10 Things Your Friend With Anxiety Wants You To Know

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 Your Friend With Anxiety Wants You To Know
Editor At Large

We only have a limited amount of control over it.

Dealing with anxiety sometimes feels like an uphill battle. It doesn't matter how hard you try to shake off your nerves; it leaves us feeling drained/zonked/or guilty for even feeling that way in the first place. Worse, anxiety is an "invisible" disease — and a chronic one at that.

We know that being friends with an anxious person isn't easy for you, either, so we hope knowing these 10 things may make the burden a little lighter — or at least help you understand us a little more.

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

Anxiety manifests itself in our brains in strange, odd ways and one minute, we're chill. 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/Yoga/go for a run. I'm sure those have their own special medicinal qualities, too, but sometime we just want the drugs.


3. It 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.


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

Shut up.

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7. 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. (Yes, we hate ourselves after missing said plans 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 the f*ck out are so much fun.) See #2: Xanax.

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Andrea Zimmerman is the editor-at-large at Yourtango. She enjoys reading, traveling, and reading while traveling. She lives in Chicago with her husband and three-legged cat. Follow her@angiecat86 on Instagram.

Editor At Large