I write a lot about anxiety disease and because I do, I receive quite a few messages privately, via my inbox about other’s personal journeys with this disease.
The first few times I wrote about Anxiety Disease I was scared to share my personal story with others who do not know me personally. There is still a stigma attached to the disease and many people believe they are weak in nature. People with Anxiety Disease beat themselves up more than 100 people could at one time. It’s a shame that having a real illness is still not seen as such by some.
The Reason There Is a Stigma Attached to Anxiety Disease
The answer is quite simple, there is a stigma attached because it’s classified as a mental disorder. The term Mental Disorder (for those who are uneducated about Mental Illness) or even those who don’t want to accept a ‘brain illness’ may cause others to feel as though the individual affected is either a hypochondriac, crazy, or attention seeking. The brain is one of the most vital organs in the body and the least understood. We need Professionals to bring more awareness to the fact that Anxiety Disease is not something a person has control over. To be clear, anyone with the ‘classification’ of Mental Illness has no control over their symptoms.
Things others message me about privately
- I would have left a response on your post but I’m afraid my employee’s may see it- I get many messages from CEO’s from different companies. Anxiety has no prejudice.
- Your brave and I’m so glad you wrote about this. I don’t feel I can talk openly about for fear of being judged. Let’s just be clear, I don’t feel I’m brave- I’m on a mission.
- People share their personal stories with me and I feel so sad that they don’t feel they can share it with a Doctor or a therapist. I always tell the person it would be beneficial to them if they would seek out professional help.
- Ironically, more men message me than women. I think men are possibly more afraid of the stigma than many females.
Anxiety versus Anxiety Disease
Everyone gets anxious but that does not mean they have Anxiety Disease. People with Anxiety Disease present with symptoms that are present daily. Many times Anxiety Disease and Panic Disorder go hand in hand. If Anxiety Disease goes untreated you’re almost guaranteed of developing depression and/or Agoraphobia.
Before I go on
If you are bored at this point stop reading and watch the powerful video at the end. The video is of a teenage girl using strong poetry to describe her illness and she delivers her message so well.
No one would ever say that someone with a broken arm or a broken leg is less than a whole person, but people say that or imply that all the time about people with mental illness — Ellen R Saks
Symptoms of Anxiety Disease
- Feeling jittery all day from the inside out. Many times it’s so bad you’d think your hands should be shaking
- A constant feeling of doom
- Intrusive thoughts that run through your mind constantly as if your mind was a merry go round
- Dizziness, vertigo, the feeling as though you’re going to pass out, racing heart- which can race for hours if you’re untreated.
- Irritability, sweating palms, insomnia, feeling as though a vice is around your neck slowly suffocating you, tremors and/or facial tics.
All the symptoms listed above if left untreated can lead to agoraphobia; the fear of leaving the house or fear of venturing to unfamiliar places. Many people who suffer from anxiety thats escalated have a hard time walking into a store and they will avoid going anywhere that’s outside of their comfort zone, including fun events like family gatherings and even vacations. These are just a few examples.
Agoraphobia at it’ worst will leave a person a prisoner within their own home. Many people who are unable to leave their home for long periods of time are going untreated or not getting the proper treatment.
This Video is Powerful and will give the reader a much better understanding of what it’s like for people to live with this disorder. It’s also helpful to those who live with someone who has Anxiety Disease. Knowledge is key.
If you are suffering from Anxiety please click on the link for the NIMH. Even if you are not suffering from it and live with someone who does, please click on the link.
Don’t lose hope, because with the proper treatment you can live a highly productive life. The disorder will never go away, but it can be manageable. Long ago when I wasn’t aware that I had Anxiety Disorder and my symptoms progressed I had a hard time going to the store. I even ran away from the check out counter once because I felt as though I was going to pass out. Conditioning helps, which means I had to keep going into the stores if even for one item. I was also told to grab a cart even if I was only grabbing one item because you’re focusing on pushing the cart and it helps with balance if you begin to feel dizzy. That sounds like such a small, generic thing to practice but I promise it works in time.
For Family members who are having a hard time coping with a person who has Anxiety Disease or other Mental Disorders try to locate your local NAMI chapter which will give you the tools to better cope as well. People with Anxiety Disorder many times understand that their disease is affecting those closest to them.
If you are living with someone who suffers from a Mental Disorder please don’t be afraid to reach out to people you trust or even your own Doctor who may be able to give you advice. Talk as a family, together you are stronger and and can add an extra layer of support when you have a loved one that is suffering.
I’d like to leave you with this powerful video, through Poetry, Sabrina vividly describes what it’s like to suffer from Anxiety and Depression. Sabrina speaks for many who are unable to describe what it’s like to be so ill.
A similar version of this article was posted on beBee.com