I have anxiety.
But you would never know unless I told you.
That’s because just like many others, I conceal my anxiety. And although I consider myself to be pretty good at it, that doesn’t mean my anxiety doesn’t influence some of my decisions and behavioral patterns. I’m trying to open up more about my struggles with my mental health on this blog, which is why I want to talk about my anxiety today.
Of course, my experience with concealed anxiety might not be the same as someone else’s, but I can really only speak for myself, ane maybe a tiny bit for the other people in my life that I know that suffer from (concealed) anxiety. Here we go.
They come across as introverted and outgoing at the same time
It’s not that people with concealed anxiety are anti-social (at least I don’t consider myself to be anti-social), it’s that I often get overwhelmed easily. Whenever I spend time outside the house, I need time to recharge myself. Alone. But I love going out at the same time, so sometimes it annoys me that I need to do that. If I don’t take the time to recharge myself, I become a lot more irritable, tired and emotional.
They’re hyper-aware of their surroundings, but you would never know
Anxiety naturally makes you hyper-conscious of your surroundings, as it is an evolutionary function that is essentially meant to help us stay alive by being aware of other people’s motives. Of course, it’s not not that great when your anxiety is through the roof and you can’t manage is effectively. But you might notice every once in a while that I pay attention more than you’re used to from other people.
I kind of like that about myself, I’m very detail-oriented and I will often notice things about someone no one else does.
They’re not always panicking on the inside, anxiety manifests itself in many different feelings
Having concealed anxiety doesn’t mean that I constantly panic about every little thing. My anxiety manifests itself in constant worry, making things bigger than they are, and just competing thoughts in general.
They have an all-or-nothing mindset, which is partly what creates the anxiety
In my experience, most people who suffer from an anxiety disorder are very extreme in their all-or-nothing mindset. And for me personally, I can be very indecisive. I try to figure out whether something is good for me before actually deciding it – which is impossible to know in most situations. It takes a while for me to decide something, but when I have actually decided something I rarely change my mind. If it’s decided, it’s decided.
They make situations worse by suppressing their feelings
One of the things that triggers my anxiety is other people seeing me in pain, either mentally or physically. I don’t like to be pitied, and I feel guilty when people take time out of their day to talk to me. Yet, suppressing these feelings only make them worse, and it usually makes the problem larger than it already was. This is something that I still work on every single day, and I’m slowly getting better at it.