Most people welcome the morning sunlight beaming into their room. A small percentage of people dread the sunlight and will take measures to make sure their room is dark both day and night.

Do you remember when you were young and as soon as the sun began to lighten up your bedroom you jumped out of bed? I remember those days and miss them so!

Do you ask yourself what happened to the person I used to know, the person who looked forward to the day, that person who was planning their day the night before and couldn’t wait to get out of bed to begin another new day full of excitement mixed with busyness.

General Anxiety Disorder can creep up on you slowly. There may be subtle changes that take place over a period of years until it creeps up on you full blown. Once a person realizes they aren’t functioning like they used to, they also understand that something is wrong. Many people will blame themselves, thinking they are becoming lazy, a loser or have a mixture of feelings which still leads to self guilt.

Suddenly, mornings become a dreadful time because we know when our feet hit the floor internal shaking will begin along with dreadful thoughts. These thoughts are not something we have control over, along with the physical symptoms that people with generalized anxiety disorder feel as soon as they wake up. That’s why it makes it easier to have the room darkened so we don’t have to face the day too early. Yes, it’s a vicious cycle and our mind plays head games with us on a continual basis… sleep longer it says because sleep keeps you from feeling like your going to pass out as soon as your feet hit the floor.

Darkness becomes our friend, the light is blinding.

It becomes more difficult when those we love are awake and ready to tackle the day as soon as the sun begins to shine. One more layer of guilt added knowing those we love are up and enjoying their day long before us. Guilt, because we are fairly certain that they resent us for not being up and sharing the morning with them. As soon as those thoughts enter, the stomach begins to churn, hot flushes may ensue and a sense of urgency may take over if you’re not able to fall back to sleep.

Sleeping may be the only time we find solace.

GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, in any given year. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. People with GAD don’t know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants

It’s been said that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help, I can’t honestly say it’s been helpful to me. It may be more helpful if you are able to go on a weekly basis. I’m unable to because of my copays.

Mindfulness plays a role if you are able to calm your brain enough to be aware of the moment you are in. I haven’t found it helpful at all. I’d really love to say it works but my silly chemical messengers seem to be the alphas and it’s not often I’m able to “mindful” enough to fight the illness. However, I would strongly suggest either CBT and/or mindfulness for those who feel it would benefit. Mindfulness in simple terms is: “We can always return our mind to the present moment, return it to our breath or our senses which can be found in the present moment.”

I wish techniques like mindfulness were actually that easy, if they were- many people would not be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. It’s an illness and those who’ve never suffered from chronic anxiety disorder will never be able to understand.

I don’t want to feel emotionally and physically ill each day, what about you? I would gladly run around my neighborhood naked if these techniques worked. Well, I may be exaggerating a bit!

It’s become easier to be more open about our mental health issues but what hasn’t changed is the fact that researchers and Doctors haven’t made a lot of progress when it comes to the the complexities of the brain. Until they do, many of us will continue to suffer, while we TRY to pretend everything is okay- just to please those around us. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Writer with a personal interest in Mental Health & Wellness. Writing with a mission: End the labels. Photography is my hobby, life is my passion.

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