But in a powerful Facebook post, Brittany Nichole Morefield has perfectly captured what the mental health disorder feels like. Despite being penned over four months ago, the 23-year-old’s vivid explanation of the “dark” and “raw” realities of living with anxiety is continuing to go viral.
“Anxiety isn't just having a hard time catching your breath,” she wrote. “Anxiety is waking up at 3 am from a dead sleep because your heart is racing. Anxiety is breaking out in a rash for no reason. Anxiety is stressing over things that may or my not be real.”
“Anxiety is your mood changing in a matter of minutes. Anxiety is uncontrollable shaking and twitching. Anxiety is crying, real and painful tears. Anxiety is nausea. Anxiety is crippling.”
“Anxiety is having to make up excuse after excuse for your behaviour. Anxiety is fear. Anxiety is worry. Anxiety is physically and emotionally draining.”
“Anxiety is a fight with your spouse, even though you're not mad. Anxiety is snapping at the smallest annoyance. Anxiety is flashbacks. Anxiety is 'what if.' Anxiety is a lot of 'what's wrong' and 'I don't know.'"
But despite the challenges she describes, Brittany also had a poignant message for fellow sufferers.
“Your feelings matter. Just because you're bothered by something others aren't, it doesn't make you crazy or worthless. Some of the most successful people in life have anxiety. This is not your fault. This is not the end. You are strong. You are intelligent. You are brave. You are worthy. If you ever need someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to reach out. I'll never ever be upset if you make me your 2 am phone call.”
The post has been shared 420,000 times with over 58,000 comments, many of which praised her honesty.
“Thank you for sharing,” replied one Facebook user. “You are not alone. I saw myself in every word you wrote!”
"This is the most accurate description of anxiety I have read so far," wrote another. "The intensity of these feelings is what makes the battle against it so tough."
For more information about anxiety, or if you or someone you know is suffering, please visit www.sane.org or call the SANE Helpline on 1800 187 263.