Fifty shades of anxiety

Like ice cream, anxiety comes in a number of different flavours. It might come with many negative thoughts, unpleasant mental images and a feeling of uneasiness in the chest and stomach area. It might come with sweating and with a pounding heart.

It might be intense (think panic attack) or subtle (think a day of binge-watching a re-run of Friends and emptying the fridge along the way). It might be about social situations, health issues, or come out of nowhere disguised as a vague feeling of apprehension.

Our reactions on the other hand are surprisingly similar: We berate ourselves for feeling anxious. We want it to go away. We look for ways to make us feel better. We feel isolated and weak. We believe we’re the only ones feeling that way. (Which makes sense — after all when do you ever experience another person’s anxiety first hand? Never.)