Anxiety is an often misunderstood mental illness. People think that those who suffer from anxiety are really just shy or timid. As a result, the majority of people do not appreciate the potentially debilitating effects of anxiety and how it can impact so many areas of someone’s life. To try and give an insight into the ways in which anxiety has distorted and manipulated my life experiences, I have compiled a short list of things which my anxiety has made me do:
- Violently vomit during an exam.
- Forget my own address whilst having to fill-in a form in front of a receptionist.
- Run out of shops before retail staff could approach me.
- Pretend I haven’t heard someone when really I just could not find the words to respond to their statement or question.
- Feign illness to get out of doing class presentations.
- Persuade my mum to order for me at cafes so that I do not have to speak out loud myself.
- Scream involuntarily when someone has spoken to me unexpectedly due to being so on-edge.
- Arrive 30 minutes early for everything in order to avoid the worry and stress of being late.
- Avoid going to events due to never having been to that specific location before and not being able to handle the ‘unknown’.
- Jump out of a dental x-ray because I felt trapped in the room (much to the anger of the orthodontist).
- Forget people’s names no matter how well I know them because of my mind being so scrambled.
- Wash my hands repetitively until they are red raw.
- Decline invitations to hang-out with my friends until I let them down so regularly that they give-up on me in the end.
- Lock myself inside my University room and not speak to anyone for days on end.
- Refuse to go to restaurants due to paranoia about the food and whether it will make me feel unwell.
Resources which give information about anxiety: