Understanding What It's Like To Live With An Anxiety Disorder

Understanding What It's Like To Live With An Anxiety Disorder

Having no control over your own mind is scary.
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Anxiety disorders are no fun for anyone. Most people don't understand what it's like to be someone who suffers from one. They come without warning and without reason. As I am writing this, I am awake at an ungodly hour due to this stupid battle my mind is having with itself.

Let me help those of you who do not understand what this illness is like.

At random moments, I will get this building worry and fear that something isn't right. Everything could be just perfectly fine, but my mind will trick itself into believing that something is wrong.

It will convince itself that my life is falling apart. I will worry about one thing one minute and talk 90 to nothing then start to worry about another thing. My mind constantly switches back and forth and will convince itself that things are worse than what they really are.

All the while, I'm trying so hard to calm myself down... but it is impossible.

It will send me into a depression. A depression that causes me to hate myself for being so crazy and irrational at times. This depression is the worst part. It causes me to want to space myself from the world and everyone around me. It causes me to feel alone with my illness, and it will cause me to be too terrified to talk those that are closest to me about what it is that I need from them.

I feel needy, and I'm repulsed. But I can't help it.

The hardest thing is for me to find peace with myself during the depression stage. Most times, it switches back to worry and will keep me up all night. Staying up all night causes me to feel irritable the next day, which in turn causes those around me to steer clear. Which in turn causes me to go right back into depression and battle myself for being mentally ill.

You see, there's something those of you who don't suffer from anxiety need to understand: WE CAN'T CONTROL IT.

No, it doesn't make us crazy. We don't need you to tell us that we are acting crazy. We are already well aware of this and telling us that will only make our condition worse.

It will come at the most inconvenient times. When it happens, just please be patient and understanding with us. The attack will eventually pass, and when it does, we'll be back to normal. The worst thing you could do is bring up anything we were previously worried about.

Doing so will only trigger another attack. Understand that it's you and us vs. the illness. We hate it, you hate it, we're on the same team here. The best thing you can do during an attack is to just listen, and know that there are times we need you to hold us, and times we need you to leave us alone. Know that sometimes you'll be the trigger for the attack.

Don't take it personally. And please, for the sake of humanity, don't tell us that we're overreacting, that we need to calm down, or that worrying isn't going to make anything any better. If we could stop worrying, don't you think we would have already?

Dating someone with an anxiety disorder isn't easy, at all. It requires giving that person a lot of attention that you normally wouldn't have to do. That doesn't mean the sufferer constantly needs you to be stuck up his or her butt 24/7, but it does mean that when he or she is under attack you need to be there.

If someone you love is having an anxiety attack, ask them what they need. Most of the time they know what they need from you to help make it better, but they're too scared to tell you. Let them know that you genuinely want to help in any way that you can, and be okay with it if they tell you nothing and to just listen. Get to know their illness better.

Everyone's anxiety disorder is different.

Try to understand what it's like to have absolutely no control over your mind, and be there for that person. They need you most when they feel as though they have turned on themselves.


If you or someone you know is battling an anxiety disorder, seek help.

Cover Image Credit: ankor2 / Flickr

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.
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We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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A Friendly Reminder About The Science Of Happiness As Your Final Grades Come In

You may be about your grades, but try to keep things in perspective.

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So, it's that time of year again for college students when the semester has just ended and final grades are rolling in. Whether you've gotten your grades or are waiting on a few, here's something that we should all keep in mind.

Often times, there's a lot of stress placed upon grades being the route to happiness. We might think that a certain GPA and certain grades are the be-all, end-all of our futures. Frankly, it really does seem like that given our surroundings. To work out our feelings with this, we often hear that we just need a little change, maybe get out and shift our perspective a little. While advice like this holds merit, sometimes it takes something a little more concrete and a little less philosophical to really believe.

Here is that little reminder:

There was actually a study conducted for over 70 years on the nuances of happiness, and what they found might be of use to you and me. From 1938 to 2013, Harvard conducted a 75 year-long study on happiness led by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Robert Waldinger, and there are three conclusions that can be drawn from the entire experiment:

1. Happiness is achieved through close relationships.

2. Happiness is achieved through quality relationships.

3. Happiness is achieved through supportive, stable relationships.

Wow. Hm. I don't really see anything about grades in there, do you? Thank God there isn't, honestly. Based on the study, happiness is based largely upon the relationships that we foster with the people in our lives, and, while we're at it, with ourselves. It makes sense if you think about it: most of what we'll look back fondly upon is the time we spent doing things that make us happy (aka valuing the relationship with ourselves) and spending time with the people we love. When we have a support system there to help us through, then things become a little less of a chore to handle our self-believe goes up a notch.

So, this is an open invitation to kick back, relax, let your hair fly in the wind, and give yourself a break.

You did what you could with what you had, and you already know that there's always room for improvement. Try to not be down on yourself, really.

If you made someone happier, if you took care of others or yourself, if you made yourself healthier, then you had a worthwhile year, and there are no two ways about it.

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