At times you may feel like you are stuck in a black hole, getting stretched and pulled apart in the vast space, unable to breathe. And trust me I've been there. As someone who has an anxiety disorder and experienced both anxiety and depression, I can relate.
I can relate to the sleepless nights, the racing thoughts that feel like you are being tossed around by wave after wave. I can relate to the isolation, pain, and helplessness that comes with it. You often feel like your place is lost among the stars, with no sign of anyone understanding your encounters with this silent attacker.
The crazy thing is, that it actually isn't. Surprisingly enough, there is a huge community of people out there that can actually understand and relate to what you may be experiencing and this community is not that hard to find.
When I was first diagnosed with my anxiety disorder I was having a minimum of 7 anxiety attacks a week and felt upset when my doctor first tried to relate to my experience by discounting my feelings. Needless to say, explaining my situation to my family wasn't any easier. They wanted to understand and still do their best too, but often times came across as insensitive.
With this need to feel understood and receive the help that I knew I needed, I began seeing a wonderful counselor and turned to the Internet in search of those who felt the same way I did. In my epic quest, I stumbled upon dozens of videos from popular YouTube creators and even upon Odyssey articles written by other college students that were experiencing the same thing.
Chances are, if you are reading this article you may have been searching for the same thing I was and I sincerely hope you found it. When struggling with anxiety it is so easy to get sucked into the abyss that comes with it and all the feelings of confusion and isolation it produces.
Often times it is easy to forget that there are accessible resources right at your own fingertips such as Help Starts Here, which specifically can help you get in contact with the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, local support groups which are easily accessible through the magic of the Internet, Anxiety Hotlines like the one created by the National Institute of Mental Health (which will be listed at the end of the article), and most Colleges and Universities that help you get in touch with Counselors and Therapists on or off campus, usually free of charge. Even with all these amazing resources, the unfortunate reality is that every day there are still people who continue to struggle and do not seek help.
To those reading this article and struggling with anxiety, I advise you to not allow yourself to go underneath the radar, not to allow yourself to feel unnoticed and alone. Trust me, many times the hardest thing to do is to seek help, but once you do it is often the best thing you will ever do.
The best things in life do not always come easy. In the words of author Lisa Wingate, "The hardest thing about the road not taken is that you never know where it might have led." Ultimately, the significance of mental illness cannot be understated, and even in the sometimes laughable mess that is anxiety, the most crucial thing to remember is that no matter how dark or difficult your day or journey is, you are never alone.
Helpful Resources for Anxiety;
Help Starts Here
Anxiety Disorders Association of America