There are a million and a half things one can do to make a person with an anxiety disorder feel more and more anxious about what they feel, and they are:
1. “Just breathe, it will pass.” (No, it’s not gonna pass if you don’t stop talking about my breathing because I can’t even breathe right now so shut up!)
2. “It’s all in your head.” (You’re damn right that it’s all in my head and that’s the most frustrating thing about it.)
3. “Just stop dwelling on it.” (No, that’s not a viable option because my brain can’t stop thinking and these racing thoughts will never go away)
4. “You don’t seem like the person who get’s these disorders.” (Oh yeah? Is there a basis of what kind of personality I should have to be able to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or a mental illness for that matter? Or is it because I’m outspoken and loud and somewhat confident in your eyes, I can’t ahve emotional and mental problems?)
5. “Are you okay?” (Yeah, I am.)
These are just some of the things I remember telling myself or having read in the past about people who don’t have mental illness says about the people who has them. The last one is by far the most common question anyone asks really, but when it is said to someone with a mental illness, our automatic response is “Yes, I am” because sometimes we don’t want to burden people with our problems because they have their own lives and if we can’t explain to ourselves what the hell it is we are feeling and thinking about, how the hell are we even supposed to explain it to other people.