The Same Anxiety Symptons, But Different Reactions?

Two people can have the same anxiety symptoms but different reactions to those symptoms. There can be common thoughts, fear themes, and bodily reactions, yet wide variations on how those things are interpreted and in the reactions they trigger.  Let’s talk about this, and what it can teach us about anxiety and recovery.

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The Highlights

  • There is a core set of common anxiety symptoms that many members of our community experience
  • There is a core set of “fear themes” that often run through different anxiety disorders
  • Many members of this community have similar anxiety-related experiences
  • Even in the face of this commonality, there are often wide variations in how people interpret and react to these anxiety symptoms, fears, and experiences
  • Most people hate and fear depersonalization and derealization.  But some actually like it and describe it as a peaceful feeling or a break of some kind.
  • Many people with anxiety problems fear being along but others want to be alone when anxious and afraid.
  • We often talk about the struggle to leave one’s home or safe bubble but many members of our community react to anxiety by NOT wanting to be home or in the bubble.  They “need” to be out and about!
  • Probably half our community is most anxious and struggles most in the morning. The other half struggles most in the evening or at night.
  • Looking at trends like this help us know that we are not alone, or specially broken.  We really are living a common, shared experience in a large group of people.
  • What else does this tell us about anxiety symptoms, fears and experiences?  If you stand next to someone that experiences the same sensations or thoughts, but finds the danger or threat in a different place, what does this say?
  • Ask yourself – when you see this different interpretation and/or reaction – if the issue is how you feel and what you think, or if the issue is how you interpret and react to it?  For example, if you need rescue people to save you from that racing heart, then why does someone else insist that they must be left alone with that same racing heart? Where’s the threat there?  Is it the racing heart or the meaning we find in it?
  • When we shine a light on patterns and trends in a large population of anxious people, we are not curing anxiety or making it instantly go away.  There are no epiphanies here that lead to miraculous change.
  • Instead, when we look at these things, we can find objectivity and different points of view that can help inform more productive, recovery-focused actions.  When we share experiences, pool them, and look for patterns, we can often find encouragement and even inspiration that we can use when we’re struggling.


Here Are A Few Links That Might Be Of Interest

The DPDR video and comments I mentioned on my TikTok

Common Anxiety Symptoms (Episode 237)

The Primary Anxiety Fears Explained (Episode 238)



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Intro/Outro Music: "Afterglow" by Ben Drake (With Permission)


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Founder and host of The Anxious Truth Podcast. Former anxiety disorder sufferer. Now fully recovered and dedicated to providing no-nonsense, straight-forward, actionable advice on how to overcome anxiety problems.