Anxiety is a normal thing that everyone experiences in life, some just experience it differently and it can interfere with their everyday life.
I can remember being anxious about random things ever since I was little. First it was separation anxiety from my mother, then it transformed into anxiety attacks in the car, and then hyperventilating and puking due to thunderstorms, panic attacks when I was driving…now anxiety about everything.
I remember my anxiety getting really bad my sophomore into junior year of high school, and to help cope with my anxiety I would pull myself away from people which made things worse. I’ve been to counseling and therapy a few times in my life and I decided to take a step in the right direction and go and see someone during my junior year. We talked and colored during my visits, she also gave me ideas of how to pull myself out of an anxiety attack, but I don’t really have anxiety attacks – it’s just anxiety all the time and some things trigger it to the point where I get red in the face and feel like I’m going to pass out. I eventually stopped seeing her and I was never prescribed medication, I began to pretend that everything was okay on the outside when I was screaming on the inside.
Now I’m in my second year of college and I never went back to counseling, I just kind of drowned my anxiety with sleep and eating. I tried to take my mind off of things with sleep or watching movies.
You see, the anxiety never really stops. My mind races of millions of scenarios when I’m trying to fall asleep and it makes it basically impossible to do so. I just sort of feel trapped in my own mind and suffocated by it. It makes me feel crazy, helpless and like I’m the one to blame for everything. I will randomly have flashbacks of things that happened to me 8 years ago and I will remember what I said or did and I will feel ashamed or embarrassed about it…over something that happened 11 years ago! My mind also never stops and it’s exhausting.
For me, my anxiety makes me shakey and nauseous. It makes me feel really hot and faint. It makes me feel uncomfortable and I just want to escape the feelings or the situation but I usually can’t. I would get chest pains randomly, which would freak me out and make things worse. I would also feel like I had an irregular heartbeat and would focus on correcting it, although nothing was wrong with it. I would turn red, get the sweats and shake when putting creamer in my coffee at the Cafe at school. Enough was enough.It has gotten to the point where I just feel lost, so I finally decided to get help.
I went to health services at my college and made an appointment with a doctor. I just kind of broke down and cried and told her everything I was feeling. How I felt tired all the time, and the mind racing was getting unbearable. The random chest pains and the unnecessary sweating and overthinking everything was getting the point where I couldn’t handle it anymore. She was very understanding and kind and since I had been to counseling before (that didn’t do much to help), she suggested we go the medication route which I was totally ready for. Anything to make me feel better.
I have currently been on 50mg/a day of Sertraline for a month now and I feel great. When I first started the medication, I did have an upset stomach but I do feel like that’s normal whenever you start a new medication. It has gone away and my stomach is back to normal. I take my medication a few hours before bed, since it does make me feel sleepy (but could be different for other people). I can make it through my day without feeling anxious or uncomfortable. My concentration and motivation have gotten a little better, but somedays that changes, but I am a female so that could be a factor. Today I put creamer and sugar in my coffee in front of people and didn’t even think anything of it. I used to get embarrassed that people were watching me and judging me, but I didn’t have that thought at all today.
My doctor has also suggested that I excerise daily to help me with falling asleep but also just to be healthy. So far I haven’t done that yet, since I do have a busy schedule but I am hoping to get some motivation to get into it daily. Maybe I’ll start doing morning yoga on my bed. She also suggested that I go to the amazing counseling services at the school, which I haven’t done yet. I don’t really have a reason not to go, other than time, but I will try my best to make time just because it might help me if I get all of my stresses and worries out to someone who won’t judge me.
But, so far, so good. I’m really glad that I took that step and made the appointment. It was so relieving talking to her and not being judged or feeling different.
***I AM NOT A DOCTOR. NOR HAVE I BEEN FORMALLY DIAGNOSED WITH AN ANXIETY DISORDER. MEDICATIONS AFFECT PEOPLE DIFFERENTLY AND SO DOES ANXIETY.***
If you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m ALWAYS here but also remember that there are numerous hotlines out there for people if you or a friend needs help.
Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433
Immediate Medical Assistance: 911
Crisis Call Center: 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
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Thank you for reading and I hope you understand how I feel inside. I would love any feedback you have to share, whether you liked the post or didn’t, or if you wanted to know anything else.
Everyone struggles with some form of anxiety or mental illness, you are not alone.