People with anxiety are sharing what they wish they could tell their friends

Earlier this year The Mighty asked their readers with anxiety to share any requests, advice, or facts about anxiety that they wish they could tell their loved ones. A multitude of individuals responded, sharing a variety of messages drawn from their first-hand experiences with anxiety. The Mighty used the responses they received to create the video below, which highlights the messages people with anxiety desired to share. Responses ranged from explaining anxiety – “It may seem irrational to you, but what I’m anxious about is very real for me,” said Paige Johnson – to attempting to shift the perspectives around anxiety. Marie Abbott Belcher shared that, when she’s experiencing anxiety, “I’m not just blowing you off. It’s hard to make plans and just as hard to talk on the phone sometimes. It doesn’t mean I don’t desperately want to spend time and talk. I just can’t.”

So what does this video convey about people with anxiety? For one, people with anxiety have unique experiences separate from the social stigmas around anxiety. In addition, at least some individuals with anxiety have a message they would like to be heard. Remember, if you know someone who has anxiety, listen to what they are saying, or not saying. And don’t take it personally if a friend or family member with anxiety acts in a way you are not expecting. As Stacey Weber stated in her message, “Sometimes I just need to be alone. It’s not personal. I’m not mad. I don’t have some problem. I don’t just need to shake it off and do something fun. I just need to be alone so I can reset myself and breathe a little.”

This video may begin with a commercial which was not chosen by or for the benefit of Rooted in Rights.

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.