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Anxiety: 29 ways to describe the feeling
For someone struggling with anxiety or social phobias, the hardest part is often getting the people around them understood. Codewords or sentences telling loved ones how things are currently inside are one way of dealing with the situation. Here is a list of quotes from people who found their own way to say "I'm afraid" without saying the words.
1. "I'm sorry."
“This phrase describes my anxiety and depression pretty well. I'm always afraid that I'll hurt someone or have done something wrong. " - Jaclyn C.
2. "I'm fine."
“I say that all the time in social situations. I don't want others to worry or think that I want to 'break' the mood because I'm so nervous in social situations. When someone asks me, I usually say, 'I'm okay'. Some of my friends now understand the difference, but for most, that's face value. " - Dylan K.
3. "I don't feel good."
“Depending on how well I know the people, I might ask, 'Are you mad at me?' That confuses most of them, they wonder why I think this and why I worry so much about pissing them off. " - Jennifer N.
4. "I'm exhausted."
“When the mind doesn't stop racing, there is a constant feeling of exhaustion. No matter how much you sleep, you still feel drained. " - Lauren J.
5. “I just wanted to hear how you’re doing, are you OK? Did I do something wrong?"
“When I am anxious, I keep asking how they are doing. If I'm not okay, I have to make sure that at least the people around me are okay. I always think it's all my fault. " - Jessica T.
6. "I'm OK, just tired."
“I close up extremely quickly or withdraw when the fear arises. To say that you are tired, but everything is okay, is socially much more acceptable than to say straight out: 'I'm really panic and have to calm myself down first ... Why? No idea.' Then I apologize for everything, no matter how small, in case I did something wrong. " - Cait L.
7. "I just can't watch TV or listen to the radio right now."
“My fear on days like this is almost always triggered by sensory attacks. And if that's not the trigger, I'm just incredibly sensitive to noise. ” - Krystal N.
8. “Is everything all right between us?”
“I've asked my boyfriend this many times in the five years we've been together. It takes him by surprise every time because nothing really goes wrong. I just misinterpret things he says, especially his text messages. When he doesn't text me so much during the day, I immediately see red lights flashing in my head because I automatically think I did something wrong. It never occurs to me that he just works double shifts and hardly has time to get things done in between. " - Amber B.
9. "I'm just a little hot"
“When I'm in social situations, about to have a panic attack, I usually sweat profusely because I'm so scared of doing the wrong things. I could just as easily have stood in the rain, so much sweat is on my face. " - Linda Z.
10. “I didn't expect that.”
“I say this to unannounced guests or last minute plans.” - Sunbul Z.
11. "I have to get some fresh air."
“When my fear hits me badly, I start to hyperventilate and have to breathe. When I am surrounded by people, I often get a panic attack because then I am not concentrating on my breathing and calming down, but focused on people and wondering if they can see that I am not okay. ” - Sara S.
12. “Did I do something wrong? I am sorry."
“Every time I'm nervous, I tend to watch everything closely and notice even the smallest details in the behavior of people / friends / family; if anything seems even slightly weird, I freak out. Even if I haven't done anything at all, I apologize and ask if I've done anything. " - Alessandra S.
13. "I'm pushing the shopping cart."
“When I'm holding onto something and in control, I can whiz around the grocery store, avoid long lines and stare at the ingredients when I feel like everyone is staring at me! I hate shopping. " - Ebony E.
14. "I don't care."
“Having to make decisions makes my fear skyrocket. I usually let others decide for me so I don't have to deal with it, even if in the end that's not really what I want. " - Elisabeth R.
15. "I feel strange."
“When I have a panic attack, my whole body kind of stumbles, I breathe heavily and I feel sick. This is my way of asking for help when I'm desperate for breath or looking for something to get me back on the ground. ” - Abby V.
16. "I love you."
“Of course, I don't just say this when I'm scared, but sometimes I just need to hear it from the other person, whether it's my mother, friends, or my boyfriend. My biggest fear is that the people I love may not like me anymore, or worse, have never loved me. That's why I say "I love you" so often, I just need confirmation. " - Laurelyn M.
17. "Hey, are you busy?"
"That's something I ask someone when I'm really restless and need to talk to someone, but at the same time I don't want to annoy or disturb at all." - Kaila G.
18. "Don't make fun of me."
“I know I didn't mean it, but when I'm nervous I take everything personally and it feels like even the people who worry about me are just confirming all the bad things about me that my fear whispers to me. " - Karen S.
19. “Can you help me with that? I'm still new here. "
“When it comes to processes at work, when my first encounter with the task was pretty intense. I hate making mistakes that could upset bosses and lead to reprimands. ” - Bas A.
20. “Isn't it pretty loud here?”
“This is usually followed by 'I think I'll get a migraine'. Sometimes a place with loud background noise triggers a panic attack. Or - and that sounds terrible - if I'm somewhere and there is a group with (school) children, such as preschool or elementary school, then the chances are good that I will have to say goodbye quickly. Noise and a lot of exercise are not good for me at all. " - Loren E.
“I literally keep repeating this until my partner understands. I get so overly cautious that even if he switches to Protector mode, I will no longer be connected at all. " - Wynona M.
22. "Are you mad at me?"
“I often ask the people I love, especially my fiancé, because in moments of intense fear I am constantly afraid of losing my lifelines. I don't know what I would do without the people I care about most; I couldn't be without her for a single day. So I have to keep reassuring myself that everything is fine when I feel particularly bad. " - Serenity B.
23. "Story of my life."
“I sometimes put on that mask of humor or laugh when I'm anxious or feeling incompetent because nobody wants to be surrounded by negativity, right? That's why making friends, cliques, or socializing too many can be impossible or overwhelming. " - Imelda S.
24. "Something is wrong."
“That's what I say when I feel an anxiety attack coming my way. I get this restless feeling in my stomach or racing heart and the feeling that the world has been turned upside down. My family and boyfriend know exactly what to do when I say this, and it means a lot to me. " - Kristen J.
25. "I'm not 100 percent okay right now."
“People are usually pretty good at not bothering you if they think you're not feeling well. I also use the phrase when I'm depressed and tired. It's basically my way of saying that I'm not 100 percent me right now. " - Sara F.
26. “I just can't”
“To have to explain over and over and over again that you are not doing this on purpose; and no, it doesn't just go away when you sleep in - how are you supposed to sleep with depression and anxiety in the first place? Having to explain yourself all the time. " - Serah S.
27. “Sun. Lots. People."
“I can't cope with crowds on a good day, but everything gets 1000 percent worse on a bad day. This is usually my "I need to get out of here" code. The noise and the people make it incredibly difficult for me to function and breathe properly at the same time. " - Tamara G.
28. “I have to go out with the dog.”
“Or 'My dog is sick' - that's how I've always got out of social obligations and situations. Even if he didn't have to go out or was sick, that was my excuse that nobody could say anything about. " - Monica B.
29. "I'm not in the mood for that."
“[This] means that I'm having a very difficult time right now and some space would be great. Or my fear overwhelms me and I cannot function at the moment. " - Brandy L.
Source: The Mighty
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