plan.

Because without a plan, life basically becomes a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book and, well, choosing our own adventure stresses us out.

5. Anxiety is chronic but short-lasting. 

We'll probably struggle with our anxiety our whole life (sorry, future spouses), but the episodes come and go pretty quickly. Especially if someone talks us down or we self-medicate.


RELATED: 6 Ways My Anxiety Has Actually Made Me A More Successful Person

6. We know alcohol to self-meditate isn't "the best idea."

But we also know it may be a good way to calm ourselves down. As long as we don't go overboard, of course.

7. We're constantly thinking up worst-case scenarios.

Airplanes, deadlines, hospitals, finances, "what if" scenarios, late-night phone calls, running late — these are all our enemies.

8. Anxiety is crippling.

I've had to bow out of plans many times because I had worked myself into such a frenzy that I no longer resembled a human being — all because I manifested a scenario that 9 times out of 10 wasn't going to happen. 


9. We can be irrational.

Especially when we have to miss out on scheduled plans, we hate ourselves and realize later we were being totally irrational.

10. We're anxious about our own anxiety.

My airplane flying anxiety has now turned into a devastating scenario where I'm not scared about the turbulence; I'm scared of feeling scared. (Those sweaty, jumpy early warning signs that I'm about to freak out are so much fun.) 

RELATED: 40 Quotes That Describe What Anxiety Really Feels Like + How To Cope With & Overcome Your Anxiety For Good


Andrea Zimmerman is the editor-at-large at Yourtango. She enjoys reading, traveling, and reading while traveling. Follow her on Instagram.