Anxiety isn’t just feeling nervous. Like before or during a test. Going for an audition, attending a new school.
It is a disorder. Something much more complicated than nerves. It is the thoughts, the physical symptoms, the emotional draining, the feeling of your heart rate increasing by the second, the gradual feeling of your legs giving up on you and the constant worries consuming you in your head to the extent you feel as if you’re going insane.
I often get told things like:
1.“You’ll be okay.”
In the moment i’m having an anxiety attack and someone tells me that, not only does it give me no reassurance at all, but I will not believe you. Because in the moment I am not okay and know it will happen again.
2.“You’re just nervous”
i’m not ‘just nervous.’ I’m fidgeting, I’m breathing irregularly, I’m crying, shaking, my heart rate is increasing, I’m feeling lightheaded etc, and completely clueless and with no control over what to do about it.
3.“This isn’t normal, you need to get over it”
Not only is it a common disorder in adolescents, making the ‘not normal’ statement completely incorrect, but I can’t just ‘get over it.’ This is a disorder, not a high school break up. It’s like telling a smoker to stop smoking. It’s not easy and won’t just ‘happen.’
Believe me, if i could stop worrying i would in a heartbeat. But lets not forget the fact that anxiety isn’t something you can control. So no matter how hard I attempt to terminate the worrying, it won’t happen in the moment you tell me to ‘stop worrying.’
The list goes on, but my point is that unless you’re encountering this experience yourself, you won’t understand how it feels like to be in such a position. I just wish people were to have more empathy with this. I don’t want to have to say “i’m okay” when i’m clearly not for the sake of not being told those things I’ve listed and that I'm crazy