Worries getting you down? Stressed about every scenario that can go wrong? Or maybe even worried that the text you sent lead the wrong message? You’re not alone. These are all things that people with generalized anxiety disorder go through, but not everyone understands.
1. “Everything will be okay”
The typical line we hear everyday. Everyone just wants to help, but sometimes their thinking of helping makes things worse. They don’t mean any harm, they’re just usually unsure on how to approach situations. Saying everything will be okay does not solve the problem. We get you’re trying to help, but it doesn’t. Sometimes it even makes things worse. Say things like: “what can I do to help?”
We will forever need constant reassurance no matter the situation. We overthink anything and everything and it rarely turns out for the best. So when we ask for reassurance because we are worried something, all we want is for you to say no. Don’t poke fun at what we are worrying about because it ultimately will make things worse.
3. “Brain-off” button
Our brains, with anxiety disorder, do not have off buttons. They run 24/7, 365 days a year just like an emergency room. We cannot just shut off. With this, it can cause less sleep, making us crabby and irritable. We don’t mean anything by it, we just aren’t capable of shutting off our brain for a minute. We will worry about one thing and then continue onto the next. So understand that if were crabby or silent this maybe one reason. A good thing to do though, is to distract us, give us something to do, just to give our brains a little break.
4. Reasoning why we cant do certain things
A lot of times, people with generalized anxiety disorder cannot go into public places or be in certain situations because of our fear of things happening OR it could even cause an anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks cause you to get sweaty and make your heart race, some people with more extreme cases have medication to help ease them. So, when you want to go somewhere but we keep fighting it, it is your best bet to just let it go or go with someone else. Especially if it is something we fear. For example, roller coasters, it wouldn’t be of your best interest to take us to an amusement park.
5. Being alone can be scary
We fear being alone, whether it’s for a day, for life, or if we are currently at a relationship status as “single.” If we’re alone and we’re having a bad time with our anxiety disorder, our thoughts will feel like they’re eating us alive. We can sit and dwell for hours, sometimes the company and distraction of others is all we need.
6. But, yet sometimes we enjoy it
Even though being alone can be scary to us, sometimes all we need is alone time. Confusing? Yeah, we know. Sometimes we just need 5 minutes of fresh air or sometimes we need a full day of just doing whatever we want, whatever it may be, it is something we all need.
7. Why we always say sorry
We don’t want to hurt you, we want to and will make sure that you are aware that we are sorry. Even if that means we say is 10 times. Don’t yell at us to have us stop apologizing, just keep reminding us that you accept our apology and that you understand. This is one instance where saying that it is okay, is okay.
Ah, the overreacting. All these scenarios can make us go wild! Okay, maybe not wild. But your mind goes kind of hay-wire. That is okay. It’ll happen and there is nothing to worry, others should not worry either. Keep them calm, comfort them, and tell them that it won’t happen, that things will go just fine and smooth. Make it known that everything will be okay in the end.
9. Emotional Breakdown
Some things will take us over the edge, to the point where we just completely break down. Don’t run away, don’t fear us, there is a good chance you did nothing wrong. Just comfort us, hold us, whatever you can do to help. This is sometimes a good time that we are at our weakest, where we just can’t hold it in anymore. Sometimes allowing us to just let it all out. Let us finish and then you may speak, if you are the victim or reason to this breakdown. Comfort us and let us know that everything will be okay, but in a different comforting way.
10. Mood Swings
Anxiety disorder comes with good days and bad days. Sometimes we have 10 of them in one day. Wake up in a good mood, spill coffee on yourself, 20 minutes later you’re crabby. Then, your dog comes and snuggles you and you’re instantly happy again. There isn’t much of an explanation for this. Everyone goes through their mood swings, if someone denies that they don’t have mood swings, they’re lying.
Relaxing? What is that? This is something that we find hard to do. Yes, we may be sitting on the couch with a glass of wine watching FRIENDS, but our minds are wandering off. What could I be doing right now instead of being lazy, or so it seems to us anyway. When we form a list of things in our head that we need to accomplish, we have to get it done ASAP, otherwise we sit and dwell on it until we are done. So no, relaxing is not our strong suite, but we appreciate the effort.
12. Unrealistic scenarios
You mean to tell me you weren’t messaging some other girl at 2 a.m. telling her how much you love her while I am sleeping right next to you? This may be a realistic scenario in some cases, but most of the time you are thinking way too far into it. Tell us it’s not true, prove to us it’s not true. Proof is better than telling us, “oh I didn’t do that.” Then we have that reassurance we talked about and we can carry on.
13. Always needing attention
There are days that all we need is attention, sometimes to the point that we become clingy. Don’t push us away, don’t avoid us, just give us the attention we are asking for and the day will go smoothly. Sometimes it is just that little bit of comfort to keep us sane.
14. Feeling un-liked/unwanted
Going along with attention, things you do, even the minimalist things, can cause us to feel unloved or unwanted. You may not even realize it. Just like reassurance, we want you to tell us that you love us or you do want to hang out with us. Sitting on your phone at dinner could be one example as to why we would feel unwanted. You’re paying more attention to that than you are us. So just be mindful when were hanging out, that you’re paying more attention to something else rather than us.
15. What is wrong with me?
Nothing, absolutely nothing. You are never the only one going through this. Everyone has some amount of anxiety in them, some more than others, but that does not mean you’re not “normal” or that you are “insane.” So people should always refrain from using such descriptive words that interfere with someone’s feelings.