I couldn't help but notice that people are always talking about the fact that they have anxiety, but often times we don't talk about what that really means. What does anxiety do to a person? How does it impact someone's everyday life?
So what exactly is anxiety?
Anxiety is constant nervousness over everyday activities that you probably have no reason to be nervous about.
Anxiety is making up horrible scenarios in your mind that will (probably) never even happen and obsessing over them for hours, or sometimes even days.
Anxiety is doing everything you possibly can to prevent the scenarios in your head from happening even though they may not even be realistic.
Anxiety is replaying conversations over and over again in your head that did not go how you expected them to go. "Did I say that the wrong way? Is that person mad at me? Did I just ruin our relationship? I should have said this instead..."
Anxiety is the constant worrying about what the future holds and convincing yourself that things will never work out as you had planned.
Anxiety is headaches and shaking and struggling to breathe like someone is sitting on your chest.
Anxiety is your heart pounding so fast you are sure it's about to break through your skin and fly out of your chest.
Anxiety is checking to make sure everything is off multiple times before leaving the house.
Anxiety is wondering if you blew out the candle on your counter (even though you did and went back to check it 3 times before you left) and spending the whole day thinking your house is going to catch on fire and burn to the ground.
Anxiety is not being able to fall asleep and then tossing and turning and waking up every hour when you do get to sleep.
Anxiety is nightmares. A lot of nightmares.
Anxiety is avoiding social situations because you're scared of who you might see or how you might act in a public setting or if you will say the wrong thing to the wrong person...so you just stay home instead.
Anxiety is constant soreness in your back, neck, or shoulders. That's where you carry all of your stress.
Anxiety is a battle. A battle that those who have never experienced these symptoms on a daily basis will never actually understand. It's more than just occasional nervousness. It can make everyday activities feel almost impossible. Anxiety is not something to be taken lightly. Anxiety is real. Anxiety can be life-altering. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned above and/or feel that you may have an anxiety disorder, feel free to call one of the hotlines listed below to receive help.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline: 1-800-622-HELP (4357)
If you’re not in danger of harming yourself or others, but are ready to seek medical care for your anxiety, SAMHSA’s treatment locator service can help you find a mental health facility near your that specializes in anxiety. The service is available in both English and Spanish 24 hours a day and can also point you to support groups, substance abuse treatment programs, and community-based organizations.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
If severe anxiety is causing you to experience suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to call this free, 24-hour crisis intervention hotline. Counselors can help you ease your anxiety and get to the clear headspace you need to seek help. There are separate hotline numbers for Spanish speakers: 1-888-628-9454; the hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889; and veterans: 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat with a crisis volunteer live on their website.