Do you know what those letters stand for? They stand for “Generalized Anxiety Disorder.” The textbook definition is “Severe, ongoing anxiety that interferes with daily activities (Mayo Clinic).” Before we get more in depth, what exactly is just “anxiety”? Well, Anxiety is A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities (Mayo Clinic). This disorder is studied by psychologist and proven to be a disorder. The symptoms include
- Pain areas: in the back
- Whole body: fatigue, lightheadedness, restlessness, or sweating
- Psychological: severe anxiety, fear, or repeatedly going over thoughts
- Behavioral: hyper-vigilance or irritability
- Cognitive: lack of concentration or unwanted thoughts
- Also common: emotional distress, excessive worry, difficulty falling asleep, headache, nausea, sensation of an abnormal heartbeat, or trembling
Some may be asking why I am writing about this and it’s simply because I, unfortunately, suffer from it. Every minuet of everyday I am suffering. This mental illness is not something people can always see or witness so they can easily write it off as not existing. Iv been told its “all in your head”. . . and yes it is. That’s exactly the problem. I can’t get a new brain or nervous system. I have what God gave me and I have to push through it every single day and it is not easy at all. I have anxiety attacks in my sleep, I get overwhelmed by the simplest stuff, I can’t enjoy things like everyone else because my brain always goes to worse case scenario. Having to turn down birthday parties and team bonding events because social anxiety gets in the way. Having to hide in the bathroom at work and cry and hyperventilate for 3o minuets because I can’t handle the atmosphere. Even presenting in class seems like torture. I am hardly ever at peace with myself. Constant nail biting, hair twirling, readjusting, making sure I look okay because God Forbid someone says something about the way I look. I can be having a great day until someone doesn’t open a text message and my brain immediately tells me that person doesn’t like.. that I am not good enough.. that Im worthless. Anxiety is not just nervousness. It is so much more. It’s crying, trouble breathing, stomach pains, shaking, and begging God to take this disorder away from me.
I know that there are going to be ignorant people in this world who do not understand and refuse to believe this disorder is real but let me tell you it is. Please do the world a favor if you do not have a psych degree or suffer from mental health issues… watch what you say. It is hurtful and makes us anxiety people, feel beneath you. I want nothing more than to live in a world where my anxiety is considered a valid excuse to not show up for work or school. I want treatment to not be seen like it is only meant for “crazy” people. Mental disorders are very very real and just because we can’t see them does not mean we can brush them off. Anxiety Disorder is something that I ask all of you to take the time and research and educate yourselves on.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and be understanding. I hope by that opening myself up to people, we can learn something or two about mental illness and take a stance together to end the stigma. Lots of love – Lex.