Last April, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, among other mental illnesses.
This was what I could tell you I had. Still, I was undiagnosed and didn’t want to be desensitized, so I avoided saying it.
I have spent the last few months really studying and understanding my anxiety. I know it affects the
Anxiety comes in many forms. No one can really understand how it affects everyone.
My anxiety manifests itself in a race of thoughts, all pacing back and forth, causing a generalized anxiety attack that eventually breaks me down.
These anxiety attacks can be especially frightening when I’m alone.
But that rotation doesn’t matter so much, as my anxiety can actually lead me to believe that the worst-case scenario is inevitable.
The most terrifying thing was that I thought such episodes were part of life.
I really had nothing to complain about because I was relieved to believe that everyone around me was having the same problem.
The day that really changed my mind was when I realized it was actually common but not normal.
I started feeling really bad for myself because I started to think that everyone around me was so happy, fulfilled, and content with who they were.
At some point, with the help of medication, I decided that I had had enough. I stopped seeing my brain as my enemy.
I started doing everything I could to change the way I looked at myself.
I completely overhauled my diet and started exercising six days a week. And perhaps most importantly, I fixed my sleep schedule. This was the most difficult.
In the middle of the night, horrible intrusive thoughts popped into my head and I couldn’t sleep until I was mentally exhausted by a panic attack.
For a long time, my thought process before bed was:
“What did I do wrong today? Who hates me now?”
Looking back now, it was a very backwards way of thinking.
Cutting out caffeine at night and eating less late-night snacks helped me achieve my goal of getting more sleep. has become easier.
Today, despite all the changes, my anxiety attacks still occur.
The reality is that 20 years of anxiety won’t go away in a few months.
The trick for me was to discern good anxiety from bad anxiety. I realized that anxiety about work and school was good, but I had to let go of my social anxiety.
Interestingly, most people I talk to can’t say I have social anxiety disorder.
I’ve put on a guise of carelessness over the years, but little do people know that the gears in my head are spinning at the speed of light whenever I’m talking to them. I did.
What to say, how to stand, where to look, who looked at me were all very general.
Easy to say, hard to do. But once you realize that it’s not realistic for all 8 billion people to like you, those thoughts have all but disappeared.
The people pleaser in me subsided and was replaced by someone who cared about everyone but didn’t put the needs of others ahead of his own.
It may sound selfish, but at least it’s always been that way to me.
If you suffer from anxiety, there is no point in keeping quiet about it. The end of the world is not in every corner and bad things happen to the best people.
It’s easy to get lost, but it can be very difficult to find. But when I get there, it feels like a fog is starting to set in.