4 Aug 2015

The Best Anxiety Analogies on The Internet

For a while now there have been an abundance of benign and even 'cute' analogies for mental illness being spread around the internet; whether in the form of a written metaphor comparing a mental illness to an inoffensive animal or object, or a cutesy illustrated comic or photoset. And this trend is one that I've been both unimpressed and frustrated with. Mental illnesses, due to their nature, are already an extremely difficult thing for a person who's never suffered from one to even comprehend (this is generally the case even for those who are suffering with one). And such benign comparisons are only going to make it even harder for non-suffers and skeptics to then understand how truly horrific experiencing a mental illness can be, and will ultimately contribute to a lack of empathy towards sufferers. Essentially, it's a step forward in the wrong direction.

But with that being said, there have been a couple of instances recently when I've come across analogies (generally via Tumblr) which I've felt have managed to hit the nail right on the head, and that I could actually relate to in a big way as someone who has experience with mental illness. So below are two of my favourite Anxiety analogies that I've found online.

Note: Anxiety is an extremely broad term and can manifest itself in many different ways, these analogies happen to best represent the type of Anxiety I'm personally most accustom to.

See this link if you would like to find out about online therapy: BetterHelp

Analogy one

This gives a perfect example of that intense yet brief rush of fear and adrenaline one can experience in a moment of perceived danger. But for many with anxiety that 'my heart just stopped' feeling is something constant. When I saw this specific analogy posted on a Facebook page the first response to it was someone arguing that the feeling when you nearly fall off your chair is actually 'exhilarating'. Wrong. It only feels exhilarating once you've reached the safe landing and realise that you're okay. And that's a relief people with on going Anxiety disorders rarely get. Just try and imagine what it would be like to have that burst of intense fear stretch across a whole day, not dissipating even as you're socialising with friends, attending a class or lying in bed trying to sleep.

Analogy two

(For any non-gamer people (like me); this quote refers to the music that plays near the end of a level in a video game when the boss, whom you need to defeat in order to continue with the game, is about to appear.)

An onset of Anxiety means your body has mistakenly set off its Fight or Flight response. Your mind and body are telling you you're in danger, making you feel how you would do if you were in danger. Ergo, hearing that metaphoric foreboding music warning you of an impending threat to you and your life, despite you not being able to ever actually see the threat. And this of course is because no threat actually exists. But try telling yourself that when your mind and body are bent on disagreeing with you. These are the constant struggles of someone with an Anxiety Disorder, as this metaphor creatively illustrates.

Do you have any mental heath metaphors or quotes that you find valuable? 

Note: Credit for the analgies go to myawfulpersonality.tumblr.com and reversingyourpolarity.tumblr.com  

Amani x


  1. Very interesting. I think people who have never gone through that will never be able to fully understand what's going on whit persons who suffer from this.. you wrote it very well! It would be interesting to see more of these quotes regarding mental illness and your opinion on them like you suggested at the end.
    xo Carina


  2. This was very informative, I don't have any mental illness quotes but yours helped me understand it better.


  3. This was a very interesting post! A lot of people over look mental illness or are uncomfortable talking about it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Totally love this post. I just found your blog today and you are so genuine real I will definitely be back. This is just great. I hope this isn't personal but since people write what they know, do you suffer from the feelings analogies are projecting?

    I'm blogging about similar things, check it out and let me know what you think: www.kellmenow.com

    XO K

    1. Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the post :) And yes, I've suffered on and off with anxiety in different form since I was a teenage x

  5. Thank you for this Amani, I just love what you talk about here on your blog and sharing your experience and knowledge. I love how real and raw this is, the world needs more of this especially with mental illness and how it is down played and often completely misunderstood. YOU are helping the world move forward so thank you, thank you, thank you! <3


    1. Thank you so much! <3 That means a lot :)


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