What Anxiety As A Young Woman Feels Like, In The Words Of 5 Young Women
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Health and Wellness

What Anxiety As A Young Woman Feels Like, In The Words Of 5 Young Women

I asked five women what anxiety feels like to them. Here are their stories.

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What Anxiety As A Young Woman Feels Like, In The Words Of 5 Young Women
james_sickmind / Flickr

Despite what other people may have told you or what you may have heard in the past, anxiety disorder is a real medical condition. It is NOT just something you can "get over." It is actually a very common disorder with more than 40 million cases in the United States during any given year.

Despite it being so common, it is sometimes hard for people who don't have anxiety to understand what anxiety feels like — and it can be hard for people who do have anxiety to explain. So, I asked five young women who have anxiety to try to explain what it feels like to them and I also share my experience in hopes that you can either understand the condition more or you can relate.

* * *

"My anxiety has me worrying about things that are so small and minuscule that most people don't even notice them, I take every facial expression someone makes at me and I immediately turn it into a big deal. I am constantly feeling like I drank a full cup of coffee on an empty stomach and feeling incredibly jittery and anxious. Sometimes, since I can't control my anxiety and others around me, I turn to forms of self-harm and eating disorders in order to gain some control in my own life." — McKenna, 19

* * *

"I can be having a really good day but then randomly start to feel anxious and get a panic attack where I feel like I can't breathe and I get nauseous and shaky and typically end up throwing up. Although there's no specific cause for me, it's usually a buildup of stress and feelings. Anxiety can cause me to become distant sometimes, and it causes me to be hyper-critical of myself and how other people act around me." — Grace, 19

* * *

"It feels hopeless. It feels like you just can't breathe and that nothing is going to be OK. It feels like you're trapped in your own head like when you feel like you can't open your eyes in a bad dream you're having. I had an experience at church when I was just listening to the sermon and then my head started to wander about other things going on in my life and I had to go to the bathroom for like ten minutes feeling like I couldn't breathe and it felt so hopeless." — Lila, 18

* * *

"I didn't even realize how bad my anxiety was until I was on medication for it. I thought aspects of it were just my personality. But I have panic disorder so the reason I went to the doctor in the first place was because I started having panic attacks and I couldn't drive without thinking I was going to die. I've been on medication for about a year now and it's changed my life. I still have anxious thoughts and some days it's still bad but I can control it more now." — Maddie, 19

* * *

"In my experiences, it feels like a dump of adrenaline into my stomach, and then like I am in a foggy cloud and not quite making contact with the real world, kind of disconnected but not on purpose. For a long time, it had been kind of a motor driving me, but I started anti-anxiety meds in the summer, and so much has changed because of them. When I wake up in the morning my first sensation is no longer dread." — Emma, 20

* * *

And as for me, I've been treated for anxiety for about five years now but I still have my bad days. When I was younger, I would get very upset about something so minuscule and would sob for hours and I could not for the life of me explain to my mom what was wrong. When I have a bad day now, I feel an overwhelming amount of thoughts swarming my brain about every possible negative outcome to happen to either me or my family or anyone who I love in any situation ever. It usually results in me laying in bed at night for hours unable to sleep. I get very shaky and nauseous and want to cry or talk to someone. It's kind of like my brain gets paralyzed for a little while until my mind wears itself out and I finally fall asleep. Sometimes it can make my relationships more difficult because I constantly fear that the people who I love and love me are ready to leave me at any second.

But I'm working on it.

My goal for this semester is to really work hard on giving all my anxieties to God, so when I get anxious or my mind starts racing, I know I just need to pray and give it all up to the Lord.

As you can see, anxiety disorder is a little more than just being nervous or worried. It is difficult, but it is not unmanageable and can be treated by a medical professional. It's nothing to be ashamed of, the kid that sits in front of you in class probably has it too. You're not alone. If you or anybody else is possibly dealing with this or any mental illness, reach out for help. You deserve to get through the day without a panic attack. Go to a doctor or call this little handy dandy number, which is a 24-hour helpline for any mental illness.

National Mental Health Association Hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255)

I would also like to give a quick shoutout to the ladies who opened up to me and allowed me to share their experiences. Y'all are amazing. We'll get through this together, one day at a time.

Don't forget to smile and count your blessings today!

Song of the weak: Say Something (feat. Christ Stapleton) - Justin Timberlake

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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