Anxiety, we all have it to a certain degree. It’s the body’s fight or flight response towards a situation where you feel challenged or under pressure. Whether it’d be taking a test, going for a job interview or even going on a first date.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, anxiety helps you to stay alert, focused and motivates you to solve the ordeal. However, when the feeling becomes overwhelming and interferes with your daily life, you’ve likely crossed the border of normal anxiety to anxiety disorder. 

But what does that look or feel like?

There’s a plethora of symptoms one can have when suffering from anxiety disorder and it differs from each individual.

So let’s take a look and see what anxiety disorders might feel like.

#1. Like being stabbed in the chest with every breathEven though anxiety disorder is a mental issue it can also present itself in physical symptoms and prompt several health risks.

Severe anxiety disorder can cause your heart rate to increase and can lead to difficulty breathing, this unnatural breathing pattern can in turn cause dizziness, profuse sweating, nausea and vomiting.

#2. Like a cloud of negativity following you everywhereA defining characteristic of anxiety disorder is having this voice of constant self-judgment, judging your every move and spewing onto you an onslaught of negativity. It’s prominent presence lingers on to anything you do, affecting the simplest task from waking up and getting out of the bed to falling asleep at night. 

#3. Like your body is being controlled by someone elseWhen the anxiety kicks in, it feels like your body’s been hijacked by someone you don’t know.

That someone is dull, someone who doesn’t know what to respond with because he/she spaces out mid conversation. Leaving you feeling like you’re shouting into a dark abyss.

You feel stuck in this “helpless” moment where you can’t bring the YOU that you want out.

#4. Like someone detonated a bomb in your head sending your thoughts into a spiralling black holeAnxiety attacks can send you from 100% to 0% in seconds. The transition feels like your brain imploded from the inside, feeling the shrapnel of your brain hitting every corner of your skull. It leaves you with an empty crater of a thought, feeling absent in conversations, and an overwhelming feeling of weight on your shoulders.

Anxiety disorders differ from person to person in severity and symptoms. By understanding what anxiety disorder is and what it can do to someone, we can be more empathetic towards people with chronic anxiety.

If you’re feeling any of these intrusive feelings, talk to loved ones or seek advice from medical professionals.