16 Reasons My Anxiety Is Real

16 Reasons My Anxiety Is Real

It's not just overthinking about relationships or getting stressed over a test.
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Society has this misconception about mental illnesses. The media thrives off of the panic attacks and the tragedy that comes along with it. People constantly throw the words around without clinical diagnoses. Because of this, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression among other mental illnesses are taken lightly. Everyone thrives off the pain that comes with being a basket case, but no one knows the quirky things that happen behind the scenes.

However, I know that my condition is real. My day to day occurrences include the same symptoms. Symptoms they do not talk about in the media.

1. Fast Walking

Since I went to college I have several people tell me on the daily that I am "like a gazelle" or that I am too speedy to keep up with. I have tried to control this, but then I realized it is something that I cannot change. My mind runs 100 mph, and so do my legs. I always have to be on the go and I cannot take a break, or a leisurely walk.

2. When I'm Walking I Can't Step On Cracks

Remember when we were kids and they said if you stepped on a crack you would break your momma's back? That was a fun game for most children, but as an adult, I still cannot step on cracks. The game had nothing to do with this; however, if I step on a sidewalk crack with my right foot, I have to do so with my left, or I feel very unbalanced.

3. Greet

If you know me, or I guess in simpler terms if I know you, I will probably make it known that we are acquaintances or friends. If I see you at the gym or in class, I will scream your name or wave every time to make sure you know that I am happy to see you. My anxiety constantly has me wondering if people recognize me or if they are okay with my presence. Often times, I used to feel like a nuisance to many people. Because of this, I like to make sure that no one feels like a bother.

4. Superstitions

Last semester, I did yoga at 6 a.m. almost every day. The days I did not go, I promise something bad happened every time on those days. So even on the days that I went to sleep at 2 a.m. because I was studying, I would still get up to go to yoga.

5. Don't Sleep

Sometimes I truly wonder how I function. I average approximately 4 hours of sleep a night. I am very busy, but sometimes that is not the problem. There have been times that I have stayed up for 46 hours and thought "Ah I finally get to go to bed," but when I lie down to sleep, my brain doesn't shut off. My thoughts are constantly running through my head and I can never take a break until eventually, my body cannot take it anymore.

6. Have to Eat All My Food

When I was younger I heard about a culture that said it was considered to be rude to the chef if the customer did not eat all of their food on their plate. Ever since then, I have eaten every bite of food on my plate. I cannot waste, even if I am full.

7. Sit In Certain Locations

If I am out at some location, I have to sit in a certain spot or I feel uneasy. I like to be facing the door or to be able to see as many people as possible. There have been times I went to meet my family at restaurants and they will have to switch me chairs so I can feel OK.

8. Use Certain Silverware


In my house, I have a certain set of silverware that I need to use. If I do not use mine, I feel as if the food tastes different. It is as if my meal is not complete.

9. Sit Up While Driving

Many of my friends point out the way I drive. I sit completely upright and I do not look relaxed at all. I feel fine, it is just that I have to be completely aware of everything going on. I cannot lay my back on my seat or slouch.

10. Need to be Alone

Although I am an extrovert, there are times I have to lock myself away with no human contact. Recently, when I was studying for finals, this wave came over me that I could not control. My friend Marisa quickly asked me what was wrong, because she noticed a change in my behavior as we sat there in the library. I completely shut down, and I could not stop my thoughts of being a failure. Eventually, I had to leave and go to my room alone. At my review session that night, I sat alone. I do not like for anyone to see me when I get this way, because I do not want their image of me to change and I do not want them to worry.

11. Phobia That My Loved Ones Will Die

My family and friends mean more to me than anything. I have always said that I hope that I die before my loved ones, not because I am selfless but because I am selfish- I cannot imagine my life without anyone that I care about. When I was little, I would call my mom five minutes after she left because I was so afraid that something had happened to her on her way to work. My first instinct is always to imagine the most tragic situation possible.

12. "I'm Sorry"

I will not do anything wrong, and I will still be the one to say I am sorry. I could be the one that is mad, but as soon as the other person gets upset at me, I quickly apologize for bringing the situation up in the first place. I am so afraid to lose the people in my life, that I am easily defined as a push over.

13. Indecisiveness

Yes, this is a common symptom in several lives. People don't know what they should or should not do, or they cannot pick which movie to go see. However, I get a cloud over me that I know shouldn't be there. One time I was in Hard Rock Cafe with my mom and sister. I recall being between two choices, and we had to keep sending the waitress away because I could not make up my mind. Finally, I decided on the salmon, but as she walked away I remember feeling a pit in my chest- Did I make the right choice? My family had to sit in silence, because they knew I was not okay and was about to have an anxiety attack. OVER FOOD. I know this is silly. I was sixteen years old, there is no right or wrong choice about what I should have chosen to eat that day. Often times, I won't know what I want to eat, I will drive to a fast food restaurant and leave before ordering because I cannot make up my mind.

14. Anxious Ticks

If I am about to have a panic attack I will most likely wiggle my jaw or flick my fingers. My body feels as though my blood is boiling and I cannot do anything to stop it.

15. Unknown Calls Put Me On Edge

If I do not know a number when I receive a call, I will not answer the phone. Seeing an unknown number triggers panic in me as the thoughts race through my head of who it could be and what they could want.

16. Panic Attacks

Last but not least, I do have panic attacks. Sometimes there is absolutely nothing that sets them off. There have been times I was taken to the emergency room, because I could not breathe and the world was spinning. At 15 years old, I refused to believe I should be treated for anxiety. However, now I am glad that I did, because my anxiety is real.

I do not just get stressed out or worried occasionally. My thoughts are constant my symptoms are ongoing. Ever since I can remember, I have lived with this mental illness. I cannot just "calm down" or stop stressing out.

Although these are just a few of my symptoms, every person's illness is different. Perhaps you can relate, perhaps you cannot. Regardless, mental illnesses are much more than the media portrays. Most people would not know that I have anxiety, unless I brought it to their attention. Never underestimate what someone is going through, be open-minded on situations you do not fully understand, and always be kind to one another. It may not fix all the problems in the world, but we have to start somewhere.


Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Everything You Need To Know About BANG Energy Drinks

Say goodbye to your favorite pre-workout drink.
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BANG energy drinks from VPX Sports are the hottest new products for athletes everywhere. On every can, you'll find their catchphrase "Potent Brain & Body Fuel" and it gives you just that. Clean energy, laser-sharp focus, and no sugar induced crashes are just a few of the reasons these bad boys are flying off the shelves faster than retailers can keep them stocked. Haven't heard of them? Sound too good to be true? Let me answer your questions.

What is it? It's an energy drink that's kind of like your typical Red Bull or Monster. It's a perfect substitution for pre-workout supplements or coffee.

Who's it meant for? Anyone! A better question to ask is, "Who isn't this drink meant for?" On the can, you'll find a recommendation for no one under the age of 18 to consume the drink. You also may want to steer clear of it if you're sensitive to stimulants like caffeine.

What's in it? BANG energy drinks contain zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero sugar. But what you can find are BCAA's, CoQ10, creatine, and copious amounts of caffeine. These are things athletes often take as supplements.

What are BCAA's? BCAA's are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They are known to stimulate protein synthesis, increase muscle function, decrease your soreness after a workout, and even aid in repairing damaged muscles.

What's CoQ10? Coenzyme Q10 is found in the mitochondria of your cells and sparks energy production. It helps produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. People often take this as a dietary supplement when they feel tired or lethargic.

What's super creatine? Creatine does a great job in enhancing athletic performance by aiding growth of lean body mass (AKA muscle). When you take creatine orally, the amount in your muscles increase and helps regenerate ATP more efficiently. According to the nutrition label, this so-called "super" creatine is bonded to Leucine to make Creatyl-L-Leucine. On SupplementReviews.com, a VPX Sports representative allegedly said the following about the Super Creatine in the drink:

"The creatine in there is actually something very special...it is the world's only water stable creatine. It is Creatine-Leucine peptide. Think of this...if you mix creatine in water, it sinks and if you mix leucine in water, it floats....if you combine the two into a peptide, it creates a water soluble and water-stable form of creatine. It also has a fatty acid chain that makes it easier to cross the blood brain barrier. The focus of the super creatine is not for muscle function, but for cognition...by combining this form of creatine with caffeine, it works synergistically for mental focus."

How much caffeine is in one can? In one can of BANG, you'll be blessed with 300mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent to over three cups of coffee.

Is that even safe? Yeah, it is. In order for the caffeine in the energy drink to be lethal at any capacity, I would have to drink 30.7 cans.

So, what are the downsides? There are two things that come to mind. One is that consumers have no idea how much BCAA's, CoQ10, or creatine is actually in the drink. It could very likely be trace amounts too small to do anything beneficial. Two, BANG energy drinks do not go through the FDA approval process.

Is it really that good? Well, out of 113 reviews of the product on Bodybuilding.com, there's an average 9.6 overall rating. Most reviews comment on the quality of the energy, the cognitive focus, and the non-existent crash once the drink wears off.

What kind of flavors can I get? There are currently eight BANG energy drink flavors on the market: Black Cherry Vanilla, Cotton Candy, Sour Heads, Star Blast, Blue Razz, Champagne Cola, Power Punch, and Lemon Drop.

Where can I buy BANG energy drinks? You can find BANG energy drinks at Amazon, your local GNC or Vitamin Shoppe retailers, Bodybuilding.com, VPX Sports' website, some gas stations, and privately owned retailers.

How expensive are they? This depends on where you make your purchase. The cheapest place to purchase your BANG energy drinks is at Bodybuilding.com for about $2.00 per can. You can find similar prices on Amazon and at your local retailers. The energy drinks are most expensive through the VPX website where you'll pay about $2.75 per can.

How does BANG compare to other energy drinks? I'll give you some data on nutrition facts and you can make your decisions based on that:

16 oz. BANG: 300mg caffeine, 0g carbohydrates, 0g sugar.

16 oz. Monster Energy (regular): 160mg caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

16 oz. Red Bull (regular): 160mg caffeine, 56g carbohydrates, 56g sugar

16 oz. Rockstar (regular): 144g caffeine, 54g carbohydrates, 54g sugar

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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There's A Monster That Lives Inside Me, But That Doesn't Define Me

Anxiety doesn't define you, you define anxiety.
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When people see me, they don't think anxiety, only my close family and friends know about my anxiety and even they don't really know.

I have lived with anxiety for as long as I can remember. It started off as a simple fear of something sticking to me but then turned into a fear of blood which escalated into a fear of hospitals/doctors that is now anything and everything.

Something as simple as eye contact or something as extreme as a doctor's appointment can cause my anxiety to flair.

My anxiety can lead to several different things, passing out which is by far the worst (usually I smack the floor and stay unconscious for around 30 seconds) or it can be as mild as a simple anxiety attack.

I say simple but in reality, there is nothing simple about having to leave a restaurant in the middle of dinner or having to get up and walk out of a 200+ student lecture hall because you can't breathe.

I can't control what happens. I lose all control of my own body, this is a monster.

The monster takes over and I can't do anything to save myself.

This has to be the single most depressing thing I've ever had to deal with, to feel helpless to the point of not knowing what your body is going to do is terrible.

Explaining something you don't understand yourself is hard. I have never met another human that understands my anxiety, I don't ever expect to. All anxiety is bad and not all anxiety is the same, someone doesn't just have “good" anxiety.

There comes a time where you have to make a decision: do you let it completely take over? Do you let your anxiety dictate everything you do in life?

This is where I draw the line. I will not live my everyday life worried about my anxiety and I sure won't let my anxiety get in the way of the things I want in life.

Do not let your anxiety define you. You are in charge, it's your body. Every day is going to be a battle. It's hard, and some days you will want to give up, believe me.

But take this negativity and turn it into something positive. Learn from it, let it make you stronger. It can only define you if you let it. Don't give your anxiety that power.

Stop thinking something is terribly wrong with you and you're not normal, you have anxiety, it's something that you have to take control of and learn to live with.

It's terrible, but you can't keep convincing yourself that you're not normal, because you are.

Stop letting it define who you are as a person, you define it. You are better than the panic attacks in the middle of the night, you are stronger than that voice telling you to be afraid.

Be strong, that is the hardest thing to do but, in the end, it's all that will be able to get you through the darkness.

Everyone copes differently, but however you cope, make sure it's healthy. The more damage you bring to your body the worse the anxiety will get.

When I think of something living inside me, I think of Will from "Stranger Things" when he has part of the Demogorgon living inside him. Honestly, that wouldn't be as bad as what does lives inside me.

But I will conquer my inner demons and become better. I will not let anxiety define me, and neither should you.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash (Nicole Mason)

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