Deanne Repich is the Founder of the National Institute of Anxiety and Stress, Inc. In her article Coming “Out of the Closet” about Your Anxiety, she talks about her experiences with this very common, and self-limiting, mental health challenge. Here are some excerpts:
Keeping your anxiety a secret from others can be a huge burden. I know, because I kept my anxiety a secret day after day, year after year for fifteen years.
Looking back, it’s hard to believe. The secret felt like a lead anchor dragging me down. It was so heavy I could hardly move, both emotionally and physically.
I was drowning emotionally. I thought that if others found out my “secret,” they would believe what I believed about myself… that I was a worthless person who had no place in this world.
They would discover that I was faking it. I was really not as intelligent, or nice, or all-together as I appeared. They would discover that I was falling apart on the inside.
Once I decided to share the “secret” of my anxiety with a safe, trusted person, guess what happened? My anxiety lessened. I started to feel free. It was like a glass prison had been shattered.
The anchor I had put around my own neck lightened considerably and I realized that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
There WAS a way to conquer anxiety and gosh darn I was going to take back my life no matter what it took! It was EMPOWERING.