Mental illnesses are harder to explain than physical ones… If I was to try and explain the feeling of anxiety into something more physical, I believe it would be like this…
Imagine going for a walk when it is just about to rain and you realise that you do not have an umbrella. Everyone else seems to have an umbrella and asks you “why do you always get rained on?” or “why don’t you just buy an umbrella?” except you can’t just buy an umbrella… the weather just continues to get worse and worse and there is absolutely nothing that you can do to stop it either.
When you suffer from anxiety you worry about things that aren’t actually a “problem” at all. I would sit and constantly think “I’m a terrible person, everybody hate me, why do I even bother?” or maybe be really awkward or stupid when holding a conversation, e.g. if someone said happy birthday I’d probably wish them a happy birthday back. Something mildly embarrassing could cause a full scale MENTAL BLOWOUT.
I know myself, to offload my own personal anxieties, I would try to tell people how I was feeling when it started to get really bad or on top of me. “I feel that everybody is going to get fed up of me and not want me around anymore…” I would say.
People would start off being very supportive, saying the likes of: “You’ll always have our care and support” or “everyone feels like that now and again, it’s okay!”… However, after the fifth or sixth time people would be like: “do you ever stop worrying or complaining?” or “this is getting a bit silly now…”
As a result, you get so scared and worked up that your anxieties will stop you from fulfilling anything at all… which takes you straight back to square one. I do understand that having to support someone who feels like this can be extremely frustrating, especially when the solution seems so simple, but please understand: the majority of people who suffer from anxiety have very little control to stop it, and you probably won’t be able to stop it either… but constant reassurance and patience however usually does a pretty good job.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from anxiety, it is best to speak out. If you do not feel comfortable talking to someone you know in person, there are many helplines and professionals willing to speak to you. You are not alone.
Samaritans freephone ROI: 116 123