Today I wanted to talk about the main subject of my blog; anxiety. Specifically, I wanted to talk about what anxiety feels like. This is such a hard topic to pin down because the way anxiety feels is specific to each person. But I think it helps others without anxiety to understand those of us that live with it daily.
As weird as it sounds, it wasn’t until really the last year that I realized I had anxiety. From the time I was little, I knew there was something about me that was different; I’ve always been pretty sensitive, but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to put a name on it. I’ve also learned that anxiety runs on both sides of my family.
So what does anxiety feel like? The closest thing I can relate it to is this: imagine if you had a giant cup of coffee with the highest caffeine content. Then you had another. Then you had a Mt. Dew. When you ingest too much caffeine, your heart begins to race, you can get light-headed, and your mouth can go dry. That’s just one example of how anxiety can make me feel.
Another way I can experience anxiety can be a bit more difficult to describe. It’s a sort of feeling out of control of my body while at the same time feeling as though someone is pushing my body down. Sometimes though I feel like I’m being pulled up. My heart also races. The times this normally happens is when I’m having an agoraphobia attack or in a high place.
One thing that is difficult for those that haven’t experienced anxiety like this is that they think it’s something that we can stop. We can’t. We can’t just get over anxiety. There are some things we can do to try to minimize the effect, such as deep breathing and exposure therapy. But at the end of the day, anxiety is something we manage. Understanding from our friends and loved ones goes a long way to helping us live with anxiety.
If you live with anxiety symptoms such as the above or in another form, you are not alone.