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    36 People Show Us What Their Anxiety Looks Like

    You are not alone.

    Recently we asked the BuzzFeed Community if they felt they could represent their anxiety visually. Here are some of the brave and honest results we received.

    Warning: Many of these images may be disturbing to the reader.


    "I didn't know how to represent my anxiety visually until I got back into photography." —s43eda8801


    "I was feeling very anxious and depressed the summer before college. I decided I needed to write it all out, and once I started I couldn’t stop. It helped me realize what was causing me grief and making me unhappy. I keep this journal just in case I reach that low again, but luckily I have not." —ashlynkb


    "This is a drawing I did as part of an art book based on Dante’s Inferno, where I compared the levels of hell to living life with mental illness." —haleyt4b45b71ce


    "I have generalized anxiety disorder and cross-stitching helps shut everything up for a bit. This is my relief until I finish a project." —allanchristina89


    "My BFA thesis was actually a portraiture photo series giving visual representation to my social anxieties." —joshs4d5c2243e


    "My anxiety keeps me trapped and frozen." —karens4bcf2f5a1


    "I️ drew this when I️ tried to articulate the sort of buzzing that happens when I’m anxious. I️t helped. ☺️☺️ " —marleem4a50eb62d


    "My anxiety makes it feel like I’m just one small light being surround by darkness that is pressing on me and trapping me." —secludedanxiety


    "I eat when I'm stressed then I'm stressed because I ate. I've been stuck in this circle my entire life." —somers


    "I have social anxiety caused by avoidant personality disorder." —hellemunkhansen


    "When my anxiety and depression get really bad I dissociate and it makes me feel like I’m not really there, like an out-of-focus picture." —jessh4aac34df6



    "When I get anxious I run my hand through my hair, over and over again. The sweet spot I go to is right behind my ear. My hair refuses to grow on the sides thanks to my anxious behavior." —lisaj56304


    "I started using art to express the things going on in my mind. Putting it down on paper really helped because my anxiety wasn’t being bottled up or hidden from everyone else anymore. It became something I could overcome." —sarahs4501adfec


    "I have an extreme phone phobia. I've been in therapy for it for awhile, but it’s only gotten worse as I’ve grown into adulthood. I haven’t listened to my voicemails in six years and I never pick up calls from people I'm not close with. This is how my screen always looks." —melw4891e45b2


    "I have trichotillomania, which causes me to pull out my eyebrows and eyelashes. Whenever I pull, I feel like I’m slipping away from reality. I’m trying to stop but it gets harder each and every single day." —doglover23


    "I have an OCD picking disorder. I get a temporary high each time I pick a scab." —stryx35


    "My anxiety stacks up, and before I know it, it’s too much and I’m like, 'F***! Screw it all!!!!'” —emilys47b51f363


    "When I’m anxious or upset, I have the tendency to tense up and dig my nails into my skin." —baebaecee


    "My anxiety always affects my sleep. Even if I actually fall sleep, I get nightmares that are all driven by anxiety." —staceym43245eeac


    "I made this a few years ago when my anxiety was very severe and debilitating. I edited the same picture in two different ways in order to capture what a day with anxiety looks and feels like, versus what a normal/peaceful day feels like." —sarahd4ded4a5cb


    "Many years ago, my wonderful therapist had me paint how I felt when I had a panic attack. I wanted to illustrate my two different types of thoughts: the ones that tell me that I'm going to die (red demons), and the thoughts that tell me that I'm stupid and I should give up (blue demons)." —rachelm476ba631a


    "I use art to portray my anxiety. Everything can be fine and then anxiety can come out of nowhere. You never know how long it will last or how long it will be until it’s back." —emilycarolinak


    "This is anxiety. It isn’t pretty or glamorous. This one was from a simple phone interview. I got the job though!" —a4c1bf3df6


    "My anxiety is strong in my stomach. At its worst, I can't eat anything because I'll just throw it up." —eabemilylove


    "I made this a couple years ago to try and represent my daily anxiety." —lindseyj40ff411df


    "I drew this little balloon six years ago. He is basically made of anxiety." —sarahnoel


    "I anxiously clench my teeth so much that my lower jaw has grown extra bone." —pamm43b4609a5


    "I suffer from anxiety, and my way of managing it is through drawing." —nadyaf429dbe7d6


    "This drawing I did represents the never-ending feeling of falling with nothing to carry me to peace." —braelynk


    "To me, anxiety is like string: a constricting presence that ties you in its grasp. It's messy, and though it can seem like minor things at first, it piles up and becomes a crushing sensation." —madisongraycem


    "I would dissociate a lot after my abuse ended, and would even hallucinate at times. My dad started asking me to draw my emotions instead of beating myself up, so I tried to show what my paranoia felt like, but visually." —aidenmiller1880


    "I have social anxiety, which I chose to represent through a general illustration of basic symptoms. The words that create the body in the center say 'judgement, watching me, can't breathe, anxiety, fear, I'm drowning, help me, and too much.'" —faithm40abe33e2


    "My books are my representation of my anxiety. They all have to be in a specific order, arranged in a specific way. Nothing else matters as long as they’re right." —cassiem15


    "My anxiety causes me pain, but also functions as my muse. I've accepted it as a part of who I am and I have become a stronger person because of it." —reganc4a5aedcea


    "The thing that helps me best deal with my anxiety is nesting. I hang stuff up on my walls or rearrange my space and surround myself with things that make me feel happy and at home. I’ve nested a lot over the years and it’s led to a pretty chaotic but perfectly comfortable living space!" —briannarose15

    If you are thinking about suicide or just need to talk to someone, you can speak to someone by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by texting HOME to 741741, the Crisis Text Line. Suicide helplines outside the US can be found here.

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