Imagine living as though bad consequences were constantly around the corner. Close your eyes, and picture this: A few years ago, you got into a car accident, nobody died or got injured, but the amount of stress that the accident had caused that day has negatively affected your life today – mentally. Every time that you get into a car, you start panicking. The car trip is literally 4 km’s of road, yet you feel more uneasy than before. All you can think about is the disaster that is most probably not even there. You are cross examining this situation from every single angle, and none of them make you want to get into the car.

Anxiety

“Will the brakes fail? Is the man driving that truck across the road sober? Should I message my mom, just in case? What if, the cars tyre comes off while we’re driving? Is today a good day to die?”

I don’t know about you guys, but that’s exactly how “out of hand” my thoughts get. Now picture those emotions arising at the most inopportune moments – like walking into your local Supermarket. Yup, that, my friend’s is called anxiety.

Anxiety disorders develop from a number of things, these include : Personality; Life Events; Genetics and The chemistry of the individuals brain. More than 50% of people who suffer from anxiety will experience some form of depression some time in their lives. In the United States alone, more than 40 million adults from the age of 18 suffer from Anxiety Disorder, making it the most common mental illness in the country.

Often I find that it is hard to keep a stable friendship/relationship while suffering with anxiety, as people who don’t suffer from it themselves don’t quite understand that it isn’t as easy as telling me that “Everything is going to be okay”. It is also not as easy as telling me not to worry or that the car won’t crash and that it’s just my silly-little-imagination. It’s way more complex than that. I can guarantee you that Anxiety is no “walk in the park”. At times, I like being left alone, but when people don’t notice my absence, it hurts. Having anxiety is like being a walking contradiction.

Due to the fact that the world is such a horrible place sometimes, some people tend to be cruel when dealing with a Sad Anxiety filled Panda, but that is okay, because at the end of the day at least we have that little voice there – even if it’s ludicrous.

I am no Doctor, but these are the well known symptoms for those who suffer from Anxiety disorder:

– Sleep problems caused by worrying.
– Irrational fears that cause overwhelm and panic (Not your basic phobias)
– Near-Constant muscle tension or muscle tics
– Self Consciousness (Judging yourself negatively)
– Self Doubt
– Bad Habits (biting of the nails; chewing on your lip etc;)
– Panic Attacks

Often, my friends assume that what I go through is nothing. They assume that anxiety is easy to deal with and that it’s up to me to tell Anxiety to get lost, well it isn’t. Dealing with someone who has anxiety takes quite a bit of commitment and understanding. I suppose it differs from person to person, but when I’m being consumed by my anxiety, I love having a friend around just to listen en though I tend to push them away. Makes sense right? Having a good listener as a friend is something that everyone who has anxiety needs. We literally just need someone who is going to listen to the fears that eat us from the inside out. This is where the difficult part comes in though, because as much a you want someone there, you’re pushing them away aren’t you? It’s easier to push someone away than it is to explain Anxiety to them. Besides having a friend with a good set
of ears and no mouth, breathing exercises help too.

If you’re a sufferer of anxiety, I can reassure you, that we are not crazy just because we overthink. We’re merely humans with over active brains.

In saying so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

If you’re a sufferer of anxiety, how do you deal with the stress that comes along with it? How do you give your family/friends an understanding on your anxiety?
Do you have any advice for other anxiety sufferers?

Much Love, Danni
Xx

Danielle Combrink