Anxiety is a huge part of many peoples lives with 1 in 6 Australians aged between 16-24 experiencing an anxiety disorder within the last 12 months. In this post, I’m going to briefly discuss what anxiety is, how it has affected me and what you should do if it is effecting you.
In the simplest description; anxiety is a feeling of extreme stress and worry however, the feeling doesn’t pass in a few minutes or hours, or once that final exam is over. Anxiety lingers and worsens due to different triggers for different individuals. Anxiety can be out of the blue and cause the sufferer to feel anxious and full of panic, even when there is zero reason to feel that way.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY:
- Physical: panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy
- Psychological: excessive fear, worry, catastrophizing, or obsessive thinking
- Behavioural: avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work or social life.
It’s important to know that there are different types of anxiety disorders and conditions and therefore the symptoms can vary.
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, please get help from your General Practitioner as they can refer you to different resources to help you conquer your anxiety conditions.
MY ANXIETY STORY:
Unfortunately, during my high school years it became apparent that I was suffering from an anxiety disorder. Although I only noticed it when I was in high school, I feel as if it’s a feeling I have always known. Mental illness runs within my family and along with my anxiety disorder, I developed depression as well.
I was suffering from most if not all of the symptoms I have listed above and it really made it hard to do simple things. I loved school and then all of a sudden I was too worried about anything and everything associated with the place and didn’t want to go anymore. I loved sport but then the fears that came along with that became too much and I quit teams or refused to go to try outs because I couldn’t handle the anxiety it would cause me. I would wake up in the middle of the night from night terrors and have a panic attack almost daily at some points. I would worry about my relationships with people; boyfriends, friends and family. Thoughts like ‘why haven’t they texted me back? I must have done something wrong.’ ‘He’s going to cheat on me because I am not enough’ ‘There’s no point trying to pass this science test because I’m going to fail anyway.’ ‘I think I’ll just pretend I have work so I don’t have to face everyone at the party’ went through my head on an hourly basis. Normal social situations became chores, school became impossible and even being alone was playing with fire. At this time of my life I developed a severe depression as well; cutting myself just to feel something, starving myself because I felt like I deserved it, banging my limbs against hard things just to cause bruising, constant self doubt and horrifying thoughts passing through my mind and so many other symptoms of my depression. Pairing these things with my anxiety was almost impossible.
Over the years, my anxiety lessened and my depression eased and I eventually got better. Anxiety is still a part of my every day life but I have learned how to manage it (for the most part). My recovery journey was based entirely on self love and finding my self worth through self discovery. There are different ways to heal yourself and I suggest starting with seeing a doctor to discuss your therapy options and also start practicing self love, meditation and yoga on a daily basis.
If you need someone to talk to, my email inbox is always open for you and I am happy to refer you to any resources I think may be helpful.
If you have any questions about my personal self love journey you can email me at email@example.com with the subject title ‘anxiety’ and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
LINKS ABOUT ANXIETY:
WHERE TO GET HELP FOR ANXIETY:
– Your Doctor.
– Headspace App