Anxiety is a severely misunderstood mental illness. I believe this is because to an extent, we all as humans experience anxiety. This is rooted in our “fight or flight” response system. When you sense or feel that you are in any danger, our primal instincts kick in and we biologically prepare to defend our lives by either running from danger or fighting it off. Adrenaline courses through your veins, you are on high alert, and you are in panic mode.
You can experience this in many different scenarios. When someone is screaming at you. When you encounter a wild animal. When you get into an accident. When you fall. When someone jumps out at you.
Our body attempts to take care of us by warning that there is danger and we must protect ourselves from it.
Anxiety Disorders are where this goes very wrong. Our primal instincts warn us that every day things are dangerous. They elicit the fear, flight or fight, response to problems rooted in our subconscious. If you were abused by a parent, anyone resembling said parent can trigger the response. If you associate painful memories with receiving a poor grade on a test, you may later experience test anxiety on any test that you take. If you didn’t receive support and unconditional love as a child, you may develop social anxiety because you feel the need to please others as an attempt to find that love and support your childhood lacked. This turns into even the simplest social situations triggering panic responses.
When people suffer from an anxiety disorder, this panic alarm is constantly going off for a multitude of reasons. Your everyday life becomes a fight or flight response. An abuse of the panic button which wreaks havoc on your emotional state.
This is what modern day anxiety, specifically mixed with depression, can look like:
“Anxiety: *banging pots and pans together* GET UP! HURRY! DO IT! WE’RE IN DANGER! GET IT DONE NOW!
Depression: *lethargic* I hear you. I agree, but… I’m so tired, I wouldn’t even be able run away from danger if danger showed up because I didn’t do the thing that I didn’t do because I have no energy to do it.
Anxiety: *banging pots and pans together* GET UP! HURRY! PEOPLE WILL GET MAD AT US! DO IT NOW!
Depression: I don’t care. Let it happen. We deserve to be punished.
Anxiety: NOOOO! WORST IDEA EVER!
*inside your head for hours at a time*”
Dealing with anxiety is a long term process. There is no quick solution. It may include therapy, medication, time, a lot of discipline, and Professional resources and support to get better. But the good news is, it can become manageable. Anxiety does NOT have to run your life.
Some well-known practices that help with anxiety include but are not limited to:
-Deep breathing exercises
-Organization Skills and Tactics
You do not have to let your anxiety run your life. It is never easy, but it is always worth it. Stay strong and if you don’t suffer from an anxiety disorder, maybe use this as an opportunity to extend some understanding.
Until next time.
Fit, Foodie & F***ed Up