Day3- How anxiety affects me
Hi, I’ve decided to do a blog every day for advent (well at least try to). These blogs are going to be about various things, some about mental health but also some about other topics. I haven’t planned them yet, so they may be (most definitely will be) rough around the edges. Some may contain trigger warnings; I will say this before the start of the post.
I have had a few diagnosis’s over the last 5 years or so, one of these being generalised anxiety disorder.
Anxiety affects me in many ways. Sometimes It’s manageable, and sometimes it’s not.
Everybody will feel anxious at some point in their lives, it’s natural.
As we’ve evolved we haven’t managed to get rid of our stress response. So when you are sitting an exam and feel nervous your body effectively sees the exam as a bear. So you’ll get the response for siting an exam that you would if you were being hunted by a bear.
It’s when you experience anxiety often and find it unmanageable that it becomes a problem and then a disorder.
Although I was only diagnosed at 16, I’m sure I’ve had GAD for much longer. I remember always being a very anxious child.
My mum would drive us all round her friends house and I remember the feeling I’d get before I went it, I wouldn’t want to go in. I’d sit in the car feeling sick and shaking, and that was my anxiety.
But the thing I couldn’t understand was why I was feeling that way. Nothing bad would happen when I’d go in that house, I had met that friend so many times, yet every time I’d feel the same way.
I use to get the same feeling walk to school, sitting exams, going on to the shop, asking for something, and quite often just generally.
It was when I was 16 that I started experiencing panic attacks. These are so intense that the first time I experienced one I thought I was going to die.
During sixth form my anxiety was getting so bad that I would try and just spend time outside, as sitting in the sixth form building would just make me panic.
I have gradually found ways that I can manage my anxiety. But not entirely.
For me anxiety tends to be worse in the evening where I will just feel so sick and dizzy from intense feelings of anxiety.
One of the things I’ve found best for anxiety is talking to someone and telling them I feel anxious, and getting reassurance, especially if it’s a thought that is causing me anxiety.
I can find myself feeling anxious from thinking that someone thinks a certain way about me, so the way I would deal with that is by asking the person if this is true. Normally the thought I have isn’t true.
The harder times to deal with it are when I’m not sure what’s causing my anxiety or when there is something that I have to do and is unavoidable.
The only way I can deal with the unavoidable situations is by reassuring myself that it’s not forever and will be over soon.
I’m not saying I can completely cope with it now, because I really can’t. But I do find it slightly easier that I used to.
Some days are easier than others. Some days the bear is a big and some days it’s small.
Love Abbie xx