When writing about depression, I came across an article a friend shared on Facebook. It’s a good article, written by a layperson who obviously did his research. He got everything on the nose–except for #11.
But I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I’d like to tell you when you’re writing an anxious character and you need to use show instead of tell, use this article as a guide. Don’t tell your audience the person has anxiety disorder, show them. Like with any disorder, you’re not going to tell them all about it, you’re going to show them all about it. Make the reader lean in and wonder what the hell is wrong with this character. Make them wonder why the character is obsessing over something trivial to the point of being ludicrous, for example.
The only reason I object to #11 in this article is because while anxiety does burn up a person’s energy, this type of burnout can be indicative of much, much more than Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Yes, anxiety wears a person out, but if it is to the point where a person cannot get out of bed, this is much more serious. It can be indicative of a physical problem, a nutritional deficiency, or Major Depressive Disorder. Any person who has anxiety should never, ever ignore this symptom and let their therapist or physician know immediately.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, which I will go into later on for The Psych Writer (after an exploration of Munchausen Syndrome and Munchausen-By-Proxy).
In the meantime, enjoy this article from Simon Segal, and let me know what you think in the comments.