Anxiety: Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. In psychiatry, a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.
Anxiety puts you in a dark place, a nervous place. A place where I can't breathe, can't focus, and can't be still. I get massive attacks every time I go to my parents' ward. True story. The people there stress me the junk out. Mostly just Elders' Quorum, actually. Holy Moses. Not healthy.
Anyway, anxiety destroys my ability to maintain a level head in a lot of situations. Couple anxiety with depression, and life gets all kinds of messy.
Anxiety is a sense of foreboding bad; depression is a feeling of saddened reflection and contemplation of the past. Both can hit at any time, even simultaneously. Talk about a double pile-drive to the sense of self.
Anxiety makes it hard to keep and maintain close relationships with others. This in turn makes living in Mormon culture about 1000 times worse. You want to talk about unhealthy, anxiety inducing pressures? Try talking to a single Mormon who isn't married, engaged, or dating about any combination of those things. That'll sure as hell launch someone into an anxiety attack.
Interestingly enough, Mormons have unusually high amounts of reported anxiety and depression. We are not mentally stable people sometimes. Why? Because we have this idea of perfection and being saved by grace, "after all we can do." So, we go crazy! We forget what grace means! That'll be another post. We do 3 hours of church, fulfill church assignments, run kids to piano/violin/dance/German lessons/tutoring, try to do home evenings, home teaching, visiting teaching, and then still leave feeling that we haven't done enough. So, we cook 10 casseroles for the 5 ladies in our ward who just gave birth, throw extravagant book club or weight loss parties, and try every bit to look like we have everything together. In reality, a lot of us can barely keep things together for a day. And so, we self-medicate with Women's Conference, porn, or over-religiosity. Anxiety. Freak.
As a result, my newest life goal is to write a book called All My Friends are Emotionally Unstable.