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Anxiety and Depression ~ the Evil Step-Sisters

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Word Prompts Help Creativity ~ Week 39: Anxiety

Once again, writer, poet, and friend Brenda Arledge has kindly provided us with another word prompt to inspire our creativity. This week that word is “Anxiety.”

It is a subject that can be quite confronting and I am not sure how many people will tackle this word, but I will be interested to read every response that is received. I hope, in turn, you like my own response: ‘Anxiety and Depression ~ The Evil Step-Sisters.’


Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.

— Deepak Chopra

Anxiety is the mind and body's reaction to stressful, dangerous, or unfamiliar situations. It is the sense of uneasiness, distress, or dread you feel before a significant event. A certain level of anxiety helps us stay alert and aware, and promotes a burst of adrenalin in fight or flight situations. But for those suffering from an anxiety disorder, it feels far from normal - and it can be completely debilitating.

Anxiety can affect a person’s ability to concentrate, sleep and carry out ordinary daily tasks. People with anxiety disorders often feel they have to avoid stressful situations and, in extreme cases, will avoid going out altogether.

Physical symptoms are common and include shortness of breath, perspiring, faintness, a pounding heart, crying for no apparent reason, and trembling hands.


Depression is the world's most common mental disorder and a leading cause of disability around the world. It is characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities. It can also disturb sleep and appetite, and tiredness and poor concentration are common symptoms.

The effects of depression can be long-lasting or recurrent and can dramatically affect a person’s ability to function and live a rewarding life.

The causes of depression can be many and complex, and a combination of social, psychological and biological factors. Life events such as childhood trauma, loss of a loved one, a relationship break-up, and unemployment may contribute to the development of depression.

Do not let your difficulties fill you with anxiety; after all, it is only in the darkest nights that stars shine more brightly.

— Ali Ibn Abi Talib

The Ugly Step Sisters: Cinderella 1922: Public Domain

The Ugly Step Sisters: Cinderella 1922: Public Domain

Anxiety and Depression ~ the Evil Step-Sisters

Anxiety and Depression

are ugly scheming twins,

the step-sisters of Happiness,

but their evil ways can’t win.

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If you give them half a chance

they’ll cause you untold grief

and steal your laughter and your joy

like some uncaring thief.

They act like they’re important

and cannot be denied,

but even when you think they’re gone

they are scheming as they hide.

Anxiety makes you scared

of every little thing.

She feeds off all your worries

and stresses that they bring.

Depression likes to drag you down

to the deepest darkest depths

so nothing is enjoyable,

you’re lonely, sad, and tense.

Just like Cinderella: Image by Ksenia Sergeeva from Pixabay

Just like Cinderella: Image by Ksenia Sergeeva from Pixabay

But Happiness is stronger,

just given half a chance.

One simple smile and joyful thought

can lead to song and dance.

Just like Cinderella

in the famous fairy tale,

you’ll emerge victoriously.

All vile attempts will fail.

The small glass slipper fits your foot,

so let the sisters scream and shout.

They’ll never win the Prince’s hand,

of that, there is no doubt.

So, push aside depression,

kick anxiety where it hurts.

Don’t let those evil sisters win,

give them their just desserts.

Do things that make you happy,

don’t dwell on problem times,

make the most of every day

and you’ll emerge just fine.

Image by Jim Cooper from Pixabay

Image by Jim Cooper from Pixabay

P.S. You’re not going to die. Here’s the white-hot truth: if you go bankrupt, you’ll still be okay. If you lose the gig, the lover, the house, you’ll still be okay. If you sing off-key, get beat by the competition, have your heart shattered, get fired…it’s not going to kill you. Ask anyone who’s been through it.

— Danielle LaPorte


World Health Organization

Health Direct

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 John Hansen

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