Anxiety disorders are the most pervasive mental disorders in the U.S.

And it’s a commonly found illness, affecting over 40 million adults age 18 or older, or 18.1% of the population. Unfortunately, only about 37% of those suffering receive treatment, probably due to the stigma still surrounding mental illness. Until recently, scientists thought that a hyperactive amygdala – the brain’s emotional processing center – caused anxiety.

However, new studies have come out showing that anxiety is caused by complex interactions between different brain regions and that by being able to overpower the emotional brain by using cognitive rationality, anxiety will be reduced.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of both can usually help reduce anxiety symptoms. Also, eating healthy, exercise, getting enough sunlight and sleep, reducing stress, and other lifestyle factors can help symptoms of anxiety.

However, people with anxiety will tell you that it isn’t an easy disorder to manage by any means, and it usually requires lifelong treatment to keep symptoms under control. Below, you’ll find first-hand experiences from different people who have suffered from anxiety their whole lives.

We hope you find comfort in their stories and that they will serve as a reminder that you are not alone.

25 People Describe Their First Experience With Anxiety

1 – Malia A.

I could date this all the way back to grade school. Not wanting to go to Wednesday night church because I was so shy and afraid I would get asked to be called on or someone would just want to talk to me. I would feel physically sick because if it. #My1stExperienceWithAnxiety

2 – Rebecca

3 – Tristitia


4 – Nico

5 -Nohemi


6- Jennifer

7 – Brittney

8 – Bella

9 – Lindsay F

10 -Brittany L.

11 – Chloe

12 – Maddie

13 –  Arya

14 – Gamerga

15 – Jacqueline Z.

16 – Jim

17 – Bekah K.

18 – McSpocky

19 – Kaz W.

20 – Alana

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21 – Jordan D.

22 – Joolz

23 – Nadir

24 – Allis

25 – Elle

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