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Anxiety Support
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How to explain anxiety to a parent who doesn't understand?

So as some of you may know, I have been dealing with anxiety for a little over five months. Well, durning that time, my mother has convinced herself that I am either faking it, or am so mentally ill that I can't be trusted and might be a danger to myself and others because I had to take that time off from classes and work to learn to cope with my anxiety (which has gotten far better in that time). So I guess i have to ask, what's the best way to explain to her that I am not faking and not a danger to myself or others, but just going through a bump in the road? Or should I just cut her out of my life? I'm 23, have my own place, and am able to support myself just fine for now, and my dad is there and understanding of the issues I'm dealing with (they split when I was two).

8 Replies

TrippyMcGuuire762, You can't really convince a person that anxiety is real. They either try to get it or think you are using it as an excuse. It's a little easier when it's not a parent doing that. I wouldn't say you have to cut all ties with her, out of respect, I would just not bring up the issue of anxiety. When she continues to put you down (as my own mother did) I would either hang up on her or ignore the comment and walk away. As for so called friends, they disappeared which was no loss since they wouldn't have been there for me anyway. People just don't understand what this invisible disorder is.

I'm glad your dad understands, that's a plus. Come to the forum when you need to vent, you know we all understand and feel the same emotional hurt. You're never alone, we care x


Thanks for the reply. I have been trying. Its just harder for me when it is family. Thankfully, most of my friends are understanding of what is going on. So I can lean on them from time to time. Plus, I managed to push through my anxiety today to hang out with some of my friends and have a good day today, despite my mother triggering my anxiety earlier on.


Good for you TrippyMcGuire762..You're fortunate to have understanding friends. By all means lean on them for support. I'm glad it was a good day for you :)


Imagine your stood at the road side and out of know where a car mounts the Kerb/sidewalk and almost hits you. Now imagine how you're feeling after that.

That is anxiety.


Usually older generations don’t really believe in anxiety and the depression because it wasn’t really vocal in their time era.

People suffered but in quiet, I’m 17 and I’ve lived with my grandma since I was 4 and I know that she loves me but she also at one time said I was faking my anxiety and depression to my mom as an excuse to go out all night. My mom also deals with bad anxiety so my mom know how bad it can be.

I recently dropped out of my senior year in high school because I couldn’t bare the thought of being around so many people feeling like this, and I guess she finally realized what was going one. I know you don’t want to hear my life story lol so my advice would be to sit her down and have her research the anxiety and explain to her how it feels and maybe then she’ll listen. Let her know you’re not a threat to yourself or anyone else it’s just a condition that everyone goes through one way or another. I explained to my grandma in detail what was going on.

But always remember some people just don’t get it. I wish you the best 🖤

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Thanks. I was planning on having her meet with my counsellor and see if I can explain things to her while my counsellor is around. Or let my counsellor do it.


I can’t reccomm cutting her out of your life. Have you ever tried to hurt yourself or others? Then there is the answer if not. Maybe education on the subject would help. See if she will go to the doctor with you. Write down your feelings. Maybe a letter. That way you can think about everything you would like to say and how to word it. Mental illness has such a stigma. It’s unfair but true. The proof is in the pudding. Have you tried asking her why she feels the way she does? There is so much education on the subject. Books, literature, brochures etc. Actions speak louder than words. Use that to your advantage. I like writing. That way they can read it without feeling it and or cutting you off, getting emotional etc. I have had a problem with people twisting my words. When written that can’t happen either. You also won’t get upset and forget things. Anxiety can do that. I wish you luck and I’m so glad you are lucky enough to have a supportive father. I may be out of line but can’t help but wonder if she has struggled herself. It is often genetics. I wonder if she could be judging you based on something she has experienced in her own life. Even if in the second party? Clear communication is key.


Cutting someone out your life is a last resort. Anxiety is future stress. Stress usually comes from the past or present, when it come from the future we call it anxiety.

Mum might be having her own issues too and the idea of having to support you is something she cannot cope with so denies it.

Some great answers above from folk, I hope combined they help you.

Peace !


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