If you suffer from anxiety, you know the symptoms well-self-consciousness, excessive worry, sleepless nights, to name a few. But it can be tough to articulate what it's really like to grapple with an anxiety disorder, day in and day out.
Enter the trending hashtag #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike. Sarah Fader, a writer and founder of the mental health nonprofit Stigma Fighters, created it while she was waiting for a friend to text her back. "She wasn't getting back to me and I was experiencing anxiety so I decided to randomly start a hashtag," Fader says.
Her tweet struck a chord. "People seemed to like it. They were I like, I relate to that,'" she says. The response she got led Fader, who experienced her first panic attack at age 15, to invite others to share their own experiences with anxiety. "I wanted to feel less alone," she says.
The hundreds of tweets that have followed are proof that Fader is certainly not alone. Below are 20 examples that capture the reality of living with anxiety.
It39;s probably my fault that _____. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Sarah Fader (@TheSarahFader) March 22, 2017
My brain is a TV and someone else had the remote #thisiswhatanxietyfeelslike- Robin Tillera (@celebs_rnt_news) April 5, 2017
me: *says hi to someone*- Alex Turco (@ATwerko) April 5, 2017
me to me: you did that wrong and now they hate you. way to go#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike
#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike when your chair tips back and you almost fall but catch yourself- that sensation- for no reason and for hours- juno your caseworker (@LaLaLaRuex) February 11, 2017
Not trusting your own decisions. Getting friends to decide things for you. Even small things like what drink. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Lee-Anne (@GreenLee_Anne) March 17, 2017
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My brain is always buzzing too fast and won39;t be quiet. Ever. It just keeps going like an engine in my head#thisiswhatanxietyfeelslike- Veronica Haley (@vronhaley) April 5, 2017
I don39;t hear from my friend for a day. My- Salik Iqbal (@salikiqbal54) March 19, 2017
thought - they don39;t want to be my friend
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It39;s like a bottomless pit in my stomach that aches and knots itself up over and over. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Aaron J Smith (@CulturalSavage) February 13, 2017
Thinking that every suddenly stopped conversation was about you & that you39;ve done something wrong all the time#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Keep fit and smile! (@seetheskylight) February 24, 2017
Being worried the counsellor will think I39;m self-obsessed if I only talk about me in our 1st session tomorrow. #thisiswhatanxietyfeelslike- Tron (@KatieWr1ght) March 16, 2017
When someone asks why I39;m having an anxiety attack, I want to ask why they dreamed what they dreamt last night. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Dayna Dorniak (@ohhdayday) April 5, 2017
When a beach day with friends goes from a incredible day to not being able to talk without crying for no reason #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Alex Bradstreet (@alex_bradstreet) March 19, 2017
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ur chest is caving in on ur heart for no reason. u can39;t breathe while ur sitting down doing absolutely nothing #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Senpai (@fergudev) March 18, 2017
Finding even the littlest changes in people39;s behavior around you and thinking they hate you #thisiswhatanxietyfeelslike- Ash (@kale4tana) April 5, 2017
When you hold your breath under water and struggle to reach the surface. Burning lungs and desperation. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Ryan Ritchie (@NoMoreGremlins) March 19, 2017
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Anxiety is feeling like you forgot to do something important. All. The. Time. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Cassidy Porter (@porterchic0939) April 5, 2017
Bored to death but not having the energy to do a damn thing!!#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike- Twïstëd (@twistedup_Nside) April 2, 2017