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36 People Show Us What Their Anxiety Looks Like

You are not alone.

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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.

1.

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

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

2.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

3.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

4.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

5.

buzzfeed.com

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

6.

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

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

7.

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

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

8.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

9.

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

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

10.

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

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

11.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

12.

 —traceyw419425b98

13.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

14.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

15.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

16.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

17.

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

18.

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

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

19.

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

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

20.

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

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

21.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

22.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

23.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

24.

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

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

25.

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

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

26.

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

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

27.

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

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

28.

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

29.

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

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

30.

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

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

31.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

32.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

33.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

34.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

35.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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

36.

"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
buzzfeed.com

"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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