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A Picture Of Anxiety

by Jennifer Brewer 12 months ago in anxiety
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One Example Of Anxiety

Photo by Christopher Ott on Unsplash


For as long as she could remember, JoAnn had been sensitive. She often found herself overthinking her choices in life and the interactions she’s had with people in her life.

For instance, the other day, she ran into her friend Noelle. They chatted about their families and how their kids were doing in school. Noelle told her about the scholarship her daughter had just received to play basketball at the state university.

JoAnn, excited to share her news, told Noelle about her son’s acceptance to Harvard. He wanted to be a doctor, and she was so proud of him. Noelle shared in her excitement for both of their children. The conversation ended with a promise to get together for coffee later in the week.

Later that evening, her family sat around the table for dinner. The plates and silverware sparkled under the soft glow of the dining room light. A hint of fresh-baked bread drifted from the closed kitchen. Ham glistened from the center table, surrounded by her favorite onion-garlic green beans, and the mashed potatoes filled the pretty bowl she had picked up at the secondhand shop the previous afternoon. Five more minutes on the rolls and they would be ready to eat. JoAnn smiled. Her day had been productive, and she’d even been able to catch up with an old friend.

She called the family to eat. The noise as they rushed into the dining room overwhelmed her, and she lost her train of thought. Excusing herself to the kitchen, she took a few slow, deep breaths, and regained her focus.

The conversation around the food was alive with the excitement of the day. Her husband had received an award for all his hard work, and he hoped a promotion would follow it. Her five-year-old earned five gold stickers that day for being quiet when the teacher told her to. The day had been a good day. She even got compliments for dinner.

As everyone sat around the TV, she thought back to the pleasant run in with her friend Noelle. It had been months since she’d seen her, and it had been nice to catch up. She must be so proud to have such a talented daughter.

Then something shifted.

She wondered what Noelle really thought about her son’s college acceptance.

I bet she thinks it’s amazing, and he will make us so proud. But what if she didn’t think it was exceptional at all? What if she thinks he doesn’t deserve to get into Harvard? What if she thinks we can’t afford to keep him there? Does she think we don’t have the money to send our child to school? Or… what if I offended her? What if she thinks we think our child is better than hers?

Frustrated, overwhelmed, and angry, JoAnn excused herself and went to bed. She remained restless through the night, as thoughts continued to cycle, until exhaustion hit, and she fell asleep.


Although slightly exaggerated, this is a common day or thought life for someone who has anxiety. According to the Office on Women’s Health, anxiety is “a normal response to stress.” It becomes a problem when worry, nervousness, and fear of our circumstances become intrusive into our everyday lives. Anxiety disorders can be debilitating and often affect every part of a person’s life. In the United States, statistics show one in five adults has anxiety, this is approximately forty million adults.

There is help. Anxiety disorders can be treated. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a type of counseling, is a tool used by a trained mental health provider to teach people to cope with their symptoms. Several medications are also available to treat it. Get the help that is right for you. Call your doctor today, don’t suffer alone.

Author Note:

If you found this interesting or helpful check out my article on Postpartum Depression.

Original article can be found on here.


About the author

Jennifer Brewer

Writer of Fiction and a spattering of personal articles. Mom, Wife, Book Lover, and Escapist.

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