I can't find it in my dictionary or on Google. What word do people normally use in place of "anxietizing"? For example, "I find sharks anxietizing." Am I just misspelling it?
As always, the question is, what do you mean by "a word"? Since -ize is a productive verb-forming suffix, you can attach it to anxiety to produce a word that most English speakers would be able to decipher.
As a survey of major dictionaries will show, however, anxietize is not a standard word, and its lack of an OED entry suggests it has never been. To describe something as creating anxiety or for making someone anxious, one would use anxiety-producing, anxiety-inducing, anxiety-generating, anxiety-triggering, or a similar compounds, likewise similar terms like worry, dread, panic, doubt, or unease.
Alternatively, you can use a participle for verbs of inducing concern: I find sharks unnerving, dismaying, concerning, or distressing. Popular in slang hyperbole at the moment is triggering, in reference to trauma triggers.
Anxietize (and depress1) are reflexive verb forms of anxiety (and depression) coined by Albert Ellis, and used in some medical circles to give the patient the perspective that these are not wholly things which happen to them, immutable, but something over which they have some degree of control or agency, a key tenet of CBT.
They have little to no currency outside of this limited context.
This terminology shows that I now depress and anxietize myself — but that I need not do so in the future. It uses verbs and adjectives to describe my (and others') distressing, and avoids the hazards of always using negative diagnostic labels - such as depression and anxiety - that overgeneralize and impply that I am unable to change my thinking, feeling, and behaving.
I noted in the first edition of Reason and Emotion in Psychotherapy that people who anxietize, and particularly those who panic, frequently strongly create...
- Overcoming Destructive Beliefs, Feelings, and Behaviors, Albert Ellis
1. Of course the verb to depress long predates this specific reflexive medical usage "to depress oneself" and is widely used.
A more appropriate adjective meaning "making anxious" is anxiogenic (with the antonym anxiolytic).
However these terms are only commonly used in scientific/medical contexts rather than in common speech, and almost exclusively reserved for psychoactive substances rather than the subjects of specific phobias; for common usage you are limited to the hyphenated words suggested by @choster.
Well... anxieting, kinda exists.
Any noun (or occasionally other parts of speech) in the English language can be "verbed".
Glasser suggests that to be consistent with the notion of total behavior and choice, we need to say "I'm anxieting," or "I'm depressing." To summarize the concept of total behavior, consider the example of an assistant professor waiting to hear about his application for tenure. He is sitting at home (action) "anxieting" (feelings), wishing his chairperson would phone the results ...
Texas Tech Journal of Education (1986)
The term is perhaps not wholly conventional, but native speakers have always been discovering ways to overcome language restrictions, which is why English is so flexible in the first place.
Alternatively, the OP could use any one of the following present participles in their sentence;
alarming, perturbing, upsetting, unnerving, unsettling, disconcerting, worrisome, or simply terrifying.
Other answers have debated how valid it is to make a verb from anxiety -> to anxietize. But as you probably gathered, while we can recognise that it's been verbified, this is not a standard word in English.
Others have suggested either trying to find a synonym which does have a verb form, or using a compound, the best choice probably being anxiety-inducing.
"I find sharks anxiety-inducing." is not wrong but I still don't think that's what most people would say. It sounds awkward.
The most natural way to say this as an English speaker would be:
"I find sharks make me anxious."
Similarly we would not say "Sunny days are happiness-inducing" but rather "Sunny days make me happy".
In other cases the verbified forms are in common use, so you could say "I find cloudy days depressing".
Is “anxietizing” really not a word?
What word do people normally use in place of "anxietizing"?
(Almost) no English speaker would use the word anxietizing.
You have a valid root and a valid suffix, so I suppose it is a valid word.
If you want to use that root, reword the sentence this way:
- Sharks cause me anxiety.
- Sharks raise my anxiety.
- Sharks raise my anxiety level.
- Sharks raise my level of anxiety.
While English lends itself to systematic extension, the invention of words is good form only when there is no existing word capable of carrying the meaning.
The proposed atrocity has several direct synonyms and any number of equivalent phrases. Without consulting a thesaurus, the following words spring to mind:
- fretful (not the usual interpretation but a possible interpretation)
One could be unimaginative but also very clear with the already mentioned anxiety-inducing.
The other answers already provide thorough descriptions, but I thought I would add a more casual/informal word that might suit your purpose well:
or sometimes written as
Definition and example sentence from Oxford Living Dictionaries:
causing stress or anxiety. "his driving test was a nerve-racking ordeal"
It's not a word. You're looking for the light verb construction make anxious (or make nervous):
Sharks make me anxious.
Sharks make me nervous.
"I find sharks anxietizing."
Some words describe emotions of the moment, (e.g.: surprise, horror, disgust, delight, boredom, etc.), which sometimes might last longer than a moment, but nevertheless often appear in an instant. Since anxiety describes an abstract psychological state over time, (gradual, not sudden), it'd be incorrect to apply its present-tense verb form to any immediate tangible object. It would be like saying:
The rain is hurricaning.
The verb could be more correctly applied to an object that evokes more long-term emotions or psychological states:
I find the ecological necessity of sharks and other large fierce predators anxietizing.
Some patients may find Havidol anxietizing.