We feel anxious, yes, but do we know the difference between feeling anxious and suffering from a disorder?
Self diagnosis seems to be the way of 2015 and now 2016. Often people don’t know the extent of the illness but claim to suffer from it. In no way am I categorising or defining anyone BUT from experience it’s vexing to observe others claiming they suffer from anxiety or another mental illness when in reality they just get stressed from time to time.
There is and will always be a fine line between feeling anxious and suffering from an anxiety disorder.
An anxiety disorder is a prolonged feeling of nervousness. It is ongoing, and especially in the lead up to an event, the feeling can last weeks if not months. You can have a range of symptoms from nausea, dizziness, heart palpitations, heavy chest, irritable bowel, lack in concentration, headaches and more. These symptoms could come on right before a stressful event or at any moment. I have my driving test coming up (I am more than a few years late due to my anxiety) and it has my anxiety on a high 24/7. I have trouble sleeping, my head is always aching, I get random chest pain, mood changes, continuous bowel trouble, nausea to the point where I think I have a stomach bug, hot and cold flushes, pins and needles, trouble breathing etc.
I feel some of those symptoms whenever I know I have to leave the house. Sometimes there is a trigger and sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and sometimes I think the world is ending.
That is what anxiety is BUT the feeling of being anxious is fleeting. It doesn’t sit with you. You’ll feel it right before an exam or right before a job interview but it is not there months before hand making you hurl over the toilet bowl until you feel like you CAN’T do it anymore.
We all feel anxiety. By feel I mean we FEEL the emotion not everyone lives with the disease. Many confuse feeling nervous in a large crowd, feeling uneasy before a big event or feeling worried about a situation as suffering from anxiety. The truth is we are all humans that feel emotions and anxious is just another word to describe the feeling of being nervous, uneasy or worried.
The false claims and self diagnosis makes those who suffer from this disorder feel as though what they’re going through is unimportant. If we could feel nervousness right before a big event I’m sure we’d take it hands down instead of living in fear of almost everything.
Anxiety isn’t cute. In fact it’s the exact opposite. It is LITERALLY messy both mentally and physically. You can lose control of your bladder or bowel, you can behave irrationally, angrily and sometimes even violently. It is not pretty. Stress can cause a sore stomach or make you emotional too but there is a fine line.
Anxiety is a perfectly normal reaction to stress that we all feel from time to time.
An anxiety disorder is usually centred around an irrational fear, worry or nervousness about the future.
There is a difference.
If you think you have anxiety, please seek help from a professional.