Anxiety always can create a hardship for someone. Whether it plays a minor or a major role in their life, it affects them to some extent. I was never someone who could ever seem to bypass it by any means. I knew early on as a child that I had copious amounts of fear within myself.
As a child, I knew even the small things scared me. I wasn’t diagnosed with anxiety in my childhood, but I was when I became a preteen at 13-years-old. It was a major turning point in my life to be diagnosed and a major explanation for so much of what I had been through already. The future of my life after that was only a huge example.
When I was a teenager, the anxiety diagnoses stuck hard, but I was dealing with an exorbitant amount of social anxiety. I was also bullied from time to time, which caused me to begin to skip school out of fear of being around people. I had been sent to an alternative school. Something that was normally for students who were in trouble a lot and had been sent to a judge for skipping school for illegal reasons, fighting other students, or something of similar call. I was sent there for skipping school, but it was for mental health issues. Including that I was housed in a section of special education for students with only mental health related problems and issues. At the time it was called “Emotional and mental disturbances” in which the program was geared towards helping students with specifically that. My anxiety, amongst my other diagnoses which included depression and schizoaffective disorder, was a deciding factor of being placed in that program.
In my 20’s, I had been emotionally gutted by going through a major psychotic break. Being 32-years-old now, I can see that I never truly recovered my anxiety from my teens, and the psychotic break in my early 20s pretty much hammered the nail in for how I deal with anxiety now. I became very fearful of people, and very distrustful of people, and my paranoia and anxiety fed off each other in the worst of ways. When I dealt with one, I always dealt with the other. They never left each other out. At 24-years-old, I was diagnosed with Agoraphobia. Agoraphobia is a psychiatric disorder where you fear open spaces and large crowds. Something that, paired with people, was a sore spot for me, and still is.
I remember being at the state fair, a place notorious for large crowds, and I started feeling an impending doom coming on. It became physical at that point. My vision started to narrow down, my heart was beating very fast and I thought I was going to die, and I became very nauseous. I just wanted to leave and go home. Almost as If I just wish I could’ve been quickly teleported out of there and back into my home. I felt like that was the only way I would feel better at the moment. I eventually left the immediate area and went to a more quiet place with little to no foot traffic. It took maybe a good hour to completely get back to where I normally would be without the anxiety. That was my first real panic attack that was linked specifically to my Agoraphobia and that was my first time truly understanding how that specific diagnosis affected me, even knowing already that it was a correct diagnosis.
I still deal with a majority of those type of examples, and I deal with others, including general anxiety. I’ve dealt with food anxiety my whole life, too. I can’t eat in front of others, and I fear certain foods will give me an allergic reaction even when I may not have had an allergic reaction to them before. There’s a ton of examples I could give.
People say “life is what you make it”, and I do believe that to be true to some extent. I also know that what people deal with can really override any positivity they may want to feel, and when your brain is chemically imbalanced, it’s very hard to reason with yourself when you are in the thick of anxiety. In the movie, “A Beautiful Mind”, the doctor helping John Nash had said something to the effect of “You can’t reason your way out of this because your mind is where the problem is in the first place”. Of course, while there was other underlying reasons for him saying this in the film, that line really does make one think when someone who may not understand tells you to “just don’t think about it”.