Living with an anxiety disorder means you have a constant fear of ‘doing it wrong’. From the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep, you’re constantly thinking:
What did I do wrong?
What can I do wrong?
If I could do it all over again, what would I do differently?
Then you replay all the things you’ve done so far that day, and analyze every last detail.
Even a five minute conversation with a neighbour that you happened to run into while taking a walk, can lead to hours worth of analysis.
The Internal Fight of Anxiety Disorder
It’s not just about what was said, it’s about everything.
- What did I look like?
- Did I stand too close?
- Did I make eye contact but not too much eye contact?
- Did I appear to be normal?
- How did I sound?
- Was I too loud?
- Did I say too much?
Five minutes of conversation can lead to many hours of analysis. That’s just speaking to someone.
But what about all the other things one does in a day?
If everything you do from the moment you wake up – from making coffee to brushing your teeth to getting dressed – leads to multiple hours of internal questioning, imagine the amount of stress you’re subjecting yourself to.
It starts with stress. That stress becomes fear. And that overwhelming fear is crippling. It can potentially turn an anxiety disorder into depression.
So anyone suffering from an anxiety disorder now has this legit fear as well.
When will depression hit?
That’s the thing. You get used to living with anxiety, that when depression sneaks up on you, you might not recognize it.
The key here is to check your mental health regularly.
It’s Okay to Not Be Okay
If you are constantly overwhelmed, talk to someone. Find a professional.
Honestly, I went to my family doctor. I knew I had a problem and didn’t know what to do to resolve it.
Now, my family doctor is not a therapist, but she was able to steer me on the right path.
- She guided me through websites.
- She referred me to other practitioners.
- She recommended and prescribed medications.
- She continued to see me every two weeks until I felt that I could go four weeks, and then eight weeks, etc.
She basically held my hand through my journey, and every time I saw her, she let me know that this is common. My thoughts are normal. My fear is normal.
But it needs to be treated. Your family and friends can support you, but they can’t heal you.
Doctors can help tremendously, but ultimately this is your journey.
You don’t need to solve world hunger. You don’t need to overwhelm yourself even further by thinking of all the things that need to be done in order to heal.
You do need to take that first step. Talk to a professional. Get some guidance.
There is Always Support Waiting for You
There are thousands of journeys you can have in this lifetime, but you can only take one path at a time.
Speak to your doctor and let him or her guide you to the right path.
If you can’t get yourself to the doctor, ask a loved one. Ask someone you can trust, and then trust them to support you through this.
Life doesn’t have to be so hard. You don’t need to fear everything, or worry about so much. You can release some of that stress.
You can learn to let go of the things you cannot control.
But you can’t do it alone. It’s really ok to ask for help. There are so many support groups out there. Places of non-judgment.
The Mental Health and Me private Facebook group is one of these places, and I invite you to join. Come tell me about your progress.
Tell me about that trip to the doctor’s office, and what you were told.
Release some of those overwhelming thoughts and share them with like-minded people; sufferers with the same mental afflictions.
This journey is yours, but you don’t have to take it alone.