Friday, January 29, 2016

Anxiety the invisible disease

At one point or another everyone has experienced anxiety in their life. Whether it was a job interview or maybe even a first date. Your heart races, you get a knot in your stomach, maybe even sweaty palms. No matter what symptoms of anxiety you experience I think we can all agree it is no fun.

So now I want you to think about the last time you felt anxious, now imagine feeling like that everyday. Imagine feeling like that and not knowing why half the time. One minute you are fine the next minute you want to crawl under your desk at work and start hyperventilating. It's like being hit by a Mack truck with debilitating fear, worry, or stress. It is physically painful and completely unnerving to know that you do not have control of your feelings in that moment. You want to run and hide but in most cases whether your an adult at work or a child in school running and hiding from the world isn't an option. When you can't remove yourself from the situation it often amplifies the anxiety, it really is a vicious cycle.

Not all anxiety attacks are a surprise, if I have to go out in public to a crowded place chances are my anxiety will shoot through the roof. Even simple adult tasks such as grocery shopping can be a painful experience. It's loud and crowded, I have yet to find a time of day that at least half my town isn't at the local grocery store. The smallest of things such as having to make a phone call or getting stuck in a conversation can trigger a full blown panic attack. It can be  awkward and outright embarrassing when you suddenly have to leave somewhere or turn down a friends invitation for the millionth time. People who do not suffer from anxiety typically don't get it. They don't get why you can't just get over it or why the smallest thing makes you want to cower in a corner where no one can see you.

More and more I am seeing the stigma that comes with mental illness addressed. We have to keep up the good fight and spread the word that dealing with things like anxiety and depression do not make you less of a person. It doesn't make you weird and it's not something to be ashamed of. Don't be afraid to let people know what you are going through and don't let anyone make you feel bad for going through it. We have got to stand together and let others know you are not alone. You are strong because you wake up everyday to fight the same battles you fought the night before but you still chose to get up.

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