sara zimmerman


Anxiety affects everyone differently. These comics offer some great coping tips.

Comic artist Sara Zimmerman drew her daily struggles with a little 'shoulder monster' called anxiety.

Anxiety is pretty common in adults.

It's so common, in fact, that it affects about 18% of us40 million adults ages 18 to 54 — in the U.S. every year.

Though anxiety looks different on everyone, it is typically a normal reaction to stress.However, for some people, anxiety can become excessive, and it can have debilitating effects. Post-traumatic stress disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders are just a few of the most common types of anxiety disorders that millions of Americans experience during their adult life.  

To explain what anxiety really feels like for some people, comic artist Sara Zimmerman, from Unearthed Comics, drew some of her daily struggles with the little "shoulder monster."

Here are a few:

1. Sleeping in is usually something to look forward to. But anxiety can make that a little more difficult.

Comics via Sara Zimmerman, Unearthed Comics. All images used with permission.

2. Having anxiety means sometimes having to relive parts of childhood we'd rather forget.  

3. There are some other side effects of anxiety that you probably don't want around.    

4. Staying motivated can be challenging because anxiety has a tendency to try to block hopes and dreams.  

5. The fear of being alone can be overwhelming.  

6. But sometimes, even the slightest distraction can deflect the worst of anxiety.  

7. If the distraction is big enough, you may even find room to continue going after those hopes and dreams — sans anxiety and fear tag-alongs.

8. However, with the right tools, it's possible to find a way to live well with anxiety.

Anxiety can be really difficult to deal with — that's not up for debate.

But using strategies like finding an experienced therapist, eating healthy meals, getting adequate sleep, and exercising are all helpful in learning to live well despite those pesky anxiety bugs. You can do it!