Tips for When You’re Ashamed of Anxiety


Ashamed of Your Anxiety? 6 Ways to Lean into and Move Through It

Medically reviewed by N. Simay Gökbayrak, PhD — By Kimberly Drake — Updated on September 29, 2021

Feeling ashamed about anxiety is common, but there are ways to cope when feelings of humiliation creep up.

Man breathes through his latest episode of anxiety, which brought him shameful feelings

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If you experience anxiety, you may feel easily embarrassed at anxious manifestations — what you say, or what you do. Know first that you’re not alone. Anxiety in itself is not a condition but a natural biological process. However, persistent anxiety may turn into a condition with more prevalent symptoms, and you can manage it with tools and support.

Perhaps you feel mortified after you’ve had a panic attack in public or when you cancel plans with friends at the last minute because of social anxiety.

Shame and anxiety don’t have to bog you down. There are ways to cope.

The intersection of shame and anxiety

Anxiety can cause more than just uncomfortable physical symptoms. It can also bring out unpleasant emotions such as guilt or extreme embarrassment.

An episode of anxiety or panic could lead to negative self-talk and worry about it happening again. This may exacerbate anxiety symptoms which can then spiral into an anxiety-shame cycle.

If you’re feeling this way, you may wonder: How do I deal with anxiety and shame?

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