anxiety: The musical

anxiety: The musical

Abbie Cassidy, one of our Volunteers, has opened up about her experience of anxiety, misconceptions of how it can affect people and how she copes with her condition.


‘Anxiety: The Musical’ is a joke I make a lot. If you’ve been within ten feet of me at university in the past few months, you’ll have heard it ad nauseam. It started because when I’m feeling anxious to the point of manic restlessness, I tend to make a noise somewhere between screeching and singing. Think like if the Queen of the Night aria was sung by someone in immense pain. This is, unfortunately, one of the less annoying side effects of Anxiety that I experience daily, though I can’t say the same for my fellow Music students.

Living with Anxiety is completely unpredictable, and often more distressing than not. It’s amazing that Anxiety is being spoken about more so now than it was a few years ago, but this means that there are a few common misconceptions floating around thanks to pop psychology and listicles with titles like ‘If You Have Anxiety And Grew Up In The 2000s, These 15 Things Are Probably Why’, which is a genuine Buzzfeed article. Anxiety is not a punchline, but something very real and often very serious.

There are good days and bad days which often come randomly and with no real pattern. I’ve been unable to leave my flat for a few days, feeling physically ill at the thought of going outside, and then given a presentation at university the next day more times than I can count. There’s a sense of injustice about the unpredictability of when my symptoms will appear. I can seem withdrawn and rude if I get overwhelmed while I’m with friends, especially if I’m meeting someone for the first time. It’s frustrating for myself as well as for everyone else.

Over time, my Anxiety has become more manageable and to a certain extent I’m able to pre-empt what will trigger my anxiety and deal with the situation accordingly. I still have really hard days, and days where I can’t leave my flat or even my bed, but I’ve realised that surrounding myself with people who understand what I need when I’m anxious is immensely helpful. It’s getting easier on a personal level and with the ongoing discussion about Anxiety in mainstream media it’s becoming less of a taboo topic. Thanks to organisations like Feeling Strong I’m becoming more aware of just how common Anxiety is and how to manage it in a way that’s healthy.