If You Love Someone With Severe Anxiety, Maybe You Should Read This.

I want you to close your eyes.

Imagine it’s nighttime on a warm summer night and you’re standing in the middle of a four-way stop. A streetlight nearby illuminates the area around you just enough to see you’re in a quiet residential area. There isn’t a car, or person, or animal in sight. You’re alone here, but for some reason that brings you peace.

A familiar song, slow in tempo, starts to play inside your head. You close your eyes and start to sway along to the music in the middle of the intersection, comforted by the fact you are alone. The breeze picks up slightly, glides across your skin. The music starts to get louder inside your head and you feel a sense of euphoria. The world feels still.

Suddenly, you hear something nearby. The music inside your head abruptly stops. You open your eyes to see a set of blinding, bright headlights coming at you and everything goes white.


Did you feel the panic in your chest, as if that car was really about to hit you? Did you feel your heart drop into your stomach as you were overcome with fear and a strong sense of doom? Were you left feeling scared and confused?

If you did, welcome to the world of severe anxiety.

On a daily basis, this is what it feels like to suffer from crippling anxiety and catastrophic thinking; like you’ve realized you’re about to be hit by an oncoming vehicle. One minute you’re doing fine, swaying along to the music in your head, and the next you’re stricken with unrealistic thoughts and a physical illness to match.

You know the words inside your head hold no truth, and you shouldn’t continue the thought pattern, but you can’t seem to get ahead of the anxiety and think clearly. You overthink and then overthink your overthinking, all while telling yourself to get a grip of it. You work yourself up until you’re on the brink of a panic attack. Sometimes, all the way to a panic attack.

It’s not until you find some small piece of evidence elsewhere, albeit a conversation or memory, that invalidates your intrusive thinking and brings you back to reality. Your heart stops racing. Your mind quiets. The nausea dissipates. You remember to breathe.

But it won’t be long before you’re back to feeling overwhelmed and undermined by your own body and brain. It’s a constant cycle, one that is incredibly difficult to break.

So remember this if someone you love suffers from severe anxiety. They don’t want to require the constant reassurances they do. They don’t want to live inside a mind that is betraying them. They don’t mean to be an emotional burden. I promise you, they don’t.

Be patient. They’ll find a way to break the cycle one day.

7 thoughts on “If You Love Someone With Severe Anxiety, Maybe You Should Read This.

  1. Powerful. It’s easy for people to disregard others worries cause it seems silly, but it’s still very serious to the person feeling it. Nice illustration of severe anxiety. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a horrible illness! I also wish people were more empathic of anxiety sufferers. Maybe one day people will understand its not something to joke about. It can be very crippling for the person affected.

      Liked by 1 person

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