10 Pictures To Show What It Really Feels Like Having Anxiety

10 Pictures To Show What It Really Feels Like Having Anxiety

I have to admit that anxiety is something that I personally have struggled with during my entire life. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States 18 and older. This comes to roughly 18% of the U.S population.

The ADAA states that anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.

I can relate on not wanting treatment. There are specific circumstances to which I am more likely to react negatively to. In fact, yesterday on the subway a man started up on a racist tirade, and he was screaming directly at me.

In NYC, most people can just brush this off as just another drunk man, but it makes me extremely anxious. I was trying to explain to my wife why I felt so agitated. She didn’t understand why my hands started to shake, why my heart began to race, why I started to get sweaty, and why I immediately enter into fight of flight mode.

Growing up, I was painfully shy, I often shut down in social settings and just picked a corner to hide in. Loud noises, like the door that was just slammed outside my home make me nervous.Crowds terrify me, and I get extremely anxious even when meeting up with friends.

As I have become older, I have learned to better cope. Thrusting myself into situations that force to me face my fears head on, over and over again. I’ve gone so far as going on television shows multiple times, performing my most vulnerable poetry pieces in front of perfect strangers, and delivering political speeches in front of hundreds of listeners. This is how I cope with my anxiety. Doesn’t make a lot of sense does it?


The following photographs are by Katie Crawford. Crawford, a 2015 Louisiana State University Fine Arts grad will take us on a visual journey illustrating what it is like to suffer from Anxiety and Depression.

Thankfully, I have never reached a point where the anxiety incapacitated me, and up until this point I have been able to overcome my episodes without any medical aids. However, for some people it can be a terrible and debilitating experience. Though I recognize that I have anxiety problems, mine are nowhere near as intense as what Katie illustrates here. Anxiety and depression are quite real disorders, and should be treated as such.

Katie Crawford Anxiety 31

    I’m so numb, that being numb has become a feeling.

    Katie Crawford Anxiety 91

      Depression is when you can’t feel at all. Anxiety is when you feel too much. Having both is a constant war within your own mind. Having both means never winning.


      Katie Crawford Anxiety 1

        Sleeping in the dark doesn’t scare me, the shadows created from the light in the dark do.

        Katie Crawford Anxiety 81

          The anxiety and depression are ever present, ready to take over at a moment’s notice.

          Katie Crawford Anxiety 101

            It feels like you are always holding a glass of water. Never letting go. Then one day you drop it, you let it fall and break.


            Katie Crawford Anxiety 71

              You fear living, while fearing death. Trapped in existence.

              Katie Crawford Anxiety 61

                The scars are deep and never healing.

                Katie Crawford Anxiety 41

                  My mind is my prison. There is no escape. I think, it’s worst. I don’t think, it’s worst. It will pass.


                  Katie Crawford Anxiety 51

                    It lives in the pit of your stomach. It’s like reaching for the bottom of the pool with your toes, but realizing you are in too deep.

                    Katie Crawford Anxiety 21

                      I know I’m breathing, I see my breath, but I can’t breathe.

                      Featured photo credit: Katie Crawford via

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                      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                      7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

                      7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

                      What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

                      For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

                      It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

                      1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

                      The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

                      What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

                      The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.


                      2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

                      Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

                      How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

                      If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

                      Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

                      3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

                      Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

                      If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?


                      These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

                      What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

                      4. What are my goals in life?

                      Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

                      Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

                      5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

                      Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

                      Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?


                      You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

                      Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

                      6. What do I not like to do?

                      An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

                      What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

                      Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

                      The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …


                      7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

                      Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

                      But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

                      “What do I want to do with my life?”

                      So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via


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