While those who do not suffer from any kind of anxiety disorder won’t understand this as well, withdrawing from the people around you is something that seems to go hand in hand when your anxiety is just too abundant. For those who might not know, anxiety is something that comes with feelings of worry, dread, and while natural can be extreme in those with disorders.

Sure, you might think I’m withdrawing because I’m mad at you or because you’ve done something wrong but honestly, I’m withdrawing for my own wellbeing. I am going through a serious anxiety bout and I need to work on myself for a while to get to where I need to be in order to actually be able to spend time with you. While I hope you understand, I know that sadly not everyone will. 

When my anxiety is peaking and I’m spiraling into something negative I don’t want to talk to anyone and I don’t want to go out and spend time in public. Rather than chatting for hours I just want to sit at home and watch TV on my own. While remaining in my safe zone might be boring to you, it’s what’s best for me right now. 

This whole this is called social withdrawal and is described as follows by Calm Clinic:

Social withdrawal can be both a symptom and a cause of anxiety. Social withdrawal can also characterize an anxiety disorder (social anxiety disorder) in and of itself. Some people develop social withdrawal because of other pre-existing anxiety symptoms. Other people’s’ anxiety is reinforced because they continuously opt to withdraw from social situations. Still, others experience severe anxiety socially from the start, which then reinforces their tendency to withdraw. 

People who suffer from anxiety often have a strong desire to retreat from society, staying home and isolating themselves from the world around them. To outsiders, it may seem as though the person with social anxiety is being disinterested or stuck-up. The truth, however, is that often people with social anxiety are simply withdrawing because it’s too unbearably anxiety-provoking for them to be in social situations. 

The things my anxiety comes with are more intense than you might realize. Sure, I will feel worried but I’ll also feel nauseous, shaky, weak, and depending on what I’m facing I might even end up having a panic attack. Anxiety isn’t just feeling a little embarrassed while out in public, that in itself is just the tip of the iceberg in regards.

I don’t like showing the world this side of me and I don’t like having to experience it. If I can avoid the things triggering these kinds of things within reason, I will and that’s nothing against you. I still want to spend time with you and I still want to be friends, I just want the connection in itself to benefit me as well as you. I’m not gaining anything if I’m on edge every time we go out or try to spend time with one another.

If you’re someone who has been struggling to understand those around you who suffer from things like anxiety please check out the videos below. They’re doing the things they do to protect themselves properly, not to make you feel like they’re unwilling to spend time with you. Rather than asking them to go out perhaps try asking them to have a movie night in with you and spend some time in less hectic surroundings. You’ll be surprised how much more worthwhile these kinds of things can be as is.

Sources:

https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/social-withdrawal

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/anxiety

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