What It’s Like to Have Anxiety
Back in October of 2017 I put together some words on Facebook regarding anxiety. Anxiety sucks, but I hope this can shed some light on it for people who have never suffered with it.
Have you ever had anxiety? Not just for a moment, but suffered with it multiple times, or long term. What about panic attacks brought on by heightened levels of anxiety? It’s the worst kind of feeling.
Lemme explain. I hope it’s not something you ever go through. I have it. General anxiety disorder.
It’s normal to feel anxious sometimes. It’s a natural response in our bodies, in that if they need to RUN or FIGHT for survival, things change on the inside to help you survive and accomplish tasks. Your heart will begin racing, blood RUSHES out of your limbs into your core, you begin SWEATING to keep the core temperature down, YOUR BODY GOES INTO SAVE ME, HELP ME MODE. BREATHING IS FAST AND SHALLOW WHICH HELPS WITH RUNNING. ADRENALINE IS PUMPING. YOUR BRAIN SHUTS DOWN RATIONAL THOUGHT, ONLY WORRYING ABOUT YOUR OWN BODY *RIGHT NOW* AND WHAT IT CAN DO TO PROTECT IT. YOU’RE FREAKING OUT AND IT’S GETTING WORSE. YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU THIS IS NOW AN EMERGENCY!!! DOES THAT FEEL LIKE A HEART ATTACK???
Then you get up out of your chair, or leave the room with people in it, and hopefully lay down on a bed or sit in the vehicle so you can calm yourself down. Nothing is actually happening. You are safe. You could be at home in your room, in your space and where you feel the safest, and the above can happen. It doesn’t make any sense in our modern world.
It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, anxiety and panic attacks are part of life for us. We, the lucky portion of society that this affects, know all about it. All too well.
Once you’re in the stages of an attack, you worry about it. The worrying actually makes it worse. Rinse and repeat. It’s a tough cycle to get out of, especially on your own. Medication helps, but they can take weeks to work, and they come with an entire vocabulary of side effects you don’t want. Including WORSE anxiety, and severe depression.
Because your body is spending it’s precious energy on saving your life from ‘nothing’ in most cases, it takes a lot out of you. Your muscles ache, you get very tired, you legit need rest. It can be very traumatic.
Stress and diet and life and work are factors, but there’s no guarantee if you struggle with those that you’ll develop an anxiety disorder. They hit everyone differently.
Anyway, thought it might be worth mentioning in here since it’s something I’ve dealt with for a long time, and it’s been flaring up recently again. It’s awful and misunderstood by so many people have never personally dealt with it. Maybe it sounds funny, or dumb, or like the person is just some kind of pussy or they’re overreacting. Why on Earth would someone get scared about being in a room with other people?
We are always aware of our current stress levels and how much of an impact on things it can have. Can I make it to the grocery store? Outside? I really want to play cards against humanity with friends but I’m worried my anxiety will get out of control and I’ll have to bail. If I stay home that won’t happen; I’m staying home!
Anyway, figured it could be helpful trying to shed a little light on what stupid anxiety is, and how bad it can be, and I don’t wish it upon anyone. If you see someone struggling with it, ask them to breathe in with their nose, hold 4 seconds, exhale through from mouth for 4 seconds. Over and over. Then again, they probably already know how to deal. Maybe don’t ask them anything other than if there’s anything you can do to help. You might not be able to help.
Please don’t ever make fun of someone dealing with anxiety. It’s never funny. It’s a horrible thing. They might need some alone time to deal – and that is perfectly okay. The toll an attack takes on our bodies is tremendously exhausting.
You can ask though. Are you okay? Don’t pressure. Don’t smother. Just be cool hunny bunny.
TLDR; anxiety sucks. Be nice to people, but especially with it. They’re having a harder time with live than those without it.