What does anxiety look like?

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A guest post from Marc from @ballofnerves , a picture book about anxiety

In my work as a therapist I work a lot with people with anxiety problems. If you have never experienced anxiety problems before you’re likely to feel frightened, confused and at a loss as to how to make anxiety controllable. I say controllable because anxiety isn’t something that can we can ‘get rid off’ as much as we may wish to. In fact it’s very normal to experience anxiety symptoms in day to day life whether its due to feeling overwhelmed by work pressures, worrying about loved ones or not being able to find a parking space when you’re running already late for an appointment.

Anxiety can develop into a problem when you start to make decisions based on avoiding feeling anxious. For many people, beginning therapy understanding what causes anxiety and how lives can be taken over by it is a hugely important part of starting recovery. Trying to get these messages across can be very difficult at times because people tend to find their concentration is really poor due to the anxiety.

This is why we created our picture book ‘The Ball of Nerves’ which uses the metaphor of the ball of nerves taking over someone’s body and as it grows, their life. The book aims to show how anxiety problems can develop for anybody and that these types of difficulties are not a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of. Using pictures and metaphors can be very effective in therapy for simplifying concepts and making the important information more memorable for clients later on. As i’ts a simple book we’ve aimed it at children, adolescents and adults. It can be used in therapy sessions or by people on their own. We are hoping it will be a really useful resource for helping to simplify anxiety and to get people talking about it.

You can buy The Ball of Nerves here. 

Image captions:

1. I have a ball of nerves inside me

2.  the ball of nerves begin to grow and it would wake up more and more… I began to feel in danger most of the time

3. the therapist explained that I’ve always had the ball inside me, all people do and it’s important for keeping us alive!

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