By: Kayle Melicher
Anxiety! This is a word many people know all too well, and I don’t mean that I get test anxiety or normal everyday anxiety; no, the type that is crippling. Now I don’t want to minimize any anxiety so if you get test anxiety or just everyday normal anxiety it sucks too. but the anxiety I’m talking about is the kind where you wish that for just one day it would go away, that you could be normal.
Anxiety, anxiety is where your amygdala is sounding off the fire alarm in your head, and saying that you are always in danger and that responses are happening. These stress responses are “fight, flight, freeze and fawn” responses. When you are in these stress responses Fight means you fight whatever is happening, flight is where if you are scared to well let’s say to hang with your friends and you have planned to hang with your friends but then cancel last minute because you are afraid to go out, this is where you are trying to escape what you are scared of. Now when you freeze you can’t decide what to do so then you freeze and do nothing because you’re so scared and you can’t decide what to do at the moment. And the last one is fawn where you people please, and you try to make everyone happy; but let me tell you right now you can’t make everyone happy. What happens when you have anxiety is you get anxiety attacks and panic attacks out of nowhere, and coming from the horse’s mouth and when I say that I mean I have GAD which is generalized anxiety disorder so I am here to tell you that I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Anxiety sometimes can get so bad where you don’t know if you can take it anymore, you would do anything to just take the pain away, to take the thoughts out of your mind. As well as when your heart is always racing like your driving a thousand miles an hour on a lonely open road, can make you scared and you feel like you are going to die which then scares you even more because you already feel like you are going to die. Anxiety is hard and it is something that we who have it are very scared of. And one of the worst parts about it is the people who don’t understand it, and what I mean by that is some people think we can just turn off the anxiety that is inside of us and just calm down. Well I am here to tell you we can’t just shut it off. It honestly really bugs me when people think that way because honestly don’t you think if we could just turn it off and on like a light switch we would, don’t you think we wouldn’t have anxiety and panic attacks then if we really could just shut it off. Here is the thing it takes years and years of practice to control anxiety, even for me I have it managed but even I have my days where I can’t control my anxiety and instead of controlling it, it controls me.
(Resources for identifying GAD, everyday anxious vs. anxiety disorder, as well as other anxiety resources can be found here)
Anxiety makes it hard to do just about anything, some people can’t get jobs because of it; some people can’t go to school or do everyday normal things. The anxiety I am talking about makes it so we who have it are so crippled we are either barley hanging on or we are not functioning at all. Having anxiety is so much more to deal with then people think it is. But I am here to tell you if you have anxiety first off I want to say I am sorry, but then I want to tell you that you are not weak; you are not worthless or a burden or anything your anxiety tells you you are. I know dealing with anxiety can be really hard and exhausting even at times but I want you to know that you can get through this, you are stronger than your anxiety. You are more than the anxiety and what it brings. You can beat this.