What anxiety is like for me


If you have never experienced anxiety or panic problems before or know someone who does and don’t quite understand, then let me tell you about my experience.

Anxiety is
– like a thick smog that you breathe in and it saturates your whole body and mind
– a culmination of old and new problems, morphing into a giant inseparable and unsurmountable behemoth
– the feeling of utter powerlessness
– a magnifier of even trifling problems, distorting them into dangerous proportions
– something that can physically hijack you, giving symptoms of acute illness
– a dysfunctional overreaction of your brain to stimuli that it wrongly perceives to be dangerous and life threatening (fight or flight reaction)

How anxiety affects me symptomatically:
– Lack of concentration
– Nervousness
– Muscle tension
– chest pains
– Neck, limb, and torso pains
– Headache
– Dizziness
– Loss of coordination
– Tingling and numbness of hands, feet and ears
– Tinnitus
– Palpitations
– Sweating
– Hot and cold flashes
– Dry mouth
– tight chest
– Wheezing
– Circular and repetitive thoughts
– Nausea
– Acid reflux (gastritis too)
– Diarrhoea
– Insomnia
– Night sweats
– feeling out of control
– Belief that I am dying
– Shaking or trembling
– Restless movements of limbs

How anxiety affects my life:

I try to manage my anxiety by staying as relaxed as I can, but I avoid driving, social activities, public transport, public speaking, crowds, overexhertion, drinking alcohol, phone conversations, and sometimes even leaving the house because I fear that it will trigger a panic or anxiety attack. I always carry valium around with me for emergencies. I have not yet learnt to deal with the sometimes crippling effects of what amounts to being unable to discriminate subconsciously between life and death situations and those that really don’t matter.

I’m documenting this here because I am currently at the mercy of a week-long tight chestedness and breathing discomfort that the Dr thinks is from anxiety ( a few months after the mystery kidney pain was diagnosed similarly) I felt so bad that I had to come home from work, and I really don’t want anxiety taking over my life and jeopardising my career. Even if my breathing issues turn out to be of physiological rather than psychological origin this once, there is still no excuse for the three hour panic attack I had when I got home. I know I CAN cope with all that is going on but there is this niggling voice inside telling me that I’m too weak and that I’m incapable of doing anything properly. 

“I turned around and it began standing there
Panic stricken
Every face became the same everyone shouting
Out names and my heart could
Not be tamed”