1. nikkimikkilee
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    nikkimikkilee New Member

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    Character w/ Anxiety Disorder

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by nikkimikkilee, Nov 28, 2015.

    Have any of you ever written stories where the character has anxiety? I'm a bit stuck. I'm trying to write a story about a woman who suspects her husband of cheating. Anxiety seems to be the right way to go, but now I'm not sure how to finish it. Help? Suggestions? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ~Artemis~
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    ~Artemis~ Member

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    I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for... Are you wondering how the anxiety might manifest itself? How it would affect her mindset? People with anxiety often have low self-esteem; perhaps she suspects him of cheating because she doesn't think she's worth him being faithful to her. There are also many different kinds of anxiety; what does she have? Social, general, other? Anxiety typically affects one aspect of a person's life more than others, although not always. Does her anxiety cause her to isolate herself? Perhaps this isolation causes her to remain in her own head more, which in turn lets her suspicions feed on themselves; the more time she spends alone with nothing but her thoughts for company, the more she ruminates on his possible cheating; the more time she ruminates on the cheating, the more plausible it becomes. Sort of like she talks herself into it, you know? I hope this helped! If you're looking for something else, I can perhaps be of further assistance if you clarify what it is you're hoping to learn. :)
     
  3. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    Uhm.. I am not trying to downplay your problem but if the husband is cheating that is a right serious reason for a bit of anxiety. Haven't you ever been betrayed by someone you trusted? Okay maybe you haven't and if so you are one lucky human being! :)

    But if you have been then you have the tools already. Just dip into your own memories of the time when you realized that something was going on what should not have been and let these guide you.

    Or are you talking about a medical disorder? Then the husband cheating is not needed I think..

    My five cents..
     
  4. Akarevaar
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    Akarevaar Member

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    I'm not sure that something like suspecting your husband of cheating would be enough to cause an anxiety disorder. To a large extent, anxiety disorders are caused my a combination of experiences, genetics and family history. As a person with an anxiety disorder, I can say that there was never a particular experience which caused it. It did not develop in reaction to being in an extended period of stress or anxiety, more, it came first and caused said anxiety.
     
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  5. nikkimikkilee
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    nikkimikkilee New Member

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    Thank you all for the replies. But I still have some trouble writing this story.

    @Artemis: My character already suffers from generalized anxiety disorder. I have it, amongst other things. I think bad thoughts, and they terrify me sometimes. I tend to get the bad thoughts when I don't keep myself busy in some way. As for the story, I had a surprise twist ending in mind. Maybe I need to do more brainstorming. Maybe giving her a job would help.

    @Lifeline: I've never been in a relationship, but I have been hurt by people I care about before.

    @Akarevaar: My character had an anxiety prior to the events of the story. I'm trying to decide if I should stick to the twist ending or make him--the husband--actually have an affair. I have a cousin who also has anxiety, so I guess it does run in my family. I was diagnosed with it at age 18.
     
  6. ~Artemis~
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    ~Artemis~ Member

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    What exactly are you looking for from us? I'm not sure I'm understanding what question(s) you have, so I don't know how to help. :meh:
     
  7. nikkimikkilee
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    nikkimikkilee New Member

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    I guess I was looking for ideas for the story. I'm having a bit of the writer's block.
     
  8. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    Maybe you're not sure what you want the story to mean the most yet. Would it be to educate others what it's like, or to inspire hope in people dealing with the same issue? Some other reason, maybe, like portraying its severity? I deal with depression and panic attacks, but I think about the mental health themes for stories a lot, and I know it can be difficult to nail down the intentions for what the story will mean.
     
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  9. ~Artemis~
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    ~Artemis~ Member

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    Oh, okay. Hmmm... Maybe the story is about how difficult it is living with mental illness. Maybe her anxiety is what drives the husband to another woman; all her insecurities and need for reassurance finally gets to him. Maybe at the beginning of their relationship, he was drawn to her because (subconsciously or not) he has a need to fix people, and she was drawn to him because of how caring and supportive he was and how badly he strove to make her feel better; but mental illness isn't something someone can just "fix," so after a while he got tired of dealing with her "issues" and found solace in another woman. I too struggle with severe anxiety (among other things) and I know that's one of my main concerns when I'm in another relationship: that I'll be too much for my SO to handle and eventually he'll get fed up with me and my anxiety/etc. and leave me. I think it could make for some interesting tension. But then again, maybe not. Just some thoughts :) I wish you the very best of luck with your work!
     
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  10. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Nikki,

    I'm also not clear where you're going with this. Suspicion of a loved one cheating can be a devastating thing - whether he is or isn't. But it wouldn't cause an anxiety disorder. If your MC already suffered from one of the forms of anxiety disorder, the suspicion might well trigger panic attacks etc. But really I'd be looking at the other common effects - loss of trust, loss of security in the relationship, leading to negative emotions like jealousy, anger, paranoia and decreased self esteem, and ultimately the dissolution of the relationship.

    Cheers, Greg.
     

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