The feeling of anxiety isn't easy to describe, but the effects are very real: Anxiety can have lasting negative effects on your health, possibly even increasing your risk of certain cancers. That's why one woman's Facebook post struck a chord with so many people after she nailed the complexities of having an anxiety disorder. (Related: Why You Should Stop Saying You Have Anxiety When You Really Don't)
"Anxiety isn't just having a hard time catching your breath," Brittany Nichole Morefield's says in her post. "Anxiety is waking up at 3 a.m. from a dead sleep because your heart is racing. Anxiety is breaking out in a rash for no reason. Anxiety is stressing over things that may or may not be real."
She adds that anxiety can cause your mood to change in minutes, sometimes driving you to uncontrollable shaking or painful tears. On top of being emotionally draining, anxiety can be physically tasking, causing nausea and making you feel crippled. (Another woman's experience: How Clean Eating Helped Me Cope with Anxiety)
It's clear that Brittany's words meant a lot to both her friends and strangers, who liked the post over 188,000 times. "You hit the nail on the head," one user wrote. "I struggle with anxiety and it is so hard some days. Thank you for the reminder that 'your feelings matter.'"
"Exactly how I feel," said another. "It's nice to hear someone say that I am not crazy." Many others commented and shared their personal experiences as well as offer encouragement and solidarity.
Brittany ended her open letter with a powerful reminder, telling people that their feelings do matter and that they're not alone. "Just because you're bothered by something others aren't, it doesn't make you crazy or worthless. Some of the most successful people in life have anxiety. This is not your fault. This is not the end. You are strong. You are intelligent. You are brave. You are worthy."