1. Whatever is causing the anxiety might seem irrational to you, but it is very fucking real to us Very, Very real.
2. Anxiety can happen at any moment, and when it does, we only need one thing: support. Don’t try and fix it it, just be there for us, or at least let us know you’re there for us if we need it.
3. We’re not blowing you off. It’s hard to make plans, and talking on the phone is equally difficult at times, all the time for most of us. It doesn’t mean we don’t desperately want to spend time with you and talk, we just can’t. Thank heavens for whatsapp.
4. Be patient with us; anxiety doesn’t always look like a panic attack. Sometimes it comes out in the form of anger, or what looks like major frustration or annoyance.
5. Don’t take it personally if we show frustration or anger- it’s not about you. And don’t make it about you either. That isn’t helping at all.
6. Even when things are wonderful, there is that anxiety, that gnawing dread of something horrible right around the corner. Happiness is fleeting, at best.
7. When we’re quiet, it’s not always because we’re sad, bored or tired. Rather, there is so much going on in our mind that it’s hard to keep up with everything going on.
8. Anxiety isn’t always explicable. Sometimes, even we don’t know why we are feeling anxious.
9. We are really sorry for all the declined invites, irrational behaviour, and hurtful things said when we were feeling overwhelmed or scared and we’re really fucking sorry our anxiety hurts you too.
10. Even if we always seem to be isolated, don’t give up on us. We need to know you still care and want to see us. Keep inviting us to go out and do things with you. Anxiety wavers from day to day, and some days are brighter than others. There may come a time when their answer surprises you. And you don’t get how much it means when you do ask even when you know we’re going to turn you down.
11. Anxiety makes us examine everything, all the fucking time. It’s bloody exhausting.
12. Please don’t try and “fix” our anxiety issues. Instead, just love us in all of our “as-is” splendour. It is our imperfections that make us beautiful right?
13. Anxiety isn’t always obvious. There are times you won’t even know someone is experiencing anxiety unless they tell you! Don’t judge before you really know the situation.
14. If we are uncomfortable doing something, drop it. Don’t force the issue okay? It only makes the anxiety worse. When we tell you we’ve reached limit and can’t take any more, we really mean it. Respect it. Give them space to breathe. Smile and move on.
15. Social interaction is really fucking difficult for some people with anxiety. Don’t assume that the repeated cancellations on your plans is in any way related to being unfriendly or lazy. When you really need them, they will be there for you. Promise.
16. The last thing anyone with anxiety needs to hear is “just get over it,” or “you’re being silly.”
17. When we tell you we can’t do something, we are the ones who feel the most disappointment. We feel like utter failures.
18. Sometimes we really just need to be alone. Anxiety isn’t able to be shaken off by “doing something fun,” and it can’t be remedied by using the same methods you would for someone who was recently fired, or dumped. Anxious people aren’t mad or upset, we just need to recenter and relax.
19. When we talk to you, we will over-examine every word – the context, the grammar, the insinuations. And we will most likely carry on obsessing over those conversations for years to come. Those conversations, no matter how trivial, will cause sleepless nights.
20. We are not our anxiety. We are unique individuals who only wants what anyone else wants… to be loved and tolerated unconditionally.