I hear these words far too much, and I’m here to tell you that if you have anxiety (multiple forms), you can’t help but worry.
For example, I noticed that my left breast had a red spot and I could feel a tiny knot/lump. It hurt a little. This has happened before — I had to get a mammogram then a biopsy. Luckily, it was benign, but the radiologist told me that I should start getting mammograms because my breast tissue is so dense.
Looking back, it wasn’t a huge deal. Was I worried? Yes. Did I ruminate? Oh, yeah. And now that it’s happening again, it seems like my anxiety disorder is in overdrive. Since discovering it, I’ve Googled everything from “dense breast lump” to “lump in breast” and “breast cancer lump.”
I feel like it’s normal for me to do that, but then my brain takes it to another level. I start to think about getting cancer, and losing my hair, and radiation, and whether I’ll be able to work as I’ve been doing. I texted the picture of the red spot to a friend and kept repeating myself, “It’s probably nothing. It’ll be like last time, right?” Then I awaited her reply, searching for assurance. I did the same to another friend.
I realize that it is probably nothing, that I’m overreacting. I also know that my brain is an asshole, always exploring the worst case scenarios. This is what I hate about anxiety. It’s relentless. And what also sucks is knowing that there are people out there who can really tuck an issue away and worry about it later. Or not at all.
It’s important to know a couple of things: when someone has an anxiety disorder, they can’t control it. Also, it takes a physical toll.
The Mayo Clinic reports the following symptoms:
- Persistent worrying or anxiety about a number of areas that are out of proportion to the impact of the events
- Overthinking plans and solutions to all possible worst-case outcomes
- Perceiving situations and events as threatening, even when they aren’t
- Difficulty handling uncertainty
- Indecisiveness and fear of making the wrong decision
- Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
- Inability to relax, feeling restless, and feeling keyed up or on edge
- Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
Physical signs and symptoms may include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle tension or muscle aches
- Trembling, feeling twitchy
- Nervousness or being easily startled
- Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome
Some people think that anxiety is “all in our heads,” but for me, and millions of others, it affects our everyday life and relationship to others. It’s difficult to deal with. It’s difficult to control with medicine. Believe me, I’ve tried. I even got addicted to Klonopin a few years ago. It’s pretty easy to do.
The Mayo Clinic also reports the following:
Generalized anxiety disorder often occurs along with other mental health problems, which can make diagnosis and treatment more challenging. Some mental health disorders that commonly occur with generalized anxiety disorder include:
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide
- Substance abuse
Unfortunately it’s not something that goes away. Learning healthy coping skills helps, as well as therapy. It can be manageable, but it’s still a major bummer to deal with it. To say the least.
My whole point during this rant is that I can’t control my anxiety. I try my best, I take medicine and I go to therapy but it’s still there. It’s like my brain just wont turn off. It’s non-stop intrusive thoughts, and I rarely get breaks. It’s just fucking dark in here, y’all.
I know there are others like me, and I’d just like to say that you’re not alone. I urge you to seek help, such as support groups and therapy.
I’d like to hear from you guys and ask what you do to manage your anxiety?
That’s it for now. Thanks for listening. Stay in the light.