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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.


"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



"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 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 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


"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.