Anxiety is a illness typically diagnosed alongside of depression. I was officially diagnosed 5 years ago when I was 13 years old. Anxiety is described as the feeling of worry or always being nervous. Constantly feeling like someone is watching you,sweaty hands and feeling a nervous ball at the pit of your stomach. Why do I have anxiety? I strongly believe we all have some sort of form of anxiety but some worse than others due to past events. We all are wary of stranger danger and do not take candy from them. In my case it is beyond that. I will examine every person in a store and watch every move around me thinking what if this happens what if that happens. I can not go to a grocery store without hearing everything that is said and seeing every detail. I can not be in a crowd without feeling there is about to be shootout at any second. Now why? I was told at 13 I have anxiety due to a traumatic event I went through at age 10. I was completely alone in the dark for no one to hear. Anxiety is a very difficult concept to grasp. Why do some people have to live in such dark places to a point they can not be in crowds. You know that feeling you get standing on stage about to read your speech in front of 100 people? The sweaty hands you get. That is anxiety! Which means we all have some form of anxiety. We all have some form of fear. In my case the  anxiety I have is considered a mental illness. Is it really an illness to worry?

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CC BY-SA 4.0 My Worry Is A Mental Illness? by Tori is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

26 Comments
  1. Edward 1 month ago

    Thank you for sharing. It doesn’t sound like you have either an illness or a worry, per se. Your condition lies in-between. Please continue to work on yourself. It’s not easy, and I think you’re incredibly brave for doing so (and for sharing). This is a process, not a final answer.

  2. Kelly Hickman 2 months ago

    Tori, I’m immensely impressed with your ability to write a heartfelt piece about such a sensitive topic. I firmly believe that in order to grow and find true joy and acceptance in this world, we need to accept that vulnerability is helpful and necessary. Here, in this piece, you’ve allowed yourself to be vulnerable, and in doing so you’ve shown your identity as a person with both struggles and successes, sorrow and joy. By allowing vulnerability in, you’re also opening yourself to allow other honest feelings in as you experience them. I’m inspired by you daily, and I’m so glad to know that your story is reaching beyond these walls and touching others who need to hear it in this moment.

  3. Sean 2 months ago

    Your description of a general form of anxiety was well worded and obviously something you feel strongly about. When you said, “Is it really and illness to worry?” I began wondering what the difference is between anxiety as a disorder and anxiety at a normal level. What I have learned through some brief research, is that anxiety is part of the “flight or fight” response that the human body naturally has. A good example of this on an everyday basis is giving a speech in front of 100 people. In that case, people often use more of the “fight” response and give the speech the best they can. The “flight” response is often when someone believes that there is something to fear and that they need to get out of that particular situation. Those are both a “normal” sense of anxiety. Anxiety as an illness or mental disability,is similar to depression. The reason why anxiety is often diagnosed with depression is because depression is a chemical imbalance within the brain. Anxiety is experiencing extreme fear or worry. Anxiety acts in a similar way as OCD does. It is an overwhelming amount of emotion for a certain feeling, and for anxiety that often means extreme senses of fear. It is also normal for everyone to experience and anxiety attack at least once in their lives. It is a natural response the body has to situations or past situations, but to have an anxiety order, is to have a constant fear of something. You clearly mention that you often feel that way when you said, “I can not go to a grocery store without hearing everything that is said and seeing every detail. I can not be in a crowd without feeling there is about to be shootout at any second.” Here is a link I found while thinking about this topic, https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety .

  4. Penelope 2 months ago

    I’m really proud of you for sharing something so venerable with the world. Anxiety is hard to speak up about and I think you did so really well. I love how you described how you felt as “feeling a nervous ball at the pit of your stomach”. It’s really easy to imagine for some people who might not experience the same thing you do. Overall, this was really well written and I’m glad you shared this with us!

  5. Anna 2 months ago

    Tori, thank you for sharing your story. You brought up a topic that needs to be more widely discussed. I found your story incredibly easy to connect to because I have experienced similar things. A site that may help is https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/features/coping-with-anxiety#1 . They help deal with anxiety. When you said, “I was told at 13 I have anxiety due to a traumatic event I went through at age 10,” it made me agree with the idea that understanding where your anxiety is coming from can be extremely helpful when comes to treating anxiety. Thank you for your insight! -Anna

  6. Maggie 2 months ago

    Tori, I first want to commend your bravery in writing about such a personal topic. You are helping to get rid of the stigma behind mental health illnesses. I personally related to the part where you said, ” Constantly feeling like someone is watching you,sweaty hands and feeling a nervous ball at the pit of your stomach.” I thought that this was a very accurate depiction of what so many people feel, but have a hard time expressing. I found these tips for managing anxiety and stress. https://adaa.org/tips-manage-anxiety-and-stress I would love for you to read them and let me know if they help you at all (and if you have other ways of managing it)—Maggie

  7. Emma 2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing your experience with anxiety. Your description created an image that was relatable and easy to understand. I liked how you said “I can not go to a grocery store without hearing everything that is said and seeing every detail.” This statement helped me understand how it feels to have extreme anxiety, rather than just understand the concept. I read more about anxiety at https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml and learned even more about it. Thank you again for sharing- I enjoyed this piece a lot and look forward to what you write next.

  8. Campbell 2 months ago

    Tori, your description on anxiety was spot on I think, and I liked to hear about some ways in your life that anxiety affects you. When you said that u think everyone has some form of anxiety have you found this to be true? Do many people you know have some form of anxiety? Some people in my family are struggling with anxiety as well, and I hope that you are seeking some form of help. If you have sought out help, has it been working? Thank you for sharing the personal matter with us!

    • Author
      Tori 2 months ago

      Thank you for your comment. In regards to your question,do many people you know have some form of anxiety, yes. Many of my family members also struggle with anxiety ,just like yours. The severity varies for everyone. I have had help when i was first diagnosed at 13 ,5 years ago. The therapy did help but recently I have learned other alternatives to cope and deal with the anxiety. Again thank you.

  9. Noah 2 months ago

    Tori, your word choice was really good. your description helped me understand how you feel during these anxiety attacks.

    • Author
      Tori 2 months ago

      I am glad this helped you understand a little better! Thank you

  10. Jack 3 months ago

    Hey Tori, your description of your anxiety was very striking and is very helpful for those who don’t feel anxiety at this degree. When it comes to whether or not it is a mental illness, what I feel separates anxiety from anxiety disorder is feelings, as you described, in situations where the feeling is not provoked by surroundings. Have you gone/ are you going to therapy for anxiety? If so, have you found that to be a helpful for you?

    • Author
      Tori 2 months ago

      Thank you Jack and yes ,I agree about the separation. In the past when I was first diagnosed 5 years ago ,I did go through therapy for about 2 years which did help by giving me ways to lessen the symptoms. I highly recommend help to anyone struggling with this issue.

  11. Chandan 3 months ago

    I really like your perspective on anxiety but it would be cool if you had expanded on your traumatic experience. I feel like elaborating this would make your post even better.

    • Author
      Tori 2 months ago

      Thank you for your feedback,Chandan. I will for sure do more writings on this experience to give better understanding.

  12. Skye Fredericks 3 months ago

    Your description of anxiety is very vivid, and so accurate. I really like how thoughtfully you connected it to people who may not suffer from it on a day-to-day basis.

  13. Griffin 3 months ago

    Your description of anxiety is very accurate. “We all have some form of fear. In my case the anxiety I have is considered a mental illness.” I really like this quote because you make an acknowledgment that everyone has some sort of fear/generalized anxiety, but most people do not have the serious anxiety that you experience. What is something that you have done to alleviate some of your anxiety? I would love to hear more about how anxiety has changed your daily habits and how this adaptation has made you a stronger person.

  14. Emmanuela 3 months ago

    I really like how you told your personal relationship to anxiety. It truly helped further understand how anxiety feels, and made me more engaged and connected with you. Thank you for sharing your personal story 🙂

  15. Katherine 3 months ago

    Tori, I really liked this piece! I liked your point that everyone has anxiety in some shape or form and can relate this to my anxious moments. I thought that your depictions of anxiety in sentences such as, “I will examine every person in a store and watch every move around me thinking what if this happens what if that happens” were really great and you did a great job letting the audience know what your experience with anxiety is really like. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your experience! I look forward to seeing what you write in the future.

  16. Clara 3 months ago

    Your personal experience is something I can relate to. I agree, anxiety is something everyone deals with. The variance in which we experience anxiety is what makes us all different, which we need to embrace, but if everyone can understand that we are all the same in some ways, I think there would be less stigma around mental illness.

  17. Anthony 3 months ago

    I think this post is very interesting. You describe anxiety so well, I feel like it helps people connect with what your saying. “You know that feeling you get standing on stage about to read your speech in front of 100 people? The sweaty hands you get. That is anxiety!” This helped me connect to the anxiety you were talking about throughout the post. I read more about anxiety at https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety, this source taught me more about the condition. This connection you give your audience will bring me back to read more from you.

    • Author
      Tori 2 months ago

      Thank you for your comment,Anthony. I will be looking at the link you gave to also understand more about this concept.

  18. Raine 3 months ago

    I loved how you expressed your story and shared your point of view. This is challenging topic to speak about, and you presented it in a really well done way.

    • Author
      Tori 2 months ago

      Thank you,Raine!

  19. Isabella 3 months ago

    I like how you illustrated the feeling of anxiety. We all experience it, some more than others. Personally, I anxiety and I can relate to you in the sense that I always feel like I am in a room full of eyes. Anxiety is a hard thing to go through, but to know that others go through the same thing, you feel not so alone. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable statement.

    • Author
      Tori 2 months ago

      I feel like the subject should be more openly talked about so we can feel connected and supported rather than an outcast. I am glad you feel less alone! Thank you for your comment ,Isabella.

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