Anxiety Says Everyone Hates Me

May 6, 2014 Gabe Howard

Having an anxiety disorder is like someone following you, whispering in your ear, "I hate you." Learn how to deal with anxiety saying that "everyone hates me."

I am a strong person, physically. At six-foot-three inches tall and 250 pounds, most people wouldn't waste their breath arguing that assertion. And, whether because of, or in spite of, my bipolar and anxiety diagnoses, I consider myself to be strong mentally, as well. I am intelligent, accomplished, likeable, and successful.

Despite the mountains of evidence of this, my brain works diligently to convince me that every interaction I have with another person is a misstep. If I text someone and they don’t reply back, it is obvious they are mad at me. If someone doesn't answer the phone when I call, say hello when they pass by, or reply to my email, then my mind goes into what can only be described as an emotional roller coaster. It isn't a fun, state-of-the-art roller coaster, either. It’s an old wooden one, poorly maintained, and it’s painful when it turns corners. The ride up the first hill is jerky, slow, and the anticipation sends shock waves I can feel all over my body. It is emotionally, physically, and even mentally straining. It is fear, panic, anticipation, and dread all rolled into one giant full body panic attack.

Anxiety Convinces Me That Everyone Hates Me

Having an anxiety disorder is like someone following you, whispering in your ear, "I hate you." Learn how to deal with anxiety saying that "everyone hates me." At that moment, I feel as though everyone I know is mad at me. They all disrespect me, think I am stupid, and do not want me in their lives any longer. Quite simply, my anxiety says everyone hates me.

Now, on top of all the other emotions, guilt forms. I feel guilty that I put someone in such a difficult position. I imposed by reaching out to them. Asking them a question, for a favor, or simply saying hello was uncalled for. I should not have done it and, since I’m a good person, I want to apologize. I want to reach back out to them and ask if they are mad, if they are okay, what I did wrong, and let them know I want to make amends. I want to set things right.

I Just Want the Anxiety to Stop

More often than not, what does get me in trouble and where I do make a mistake is by war dialing, constantly texting or e-mailing, or asking them one too many questions about why something is a certain way. Even apologizing for a legitimate mistake can be over the line, if handled the wrong way.

Ninety-seven times out of a hundred, the reason I didn't hear back was because the person was busy, in a meeting, mulling it over, or because people have things to do other than answer me. In the rare occasions where I did make a mistake, offend, or bother someone, the issue is generally cleared up quickly with an explanation and an apology. The people in my life know that I am a good person and don’t intentionally hurt others and they doubly know I wouldn't intentionally hurt them.

Ignoring the Anxiety that Says that Everyone Hates Me

It is hard to sit back, relax, and not engage the anxiety. It baits me to do something I will later regret. I work with my therapist to find techniques to calm down and I explain to my friends and family that when I ask if they are mad me, it is because I genuinely care and I want to make sure they are okay. I am also honest in admitting that checking in with them alleviates my suffering. Often, it is more about me than about them, and they understand that.

There are as many ways to alleviate anxiety as there are people. It is trial and error, but there are techniques that work for many people. Mindfulness, meditation, advanced preparation, sleep hygiene, therapy, and medication can all be used to control this disorder. But the biggest factor in this will always be me.

You can find Gabe on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and his website.


APA Reference
Howard, G. (2014, May 6). Anxiety Says Everyone Hates Me, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 18 from

Author: Gabe Howard

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
November, 15 2014 at 7:44 am

Hello PK - There isn't a book I recommend. There are so many and they all kind of cover different things. It should come as no surprise I recommend the HealthyPlace community -- I believe in what we all do. Best of luck on your journey -- and please keep reading and commenting. You are always welcome at HealthyPlace! :) ~Gabe

December, 2 2014 at 12:14 pm

Hi Gabe - I really appreciated reading this. I was actually looking for advice for my son who often comes home from school saying "everyone hates me." But this really resonated with me. I often wonder what I did wrong when friends who used to respond don't. I think I am a pretty kind, likeable person but am always living in fear that I have unknowingly done something wrong and that I am being shunned for it. It was very helpful to hear that others have similar experiences. Thanks for starting this conversation.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
December, 2 2014 at 1:40 pm

You are quite welcome, Stephanie! Keep reading my blog -- I have written lots and lots (And Tanya has, too!) ;)

December, 31 2014 at 12:24 am

I have extreme anxiety and can relate to what you posted, Gabe. I am only 17, but I have felt my whole life that everyone I know hates me. I was severely bullied online and in person as a child, and I am often called a bitch because I am very loud when I talk, because i use my "strong" attitude as a defines mechanism. I lay awake at night crying because i feel as though everyone believes i am a bitchy, loud, stupid and ugly freak. It is very hard for me and the guilt is crippling. I hate living like this, I feel like an unloved terrible person despite what many people say and it is terrible.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
December, 31 2014 at 9:46 am

Thank you for reading and commenting, Keely. Welcome! :) Gabe

Mark frewer
January, 5 2015 at 10:26 am

I find it hard to trust a sole! everybody I know can't stand me the only person who likes me is my ex wife, and she tried to crucify me!. My siblings have tried to punch my lights out and ask things like " how are you from this family you are so different?". I am trying to understand what the hell is going on! Why I distrust everybody! What do I do to make people dislike me so much!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
January, 5 2015 at 1:19 pm

Thank you, Mark for sharing and reading. It is difficult to build trust. I hope you can find someone to look up to. Life is better when we aren't alone. Hugs, Gabe

January, 30 2015 at 6:25 pm

I think more people can relate to this than they would like to admit. I find this feeling gets easier to deal with over time when you find things you love to do. Unfortunately, when depression and anxiety mix, you not only feel the world hates you, you lose interest in the things you love so it feels as if your world is crumbling all around you. The feeling gets even worse when you work with someone who absolutely hates you for reasons unknown but everyone else loves this person. So of course, you feel like a complete outcast on top of everything else. I would say step number one would be to remove yourself from that hostile environment like I did. It should leave some open time to understand why these feelings show up.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
January, 31 2015 at 8:30 am

Your suggestions are spot on and very good! I like them a lot. Thank you for reading and sharing! :) ~Gabe

March, 4 2015 at 6:51 pm

I just want to say thank you for this post because, I literally just came back from class beside myself because I felt all of the things you talked about in this post today, much stronger than usual. And just knowing that other people have had similar experiences with this type of anxiety has made me feel so much better. So thank you :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
March, 4 2015 at 7:57 pm

Brooke - my pleasure. :) Thank YOU. ~Gabe

March, 12 2015 at 8:29 am

Hello. I love how you put this. No one truly understands how a person feels that has anxiety. I hate it. Just the other day I was having one of those days that nothing I could do was right and I felt like a piece of crap that I told my husband, that lots of people wish for all kinds of stuff. I just wish that I could wake up one day and my anxiety be gone. I could be happy and not stress over absolutely everything. Thanks for your point of view and everyone else as well.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
March, 12 2015 at 9:40 am

Thank you, Becky, for reading! :) I really appreciate it. Hugs, Gabe

April, 3 2015 at 4:00 pm

Came across this today and so glad I did cause it makes me feel better to know I am not alone. Thank you!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 5 2015 at 12:52 am

Hi Amy,
Welcome to Healthy Place! You are definitely not alone (do you know that over 40 million people in the US alone live with some type of anxiety disorder, and every human being on the planet experiences varying degrees of anxiety throughout their life?). So you're in good company! I hope you find the Anxiety-Schmanxiety community to be a helpful resource as you overcome anxiety.

April, 28 2015 at 2:37 am

Good day. Thank you for this article because now I know I'm not alone in this. I constantly ask my husband how long he'll be able to cope with my anxiety. Luckily he keeps saying that he loves me too much to give up on me. But I'm still scared he'll grow tired of it all and I know that everyone is replaceable... I had so many ups and downs this year that sometimes I don't know how I'll make it to the next day. Yes, I have even tried to 'end it all' but apparently I have people who care about me and it makes me feel guilty for being such a wet blanket all the time. I have tried medication for it, but guess what? I got hooked on it and now I'm battling the addiction. Life's tough and then you die. That's my current motto in life and I hope it changes soon. I have a 2 year old daughter and don't want her to see me like this..

May, 5 2015 at 9:10 pm

Thank you for this article! I have suffered with anxiety for most of my life, starting at an early age when I was bullied in middle school and high school, mostly by other girls. I have seen a few therapists over the years and my anxiety has improved over time, however, last year I moved to a new state and finding new friends has been such a struggle for me. So much so that I am debating about whether or not I should move home at the end of the year because I am so lonely. I made a few friends over this past year but all except one either moved to a different state or moved back home... and the last friend I have here is moving in 3 weeks. I also have a boyfriend who I have been dating for almost 5 months now who just moved away last week (he is in the military). I just feel like everyone I care about is leaving. And finding girlfriends are the worst for me! I have reached out to many girls I have met while living where I am now, hoping to make some new friendships and many want nothing to do with me. Or I have started talking to some new girls and things have been going great - we are talking a lot, hanging out, etc etc and then all of a sudden, they want nothing to do with me. I don't get it! This has happened to me my whole life and I am starting to think that something is wrong with me. Many of my close friends back home tell me it's because I am pretty, or that I am too nice and always go out of my way for people I care about...and that most people (girls especially) are not used to that. Or they think I have some hidden agenda which could not be any more farther from the truth. I just want friends so I don't feel so lonely all the time :( I am almost 30 now and I feel like I am at the point where I am experiencing some wonderful things in my life and I would really love to share them with other people.
Anyway, sorry this is so long! Your post brought me some comfort and I am a little relieved to know that I am not alone.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 6 2015 at 11:27 am

Hello Nic,
I'm glad you found HealthyPlace and this article in particular. Gabe is no longer writing for HealthyPlace so is unable to respond to comments. You most definitely aren't alone in your feelings or experiences. Know that there are many things you can do to reduce anxiety and increase positive social experiences. There are many articles on Anxiety-Schmanxiey, as well as reader comments, that address this and so many other things. Welcome!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Brandon G
June, 19 2016 at 1:13 am

Hi, Nic. I understand where you are coming from, for I was, and am partially, the same way. I do not understand why it is literally nobody wants to be my friend. I could show you pictures and achievements of mine, and you would probably view me as fairly normal. Though, people have always ended up either mistreating me or not wanting anything to do with me. However, instead of allowing this occurrence cause me continued anxiety, I put an end to it. I simply said to myself: "Being anxious is very cumbersome to me and I refuse to carry this burden any longer, no matter what!" After some time, I started to realize there is nothing wrong with me; I am perfect. God has intended me to very great things. Also, I have learned that if I had kept many of those friends, I would not be where I am today: friends take up a lot of time. Because of this increase of time, I have learned a great deal about myself and my passions. I encourage you to be yourself, no matter what. Follow your heart and do what makes you happy. You deserve it. I am more than happy to talk at
Good luck!

May, 19 2015 at 1:11 am

Last summer I was in a really bad forest fire with this camp group I signed up for. We were in groups of six, in half shelters, spread out through the forest and something started the fire but no one really woke up, I remember it got really hot but I thought it was just the weather (since it was a pretty hot place), the camp leaders were not much older than myself or anyone else there so when the fire broke out they had to wake all of us up to evacuate but they were also really scared so they only woke up 2 or 3 of all the groups and told them to wake the rest up, I remember a friend from the other group pretty much dragged my partner and I out of our half shelter and being half asleep I went back to get my stuff and when I got out it was really hot and everyone was gone but there were people shouting for help and I ran towards them because I wanted to help but there was fire and I didn't want to burn myself so I ran back and I found another group who I woke up and we made our way out and in the end all of us got out with minimal injuries (by the grace of God) but later on in the year all of us were treated for smoke inhalation (some more than others) and near September one of the boys killed himself, now all of these people were my friends more or less and throughout the past year 6 of them have killed themselves and another 3 don't talk to anyone from the fire. I relive this fire every single night, every time I hear a fire truck or one drives by fast with sirens on, at night when it gets hot Im too afraid to sleep, so I moved. I moved to a new city thinking it would didn't. I recently made friends (I haven't talked to anyone I knew since I moved and I never bothered making new friends because I was constantly scared they would die out on me, these new friends are the bomb and I just got off Skype with them, I love all of them. The problem is I feel like they don't like me as much as I like them, they were over and we were playing with a ouija board and one of them blew on the candle but the wax splashed back and hit his arm and I went and cleaned it and fixed it but I was scared out of my mind, it wasn't even a lot of wax but I thought he was going to die, I know they like me and we are friends but I constantly feel like they are going to leave me or that they aren't actually my friends...I just want to be normal again...I want to go out and not think of everything as a threat to my friends health and not have to worry about going to another funeral...I have been thinking of going to therapy but I don't know if I meet the criteria, I feel like If I go to therapy that the therapist won't believe me or that they might put me in a mental hospital and I just don't like showing signs of vulnerability, no one really knows how much the fire really ruined my life, yeah I didn't get flesh wounds but I still hear the screams for help and I still feel the guilt for not helping them. Im not seeking for attention, I just really needed to get this off my chest.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 19 2015 at 1:28 pm

Hello Ray,
I think you are wise in considering therapy. What you describe sounds very much like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You most definitely fit the criteria, and PTSD is something that can be treated. When ignored, though, it commonly worsens. HealthyPlace has a blog about PTSD and trauma that you might want to check out: Also, the fear of being put in a psychiatric hospital is one that many people have, especially because of the incorrect stereotypes that are out there on TV, in the movies, in the news, etc. Therapists don't just automatically put someone in such a hospital. The goal is to work with someone out of a hospital setting. Sometimes, temporary hospitalization is necessary, but if your therapist thinks that's the case, he/she should talk to you about it and work with you. The purpose of a hospitalization is to help rather than to frighten and make things worse, and again, it's only used when absolutely necessary. It's not a first line of defense. You experienced traumas (both the fire and the losses of friends), and your mind hasn't had a chance to process them. In working with a therapist, you will have the opportunity to process and, ultimately (although it's not always a fast process) to heal.

June, 11 2015 at 5:27 pm

I am dealing with this as we speak! I am on vacation with my family and my quiet natured in laws started the week out chatty and nice and have now become more quiet and to themselves. So here goes the constant anxiety... "Did I do something?" "Do they wish we weren't here now?" "Should I ask if they are mad and risk them thinking I'm annoying?" I'm physically making my self sick worrying over this and not enjoying my vacation work my kids and husband! I hate this!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 11 2015 at 6:18 pm

Hello Andrea,
You're definitely not alone. This is a common aspect of anxiety. One way to counteract this thinking is to beat it at its own game. Recognize it (which you already do!), then go through the process of recognizing that it's irrational. When you realize that you haven't done anything to make people hate you, you can then come to know that their actions are about them rather than you. You can't control how others act, but you can control how you react (or don't react)!

June, 24 2015 at 5:36 am

Thanks Gabe. Very helpful article. I am stricken with a general realization that no one likes me.. The problem is, over the years I have been a selfish person and never really concerned with others, so I have the evidence I need, regardless if its real or not. I have been working on loving myself and others more, but sometimes I just come so directly face to face with the "reality" that no one likes me. Usually something I perceptive in Instagram, FB or Texting triggers me. Either way I am reminded of the Four Agreements, and they seem to be helping me come to a more natural and healthy place in my mind.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 24 2015 at 11:31 am

Hello Jason,
Gabe is no longer writing for HealthyPlace and is unable to respond to comments. You are certainly not alone in your thoughts. Interesting that you mention social media. Studies show that social media use can increase anxiety and depression and chip away at self-esteem. There are many reasons for this. It's definitely something that everyone should be aware of; when we notice social media taking its toll, it's a good idea to take a break from it as much as possible. Also, gathering evidence to test the reality of our thoughts is a very effective way to counteract negative beliefs that contribute to anxiety and depression. Sometimes, the evidence is just what it is -- it might be false, and it might be real. Either way, we can use it to our advantages to make the changes we want to make in our lives. We can identify what we want to do differently or what we would like to be different in our lives and then create a plan involving little steps toward our goal. You don't have to be limited by the past (or by social media in the present)!

Chloe G
June, 25 2015 at 10:03 pm

It is always nice to hear that other go through the same thing. I recently went on a camping trip with some university friends and i told two of them that i suffer from this anxiety and they accepted it. it was a huge weight lifted of my shoulders. However, i now feel like that was a bad choice, because my brain now automatically makes me feel like they look at me differently. It doesn't help that the two of them are pretty much best friends, and i am a third wheel sometimes. I just cant shake the idea that i am annoying them by telling them how i feel. As if i am drowning them with my feelings (i told them twice in the last few days) and it is now just driving me crazy. I just want my brain to stop running at 100 miles an hour, and just relax. Everyone else seems to be fine. But for anyone else going through this have a moment of Sonder; the realization that each and every passerby has a life as vivid and complex as your own. its the only way i can step out of my anxiety for a minutue, think of when you dont text someone back because you are busy, everyone else in the world is as busy in their lives as you are in yours.

July, 19 2015 at 7:36 pm

Hi! I feel pretty much the same way all around. The only things I feel differently are that I want to tell them I'm sorry, but I can't because I'm afraid of reaching out again to tell them I'm sorry for imposing on them. I can't talk to anyone and if I do text or email someone, I'm so terrified of doing so that when they don't reply I feel exactly the same as you. Thank you for sharing, because it feels so good to know others feel the same way too.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 19 2015 at 9:53 pm

Hello Kelly,
Gabe is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, so he is unable to respond to your comment. I know he'd be pleased to know that you appreciated his post. You are definitely not alone. This feeling/experience is quite common among those of us who live with or have lived with anxiety. I think it's good that you're unable to go back and apologize for things you think you need to apologize for. Chances are high that apologies are not in order at all. Live each moment and move to the next unapologetically, no matter how anxious you feel.

August, 26 2015 at 4:10 am

Just the title of your post explains how I feel constantly, even when my small circle of friends DO call me. I feel a huge part of my chronic pain is due to this super high level of constant anxiety over whether my friends truly enjoy my company or think I'm a little off and just put up with me anyway. This stems from being told I am not very easy to get to know and it's probably because I don't want to call attention to my chronic pain and never sleeping well and being sick a lot. I don't want to depress other people with the details of my sad, sick, and lonely life. I'm not even able to hold a job because of my physical pain and low self-esteem/lack of confidence in myself. I'm in tears just opening up this much, yet I'm too scared to seek real help. The biggest of my problems is my addiction to my prescribed medications and I know no one wants to be around someone who is always on "drugs." I wake up in the middle of the night with pain and acid seems I can't even relax in my sleep, which I why I take so much medication to help me go back to sleep for another couple hours. I just want to be able to not care what people really think of me anymore, but I don't have anything special about me to be able to say I don't care what someone else thinks. I do know I am highly intelligent, which I have read that people with higher IQs tend to struggle more with anxiety and self confidence. I guess I always just never feel good enough for anyone to accept me and it's only getting worse. I can't tell you how many times I've thought about just "ending it all" in the last year and especially moreso within the last 6 months and sometimes it's several times a day I am thinking about it, but then I can't help thinking what my friends would think of I took my own life at such a young age (30) and why I didn't share my deeper feelings more with them and it's because I don't like being emotionally vulnerable and I feel like the feelings I have may be considered stupid by my friends. I need some real help, but I am barely comfortable calling my friends on the phone and I rarely have the confidence to call a stranger to ask for help.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 6 2015 at 11:27 am

I also have chronic pain and disability am which exacerbates depression and anxiety and have often thought of ending it all. I also have a high IQ and was valedictorian of my high school and college and am getting a doctorate now, but I have to do all my work from lying down at home. I sometimes take prescription meds to help me sleep, but am afraid of getting addicted because it takes away the emotional and physical pain and just feels so amazing. However, I've found that if there are times I feel like taking it, I just try something else sometimes--like eat good food, watch a tv show that makes me laugh, call up a friend, or go for a walk. These sometimes make me feel better and then I realize that things other than the meds can help sometimes. Also, even though I can't sit in a chair (I have to work on a laptop on a laptop stand that lets me work from lying on my back because of my disability--I have a ruptured disc and damaged nerve so it's painful to sit, but I can walk some), working helps me to feel a little better about myself. I would highly suggest getting some kind of a job--anything. If it stresses you out to be around people, then even something you can do from home on your computer. It doesn't have to be full time. You will start to feel better about yourself each time you accomplish work and get a paycheck--not because money matters or what job you have matters--but more just because it reminds you that you actually ARE capable, even if you don't feel like it sometimes. And that you actually DO have some way or ways you can contribute to society, and then you start to feel more confidence, and that might help you, be a stepping stone to helping you find what you really like doing more. Love and light to you and all the others on this site who are struggling with anxiety. We can do this together.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

March, 11 2016 at 7:34 pm

Dear friend
Please know that you are not the only person out there that thinks "why can't I just be like everyone else"? We are all different and it took me most of a lifetime to embrace that. People ask "why do you do this or do that" as if something is wrong about me?
I had one smug, criticizing person ask me, once, "why would you wear a shirt
that has advertising on it or a slogan on it? Why don't you wear a Polo shirt or a
colorful short sleeve shirt with a nice collar"? I think he was trying to put me down because he could sense my uneasiness in a group of people.
For once, I did not buckle under with shame but retorted with: "Let me tell you something! If we all had long hair, Nike shoes, drove the same type of car, liked the same music, ate the same food, liked the same TV shows, had high morals, had wonderful childhoods, liked the same friends, had all the latest high-tech gadgets, and so on and so on, this would be a very boring world and we wouldn't have anybody to gossip about!
You just wear your designer clothes if you must and stand on your head if you want and howl at the moon and just leave to wear what I want and be who I am. And while you're at it, eat Rocks! He was so embarrassed he never bothered me again.
I don't know how I did this, since I suffer from anxiety, social phobia, depression, ptsd, agoraphobia, etc. The one thing that has helped to cope is finally understanding that I got this way probably by having been my father's punching bag when anything went wrong around him, while also watching him beat my Mother when she did something he didn't like. He made it impossible to grow up as "Normal" people do.
Over the years I've had wonderful Role models in my life whom I've sensed cared about my dilemma and helped me to see that there Are people out there that Care about you and made a difference in my life by giving me Hope. I also hope that my reply to you, my friend, will make a difference in your life as well. Just try to be the best that you can be and always be true to yourself. May God Bless!
Paul T.

September, 10 2015 at 1:17 am

I am so glad that I found this blog. I finally found a group of people who are just like me. My biggest thing is talking on the phone. Most of the time I can't do it. If someone whom I love calls I usually can't pick up the phone without feeling like I want to throw up. If my best friend, whom I absolutely adore, calls me, I panic and quickly start coming up with a lie to explain later why I didn't pick up the phone. I think the reason I feel this way is because I'm afraid that I will get trapped on the phone and won't know how to say "goodbye". And if I do say goodbye it won't be done properly, leaving the other person to feel hurt or upset with me (a scenario which I can't bear) So if I can't end the conversation, I don't want to even begin.
In terms of FB, I don't even logon anymore. The first time I posted anything on FB, it took me an hour to write two sentences. I was so afraid of getting judged. drives me bananas. I want to be a regular person and talk to my friend on the phone without breaking into a cold sweat.
A year ago, I almost lost my best friend, over my "phone phobia". To this day I still don't think that she fully understands.
Also, I got an epiphany: It just occurred to me after reading everyone's comments, that I may have an anxiety disorder. I've been living with this for so long that I can't imagine taking medication for it at this point. I'm just really happy that what I have is a real thing and not just "in my head". I'm not the only one on the planet dealing with it. Now that I know that, for the first time in my life I feel (ironically) normal

September, 11 2015 at 1:22 am

hi I am still not that convinced about this problem that might or might not be caused by anxiety I am still at that point where the world hates me and everyone hates me and there's no one who loves or likes me and dont just says that my family loves me because there like forced to love me and I feel if my family didnt know me they would hate me to.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 11 2015 at 9:45 am

Hello Lara,
While severe anxiety can absolutely contribute to the thoughts you shared, there are other things that can contribute as well. It's okay not to be convinced of the source; in fact, the most important thing is getting help for your thoughts and feelings first, and underlying causes can be addressed as you progress. When you are feeling hopeless, there are places to turn. One that is available 24/7 via telephone and/or online chats is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. There are resources on the site as well as people to chat with for help. The website is Reaching out here, at the Lifeline, etc. is a very good thing. Help is available, and you can begin to feel better. Contrary to what your thoughts are telling you, you do deserve it.

September, 22 2015 at 8:16 pm

I have had anxiety for most of my life since as long as I can remember. Mostly anxiety about other people and what they think of me. My mind automatically thinks that people dislike me or even hate me. I know in my better moments that I am a good person and that there is really nothing to dislike, but it does not stop my mind from wandering to those thoughts. I would love to be by myself most of the time and not have to see people but it is not possible. I am married with a daughter and I have a good life but anxiety is ruining it.
I emigrated 11 years ago and the change in friends, family, culture, etc. really affected me badly. I did not take care of myself the way I should have done and it made my anxiety worse. Anxiety and stress go hand-in-hand and I feel like I have had my fair share. Why are some people born with anxiety disorders and some people seem to live their life with none whatsoever?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 23 2015 at 1:03 pm

Hi Nicola,
You asked a question that researchers are still trying to answer. The causes of anxiety disorders are complex and include both nature (biology/genetics) and nurture (environmental factors and stressors that play a part in activating certain genes). You are so right that stress and anxiety are connected. Change is a big factor, too, and lead to something known as adjustment disorder. No matter what the cause, it's possible to develop coping skills to manage anxiety (but anxiety doesn't make it easy to do that!). Have you considered working with a therapist to develop techniques for breaking free from anxiety's grasp? There are people who can help, and you deserve it. :)

katie edwards
October, 1 2015 at 4:53 pm

I always feel like this im only 14 it makes going to school hard the only way I cope is by playing football im glad to know im not the only person to feel this way I sort of feel less alone now

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 1 2015 at 6:47 pm

Hi Katie,
You're definitely not the only one. Far from it! Kudos to you for finding an activity that helps you cope in a positive way. Focus on football and other positive things that you begin to notice. Changing what you pay attention to can help change your feelings, too.

October, 26 2015 at 7:34 am

I have anxiety an have read allot of the above comments. I get angry at myself an allso think people get angry at me to a point i think they are gonna hurt me. For excample my brother ask me to help take a spare key to him for his car. I could not do it straight away an by the time i could i drove to pick him up an he had lituraly just got back to his car after getting the key himself. This made me angry at myself for failing to help an afraid he was angry at me for not helping. Why do i feel like i have to help all the time or people will hate me? an how can i stop thinking an feeling this way?

November, 10 2015 at 2:17 am

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In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

November, 10 2015 at 3:41 pm

Hello Son,
I'm glad that you like the HealthyPlace Anxiety-Schmanxiety website. Gabe wrote this particular article, but he is unable to respond to comments as he is no longer writing for HealthyPlace. Articles will keep coming, though, so please visit often. Each week there will be two new articles, and we hope to hear from you again.

December, 3 2015 at 7:17 am

Hi Gabe. I can't say enough how good to feels to read not just your blog but also to read the comments from everyone else. This is how I feel. I have good days and bad days. I convince myself that I am not worthy of being noticed, that people don't want to have to talk to me. Those friends I do have I always think are paying me lip service and I try not to bother them. Even after they say it's OK, I just manage to convince myself that they "have" to say that. I'm trying to overpower those thoughts by thinking of positive things and for all of us, it's a difficult learning curve. Best of luck to you all! xxx

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 3 2015 at 10:54 am

Hi Jenny,
Gabe is no longer writing for HealthyPlace so is unable to respond to comments. His post describes something that is very real to so many people living with anxiety. I'm glad you've enjoyed the post as well as the comments!

December, 6 2015 at 10:32 am

Thank you so much for speaking out openly and honestly about this topic. I was feeling so much anxiety when I came across this article. It helped me feel better just knowing I wasn't alone and that sometimes other people experience these thoughts and feelings, too. I could especially relate to the thoughts you mentioned of fearing "everybody hates me." My ex and I got in a car accident (we're still friends), and he told me to contact his father for the insurance information I needed for the doctor (it was the other driver's fault). His dad didn't reply to my email and I felt sick to my stomach. His family had been very kind to me and had done a lot for me. I wanted to keep things on good terms. They even had me over for thanksgiving and picked me up from the hospital after the accident. But he didn't reply to my email. I apologized for bothering him in the email (but I needed the insurance information or couldn't make my other doctor's appointments). When he didn't reply I wanted to email again and apologize again for bothering him, and explain that his son told me to contact him. I felt like such a burden. I wanted to explain I didn't want their insurance to go up and it would be on the other driver. His son finally called him to ask for the info, and his dad replied his email to both of us, but addressed it only to his son and ignored me. I felt so much anxiety. That pretty much screams he hates me and I feared he thought I was trying to take advantage of them or something. I would never do that. Instead I usually do things for other people's advantage to my own disadvantage if there's an issue. I guess because I don't value myself enough or want people to know my good intentions or need to prove something to them that I'm not a bad person. I have so much anxiety that something as stupid as his dad not emailing me spun me into a downward spiral, starting to feel suicidal. I've got to get control of this but don't know how. Thank you for sharing that even as a big strong man you have these thoughts of feeling apologetic for existing. I feel like that a lot and often fear that people hate me. I thought maybe it was because I was small and weak (I'm 5'1", 98 lbs--not anorexic, just a very tiny Asian genetically--my grandma was 72 lbs and 4'10"). I was imagining these false correlations in my mind that perhaps smaller people struggle with anxiety more. A couple of the very emotionally stable, steady, confident women I know tend to have larger bone structure and tend to be thicker built, but I guess that was just anecdotal and not a real correlation.
I'm going to a therapist now, and she has me fill out thought records, where you write down the experience that triggered the anxiety, the thoughts and beliefs associated with it, and then write/explore other possibilities about what may be an explanation. For example, my ex's parents are always trying to teach him to be a gentleman. He's a good man, a little lacking in dating experience, and sometimes a bit oblivious. His dad emailed him and cc'ed me said that HE should call the insurance company. It's possible that his dad wasn't trying to be rude to me or ignore me, or wasn't being suspicious of me or annoyed or feeling burdened. It's possible he was annoyed with his son, and wanted him to take care of it. Or not annoyed but trying to teach him to man up and take care of things instead of making me or him do it. I have no idea. It still is difficult to feel like any other possibility could be true. For some reason my brain automatically takes the worst case scenario and clings to that as the most likely. But it helps to start exploring other ways of interpreting experiences, since those of us with high anxiety interpret the worst "they all hate me" as the default. I'm also super highly sensitive to other people's emotions, so as soon as I sense the slightest bit of negativity, I instantly panic and wonder what I did wrong. Sometimes it is something I've done wrong, so that sensitivity allow me to fix it. However, realistically it's probably often the case that there are many other reasons people are unhappy or upset that have nothing to do with me, and just because I can perceive and pick up on people's emotions, it doesn't make them my fault. Taking other people's emotions on me is too much of a burden, yet I've done it habitually for my entire life.
Phew! Perhaps it may seem inappropriate to rant on so long on a website to strangers, but it feels oddly wonderfully therapeutic. And I'm don't feel like I can talk about this with anyone in my personal life. This makes me think perhaps group therapy or discussions are the way to go when it comes to severe anxiety--because part of the anxiety is judging yourself for feeling anxiety, and feeling like a weirdo or a freak. But in a group you realize there's nothing wrong with you, and other people sometimes experience these things too, so you're not alone, so you can feel a little less anxiety knowing that and judging yourself less for it.
(Sigh of relief)
Thank you for creating this safe space to talk about these things. God bless you for being brave enough to be vulnerable. You're blessing me and others because you had the strength to say something.
Thank you for sharing your story.

Amanda m
December, 14 2015 at 6:25 am

I feel the same way. I always think my husband is mad at me or he is over our relationship. I am worried that I am going to drive him away with constantly asking if he is mad at me. How do I tell myself that it's all in my head and he isn't mad or going to leave?

Holly H.
December, 16 2015 at 11:46 am

Hi Gabe! I have read this and I relate to this very much. I am still a teenager, but when I am around my friends, I always think that they hate me. Whenever they don't talk to me whenever I say "hi" or "hey, whats up?" I always think they would rather hang out with someone else. I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach and my heart hurts and it feels like someone is pushing down on my chest. I feel like people get annoyed when i want to talk about my problems, but reading this made me feel a bit better. I guess. I don't have many friends, so I am very quiet at my school. I have a fear of talking in front of people so I have a hard time making new friends. Thank you for explaining this :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 16 2015 at 1:32 pm

Hi Holly,
Gabe is no longer writing for HealthyPlace so can't respond to your comment. The feeling you describe is a common experience in anxiety, especially social anxiety. You're not alone! Keep that in mind as you learn more about anxiety/social anxiety and how to overcome it. :)

December, 19 2015 at 2:46 pm

Thank you for this post. I have the same issues. A book that greatly helped me is "running on empty" its on amazon). It describes how childhood emotional neglect leads to such a mindset. The child is never put at ease by the parents nor soothed or guided by them. Often the parents have their own issues and no time, strenght or interest to deal with the child. This child is left to its own (wrong) thoughts which cannot be shed easily in adulthood. Yet cognitive behavioral therapy can help. Go through you childhood, be your parent, soothe youself and comfort yourself. I had a very difficult childhood with my parents divorcing when I was six, amidst heavy fighting, having to deal with different partners of my mother who was severely depressed but working full time, having four small siblings, being set to a boarding school with 13 were l was bullied... My sister broke under the situation. There's hope but you have to do the work. Buy this book, do all the exercises in there, see a therapist maybe but the main thing is the work you have to do on yourself. Its not easy, what we are facing is an endless emptiness, sadness and loneliness. Be that little light in that vast universe of sorrow.

December, 21 2015 at 12:47 am

I kind of have the same problem my anxiety really attacks me when I got to school just when I feel like people are staring at me judging me and I feel like everyone hates me...I really don't wasn't to go back to school but I have no idea how...I don't go to a therapist because I m scared that if I tell them things in my life they will go straight to my parents and tell them everything I told her/him...I don't thin anyone suspects I have anxiety and depression because I usually act bubbly so people wont just worried what should I do about feeling like this ??btw im 15 years old

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 22 2015 at 10:55 am

Hello Eleanor,
You might be surprised to know that you are absolutely not the only one who feels this way. This type of social anxiety is very common in middle school and high school. Many people just tend to "fake it" -- to act bubbly and outgoing in order to hide it. Of course, that doesn't make your feelings any better, and I'm definitely not minimizing what you're going through. I just want you to know that you're not alone in this. Your concern about seeing a therapist makes sense. Perhaps you might feel better knowing that ethically, you are the client and the therapist is bound to confidentiality. Therapists, even school counselors, can't disclose things you say to your parents. Sometimes parents do have to give permission for a school counselor to see a minor. It depends on the school district policy. Parents don't have to give permission for an initial visit with a counselor, so you could stop by and talk to the counselor about what's going on, find out if he/she needs your parents' permission to talk to you, etc. Counselors get to know you personally and can work with who you are to help you identify the best strategies to manage anxiety and depression. In the meantime, work on small steps you can take to keep anxiety and panic from taking over and keeping you away from school. Can you talk to teachers and ask if you can sit in the back of the room so you don't have to feel like people are staring at you? Can you identify one or two people you feel closest to and could develop a friendship with and then concentrate on the positive aspects of that rather than on all of the other people, who aren't actually that important to you, judging you? What do you do to feel calm (if you don't have anything yet, that's a good starting place -- find what soothes you)? Find the good and do more of that. It's a process, but it is very possible to overcome anxiety, panic, and depression. Don't give up!

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