When the doctor told me he thought I had mild anxiety, I thought he was crazy. I was a worrier, but I didn’t have anxiety. Why would I? How would I? I didn’t know that all of that worrying I do was part of my disorder. I didn’t know there was even something I could do about it. I have always been a worrier. I would stress and worry myself out so much about tests in school that I would fail them. In fact, I had a teacher pull me aside in middle school and ask me what was happening. She began making me take tests out in the hall away from everyone else. I assumed it was just that I didn’t do well under the pressure of the test. After taking them by myself, I passed and had no problems anymore. It seemed to go away. Yet, it didn’t.
Types of Anxiety
There are a few types of anxiety and they include a generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder. You can have several anxiety disorders, which is what I have. I have both a generalized and social. I also have some phobias, but they don’t always interfere with ability to function. As far as phobias go I thought they were just that. Some are extreme and others are mild. Mine are mild. I mean spiders freak me the fudge out in a way that will have me climb the wall or counter. Okay, maybe even my brother’s back if he doesn’t kill it right away.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This is the major one I have. It includes persistent and excessive anxiety and worry. All that worry that I thought was normal was this. I can worry myself to death as my mother likes to tell me. I will worry about something until my stomach hurts, I throw up, or have another physical reaction. It often occurs with other anxiety and depression. Both of which I have.
I have this, but rarely. I have learned what triggers this and can stop it before it starts. It is intense anxiety and fear. It can learn you with shortness of breath, chest pain, and a pounding heart. This attack can mimic a heart attack.
Social Anxiety Disorder
This is another one for me that can cause some problems. It’s anxiety, fear, and even avoidance of social situations. The basis is that you fear embarrassment, self-consciousness, or even thoughts of being judged by others. I always thought this was just my social awkwardness.
Accepting help for this was difficult for me. I didn’t think there was anything wrong. I thought this was just a normal part of life. I didn’t need help, I just needed to pull up my big girl panties and get on with life. My doctor assured me I needed help with this. Along with my depression I knew I needed help and during my initial hospital stay I learned just how much this anxiety affected my daily life. It was like the anxiety fed off my depression. They were a team, and I couldn’t deal with one without dealing with the other.
The Long Road
The road to recovery from anxiety is long. You don’t really recover, you just learn to manage it better. To recognize the signs of it all getting out of control. To know that you are more than your anxiety. You learn that you can go to that party or give that speech. That people aren’t judging you behind your back. Although some of them very well may be. You learn that you can worry about something without stressing out over it. It’s normal and okay to worry about some things. I mean if I awaiting a medical test result then I worry. That is all right. If I am concerned about our budget, that is normal. What is not normal is the way I rewrite and figure the budget hundreds of times.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM ANXIETY? SHARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.