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Do Your Friends Know?

Coffee_Cat

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Hello, has anyone told their friends about their anxiety? I honestly only have two friends that I'm close to. I've considered telling them to have support and for them to understand why I behave the way I do. But I don't know how to tell them or if I'm making a big deal out of it. I think I'm afraid that they'll start acting differently. I don't know if it's appropriate to share it either. I can be free here since everyone understands in some way or another. Hopefully someone has tips or advice. Thanks for reading.
 

Cuchculan

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heck I can't say I ever told anybody. 1 sort of always knew. Had to let her know so she knew why I would not be attending her wedding. Other than that I mostly keep it to myself. Is not that I am afraid of telling them. More what would I expect if I did tell them? I wouldn't expect them to fully understand things. Have to go through anxiety to know all about it. I am doubting they would treat you any different. They might have a lot of questions. Which you could easily answer. That way you would not have to hide anything from them. No idea if you duck out of doing certain things because of your anxiety? If you think you could get by without them knowing, then so be it.
 

bin_tenn

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I agree with Cuch. I don't make it a point to offer up the fact that I have anxiety when I meet someone. I do, however, mention it when I feel like it's necessary. On the other hand, sometimes it (anxiety as a whole) naturally comes up in conversation. I may mention then that I suffer from chronic anxiety, but I still don't go into a highly detailed explanation. I just mention what is relevant.
 

Milla

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Hi Coffee_Cat, Cuchculan and bin_tenn. Some, perhaps the closest of my friends know some things about my social anxiety and other fears. I don’t exactly keep the anxiety a secret, anymore. But it’s also not something I talk about, without a reason. I’m a person with so many problems, I could never keep them all a secret, if I wanted to have honest, deep conversations with people. x-D There have been times when I’ve kept people at a distance, needing space to heal so something. But though I am socially anxious and a fearful person also in other ways, I also need other people. And I prefer honesty, to a degree.

I don’t know your friends, Coffee_Cat. Do you have a reason, why you think they would start acting differently, if you told them? I usually trust my intuition, though that might be a thing that develops though trial and error. There’s a try-period, if you will, when I meet someone new. I see how they act with people and if they act in a trustworthy and understanding way, I trust them more, also with speaking about anxiety. The sort of gradual process of developing mutual trust has worked well for me in finding good friends. All relationships, I find, are a bit different and we sort of naturally speak about certain things with some friends and about others with other friends. Now that I think about it, all my closest friends, with whom I speak about anxiety, have experienced it or some other mental and/or body-related problems themselves. Not all can relate to anxiety but what these people have in common is that they want to understand, even if they don’t have much to say about on the subject. But of course, not everyone is tactful when you tell them about things. I’ve had some coarse reactions also. Which is eventually fine. We just don’t become best friends and that’s ok.
 

triceps

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Hi Coffee_Cat. I spent 40 years trying to hide my anxiety disorder and it only caused more anxiety. I have GAD, Social and Agoraphobia anxiety disorders. My wife and kids knew but it really bothered me watching them covering for me. I finally fully realized that mental illness is basically the same as any physical disease and I'd never thought less of or knowingly treated friends with physical diseases any differently. So now and over the past 10 years I have been very open about my anxiety when a situation arises where one of my symptoms is rearing its' ugly head. If that person I've told reacts poorly I take it as their problem, not mine. I have not lost any true friends over being open about it. It has truly helped me and my entire family to have "come out of the closet" over my anxiety disorders.
 

Milla

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I listened to a podcast episode that happened to discuss the theme of risk taking. The episode is by Tara Brach, an American psychologist and teacher of Buddhist meditation. It’s called Taking “The Exquisite Risk”: An Undefended Heart. It can be found easily at least on her website but her podcast is also on Spotify. She speaks for example about when you feel safe enough to take a risk with someone and being a bit more open with them.
 

Izthewiz

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I believe everyone has some form of Anxiety.
Me and my wife clean houses and offices and 95% of my clients are on Zoloft,cimbalta,wellbutrin or some other SSRI.
There is nothing to be ashamed of as everyone takes something to deal with Anxiety and depression.
 

Doug97

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Only my wife knows, I haven't told anyone else. People think of me as this chilled guy but my wife knows the truth: totally neurotic.
 
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