My Anxiety Attacks Do Not Have To Be Obvious To Exist

My Anxiety Attacks Do Not Have To Be Obvious To Exist

Just because you cannot see that someone is panicking does not mean that they aren't.
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One thing I should have never listened to when I was going through a time of figuring out my anxiety was everyone's opinions about not having apparent anxiety attacks. I was convinced that my anxiety was not a problem because I was not overtly freaking out in front of everyone 24/7. Now that I know myself more, my attacks happen more often than I like and are hardly ever obvious.

When I have anxiety attacks, I do not always become dizzy or have shortness of breath. My attacks are feelings of irritability, hypersensitivity, zoning out and becoming quiet. I try my best to control it but I never want to jump out of my skin more. For instance, someone I love and respect might be talking to me about something important to them and anxiety jumps in. I start apologizing for seeming uninterested, because that is not the case, and for being silent. Although they always seem to think I am fine, tell me not to worry, and keep on telling me their story, I just want to scream. Not because of the situation, but because anxiety is so restricting.

Anxiety takes a hold of my thoughts and throat, I cannot speak up or think straight. My anxiety attacks are paralyzing.

I can be sitting in class, grocery shopping, going on a date, hanging out with friends, or just being alone. When anxiety sets in, I do not want to be in my skin. I am irritated by everything around me and I want none of it to be what it is in that moment. I want it all to stop. Stop looking at me, stop talking, stop breathing, stop taking the form of what it currently is, and stop wanting more from me than I can give in that moment. I want to scream, "JUST STOP." I want everything around me to forget that I exist.

When this happens it is not obvious to anyone around me, but me. Someone might ask, "are you okay?" or "Is everything alright?" But yeah. How do you tell someone that you want to run away from yourself in that moment? Especially without them taking it personally. I get silent, irritable, and often hypersensitive for, what it looks like, no reason. I shut down and do not feel myself. For weeks on end, I feel a sense of depersonalization. During this period, I do not feel like I really exist but that I am trapped in my body. Before I realized that my attacks are silent, I was conditioning myself to think that my anxiety attacks were not real because they were not apparent, but they are real. They feel very real and very exhausting.

So, when someone you are close to tells you that they are having an anxiety attack, do not disregard it because it is not apparent to you. Sometimes those who are having an attack might not know they are having one. Often they might not feel like themselves and when you ask what is wrong, they tell you nothing or that they don't know because they truly might have no idea. We are conditioned to think that anxiety attacks have to be some outburst scene when in actuality, it does not always happen that way. Silent attacks are real and personal.


Cover Image Credit: Cassidy Kelly

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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The Power Of The Butterfly

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity" - Ecclesiastes 3:1

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April, coined as a rather "bipolar" month, in which the weather in London is either cold or warm. It is a time of transition where summer slowly but surely encapsulates winter. As a result, rain is the norm and may be viewed as a byproduct of the seasonal passage. One might be lucky to witness a rainbow with its arches passing above each side of the River Thames. A jaw-dropping display of multi-colored flowers blooms all throughout London's parks. Out of all things London has to offer in April my favorite would be the entrance of the butterfly.

When I was a little girl I lived minutes walk from Primrose Hill Park, a grassy hill with terrific views of London. I enjoyed dog walks, picnics, and trips to the playground at this park, but nothing made me more excited than the sight of the butterfly. This intricate creature had a certain charm to it which fascinated me! In fact, I was so awe-struck by it that upon my eighth birthday I was gifted a butterfly catching kit. I recall spending numerous hours whether it be on my street or at Primrose Hill trying to catch these speedy critters. However, I never quite could so eventually I gave up and found another form of entertainment.

All in all, as the transition from winter to spring, individuals will start to notice the arrival of the butterfly. Although as a child, I never was able to catch one of these magnificent creatures I am now reminded that their sense of lightness and joy represents freedom. Their free spirit and individualism is a reminder to not take life too seriously; and that one should, ultimately, embrace the changes thrown at them. Ultimately, the butterfly flourishes with transformation metamorphosing from a caterpillar to a beautiful winged species. And yes I recognize humans cannot go through metamorphosis, but the butterfly should inspire us to ensure growth in our own lives by accepting change. So go forth and remember it is ok to feel vulnerable as all good things come with time and perseverance.

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