Imagine: you’re trapped in a room and you can’t get out. For years.
Or, perhaps, ever.
But while you’re in that room, you’re also surrounded by thousands of people, everywhere, running into you and shoving you out of the way. You say “excuse me”, but they can’t hear you because you’re still trapped in the room.
Could you imagine there is a word for that feeling? And that people use it every day to talk about simple tasks? Things they’re waiting for, like a train. Things they are excited about, like going on vacation.
“I’m so anxious for my new dress to get here!”
How could the person who is anxious for their new dress to arrive in the mail possibly be feeling the same as you are, trapped in the room with all of those people who can’t hear you?
It’s because they don’t. The term “anxiety” and its various forms has become so loosely used that it has lost its gravitas completely. In psychiatry, anxiety is defined as “a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviors or panic attacks.”
That’s some friggin’ dress you’re waiting for.
Erika Abrahamsen received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Neuroscience in 2014. She works in pharmaceutical marketing and enjoys the company of cats.