Turning heads

Hello! Sorry for the interruption in your regularly scheduled comic consumption. I had – I don’t know what I had. I was psychotic. That I know. But I didn’t go to the hospital and it didn’t destroy me as breaks in the past have. Lenny called it a “mini-break.” Whatever, I’m back now.

In this comic Anne is so preoccupied by her social anxiety that she completely fails to notice how many heads she’s turning. I don’t find this one funny at all. In fact I’m surprised it didn’t get thrown in the ‘it needs work’ pile. But as an illustration of how fear or anxiety can distort our image of ourselves it is important.

Anne is in a beautiful dress, and she looks good. She’s getting positive feedback, yet she is not getting the message. I think that is one reason a good support network is so important. We need people to encourage us, and give us perspective – tell us what is really going on. Because of her friendship with Paige, Anne knows she looks good. Of course, she is going to feel just as anxious, because that is how she is.

I saw a comic on anxiety the other day that pointed out that there is more to it than simply worrying about things all the time. Look at this comprehensive list of anxiety symptoms. It is truly amazing how many sensations are related to the disorder. No one experiences all of them, but reading through it you get a good idea for how awful it must be to have an anxiety disorder.

It can be difficult for someone who doesn’t have the disorder to understand what it is really like. We are all so locked in our own heads that imagining what someone else is experiencing is almost impossible. And the flip side, imagining that we can feel differently than we do, is equally challenging. I think that is why sharing experiences is so powerful.

When did you worry about something and a friend pointed out an error in your perception?



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