By Megan Flemmit, photography by Unsplash
No, it’s not you. It’s just the anxiety talking.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the world. Yet people with anxiety often suffer alone. And in silence. When CEO of Stigma Fighters, Sarah Fader, texted her friend and got no response, her immediate thought was that her friend was mad at her. When she tweeted about the experience using the hashtag #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike, Sarah received great feedback and support. Opening up the floor for a larger discussion, she asked twitter users to share their stories.
Spending 30 mins building the courage to make a 5 minute phone call. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike
— ParallelDichotomy (@paradichotomy) April 3, 2017
Thinking “I am not good enough” all day. Every. Day. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike
— Atenea Rocío (@MetalAndDooWop) April 3, 2017
READ MORE: Everything We Know About Fear And Anxiety Might Be Wrong
I know people said I could talk to them about X, but they were just being nice so I won’t talk to people about X #thisiswhatanxietyfeelslike
— Gem Hill (@Gem_Hill) March 19, 2017
— Kayje (@KayjeMusic) March 2, 2017
— Joy Pearson (@JoyPearson) March 1, 2017
In an essay for Huffington Post, Sarah explained that she was inspired by the response she received. “Before I knew it, there was a burgeoning community of anxious people sharing their thoughts about how anxiety touches their lives,” she wrote. “Some tweets were poignant, while others were humorous. I related to so many of them, and anxiously strove to keep up with sharing all of the tweets that used the hashtag. It was a thrilling experience to see so many people connect with this hashtag.”
READ MORE: What It Feels Like To Have A Panic Attack
Anxiety disorders manifest differently in different people. While some people may experience shortness of breath and chest pains, many others don’t show physical symptoms. Talking to The Katie Speak Show, Sarah explained that part of the reason why she started this hashtag is because people don’t always understand what it feels like to have anxiety.
Sarah has since then created a twitter account (@AnxietyHashtag) dedicated to collecting and sharing all the tweets about what anxiety feels like.
Opening up about your anxiety can be tough which is why we love this hashtag. It’s seriously comforting to read about other people’s experiences and knowing you’re not alone makes a big difference.