Anxiety Disorders Aren't Just About Being Anxious

Anxiety Disorders Aren't Just About Being Anxious

Living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder can be completely frustrating and misunderstood

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I have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and it's incredibly misunderstood. Psychology Today states that 6.8 million American adults have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and that it is much more than the "normal anxiety" people experience. It often comes on with no real rhyme or reason, and can be completely debilitating sometimes. Physical symptoms can occur such as trembling, headaches, irritability, hot flashes, lightheaded, and trouble sleeping. Personally, I was glad to have this diagnosis, because it finally gave me a name for what I was going through and reassured me it wasn't just me creating more problems for myself.

So many people experience day to day anxiety and the word anxiety is thrown around more often. Everyone is anxious over some things, that's normal. Big tests, first date nerves, bills, pressure to meet a job deadline…anxiety happens. My anxiety takes a nastier approach, though. I'll give you one example of a thought process that has happened before. I could be having a great day but then start feeling hungry and go to my kitchen to look for something to eat and remember I'll need to grocery shop soon, and then it starts to spiral for no reason. Ugh I have so many bills I hate spending money on groceries. Should I pick up overtime at work this month to make more money so I stop worrying? Should I get a second job? No that's silly my job pays my bills, I love my job, why overwork myself? I really work too hard. Why am I so stressed out all the time? Compared to other people I'm in a great place. But it's not about comparison its where I feel like I should be. And I'm not there yet. Why am I still not there yet? I wonder if my friends think less of me because I'm older than them and they are graduating and I still haven't? Should I go back to school? No, you have a great job and you know school isn't for you. It's just more stress. Maybe you should take a hot bath and light a candle and do a face mask? Self-care would help right now. Wow I have a migraine again. I wish people understood when I say migraine it's not just a headache like I feel this down my neck. I need to drink more water. My skin would clear up if I drink more water. God my skin is usually clear I hate getting anxious and having it pop out on my face. And if I drank more water maybe I'd feel healthier. Do people think it's pathetic that I still haven't lost the weight I want to? If I was skinnier I'd probably be less stressed. All of this from me feeling hungry and needing to make dinner. WHY!? Because generalized anxiety disorder doesn't make sense, so taking one thing and spiraling out of control happens a lot. I could be having a great day, nothing would be wrong, and suddenly I'd start thinking of why are things so good and what could go wrong? It's terrible.

Please never mistake my generalized anxiety disorder for "normal anxiety". Please never mistake it for insecurity. People will often times tell me to be more confident and trust in things, but it's not at all that I don't. I have to say that my confidence in myself has never been higher. I trust in the process of life and that things happen exactly when they're supposed to. My anxiety disorder apparently makes it appear otherwise though, so for that I'm sorry. I feel the need to apologize for people not understanding, which shouldn't have to be the case. I'm beyond grateful for people in my life who continuously love me and try to understand what it must be like for me.

Anxiety disorders are controlled by your brain, but they don't have to control your life. I have to actively work on it every day. While most times I don't know what triggers it, I learn how to recognize the signs of it starting to happen, and how to deescalate it. I don't fully understand my generalized anxiety disorder, so it's hard for me to ever expect someone else to. But all I can ask is those around me be aware and sometimes it's honestly the littlest things that can calm me down. Say "I'm here.", "I'm listening" , hug me and hold me for a minute before letting go. Everyone who lives with an anxiety disorder is affected in different ways. If you don't know what to say or how to help, ask them what they need.

There are plenty of medications out there for people living with anxiety disorders, and everyone is different in their approach to helping ease the pain of anxiety. I, personally, have tried medications but currently work on controlling it myself. I feel strong, empowered, and capable of taking it on without medication. Everyone is different. Just because I choose to not use medication, doesn't mean that doctors don't suggest it for me. Anxiety disorders are often times due to wiring in the brain. Medication can help reprogram that. I am a strong advocate for people who choose to take medication for their anxiety. It is a medical condition: if you are sick, you take medicine. It's nothing to stigmatize and shame people for.

I'm not asking anyone to understand what I go through, because it isn't always the same picture I painted today. I'm just trying to bring about awareness. Anxiety is a word commonly used, but anxiety disorders are rarely talked about. Awareness is the first step to healing. For anyone living with anxiety, and for anyone close to someone with anxiety.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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CBD Oil: What Is It And What Are The Different Benefits?

CBD is a natural approach to traditional medicine, and it contains healing properties.

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The fascination with CBD has grown rapidly within the last year, and even within the last few months. This cannabis-like product has people interested because there are so many questions associated with it. People want to know if it's legal, if it's safe, or if it gets you high. To put it simply, CBD is known as cannabinoids, which possesses calm and tranquil properties. It does not have the psychoactive element, THC, that is normally found in marijuana. Instead, it is made from extracting CBD (cannabinoids) from the cannabis plant, and then turning it into CBD oil. It is now sold at places such as smoke shops and convenience stores. But what is so great about this anti-anxiety oil?

Most people who seek about CBD are doing so to help them relax or ease their pain. It is commonly seen in cancer treatments and for muscle recovery post-workout. It also helps with issues such as epilepsy, depression, acne, and anxiety. My dad, for example, uses a CBD lotion for his shoulder and back pain. He first heard about CBD oil through my aunt, who likes to put a few drops on her tongue daily. Ingesting it orally is, according to the smoke shop employee, beneficial for overall health. So if one is dealing with depression or anxiety, it's best to eat/drink CBD. For someone with pain in a specific spot, like my dad's shoulder pain, should look for a topical cream or something that is more direct. There are other ways to consume CBD besides tongue drops and lotion. On the market, there are different varieties of CBD gummies, such as gummy worms and sour patch. I've also seen it in oil cartridges or infused in water. In order to purchase CBD legally, you must be older than 18.

Last week my college had a venue where the School of Entrepreneurship students sold their products on campus. There were tents of all their student-run companies, and I enjoyed supporting local businesses. When I was there I bought an organic fudge brownie with 20mg of CBD (for only $5). I decided to workout and then take a bath, and eat the brownie right before the bath. It made my mental state feel very calm and it was relaxing after hitting the gym. I have also tried CBD gummy bears which taste pretty normal and those are also full-body calming effects. I am a fan of CBD and wish that is was less expensive and had easier access. It's great for college students who constantly feel the stress/pressure of their future. There are also a countless amount of celebrities who advocate for CBD. Some actors who heavily support the use of CBD are Seth Rogen, Morgan Freeman, and Tom Hanks.

Actor Seth Rogen started his own nonprofit, called Hilarity for Charity, that combats Alzheimer's. Rogen is large cannabis and CBD user, and he believes that CBD can help with Alzheimer's disease. He is an advocate for CBD law for medicinal purposes and believes that is can help with the symptoms. On Twitter, someone told Rogen that they had "restless leg" and he replied by saying "Try some CBD."

Another celebrity who has benefitted from CBD is none other than Morgan Freeman. After a 2008 car crash and developing intense fibromyalgia, Freeman decided to look into CBD treatment to help with his muscle pain. Now, he is an advocate for both cannabis and CBD because he has experienced the healing properties. Freeman believes in plant-based medicine because it is the more natural route.

Tom Hanks is one of the largest celebrities who has been an advocate for CBD. He developed type 2 diabetes over the years from stress and poor diet; Hank recently teamed up with a Cornell University student to study the medicinal properties of CBD for type 2 diabetes. He also enjoys it for the benefits of reducing anxiety and joint pain. Tom Hanks put it best when he said, "the benefits of CBD oil are unlike anything any pill or medication can do."

The following article has demonstrated all the different benefits that CBD oil has to offer. It is a more natural and holistic approach to traditional pharmaceutical medicine. I hope that in the next few years, cannabinoids become more popularized and the stigma behind cannabis medicine is dropped.

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