When the sadness starts to take over, the phobias start to win. Feelings of being powerless in my surroundings to take over. The walls are thicker in my head and the heaviness makes me feel weak.
Usually, people with anxiety disorders hide it well, although in their minds they think everyone can tell.
Social Anxiety is a very self-centered condition. Your mind tells you that everyone is looking at you and judging you. This is where you lose yourself when the mind fools you into something that is not real.
The sick thing about it is that the more you avoid social situations the worse it gets. The mental anguish now makes you physically ill.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).
Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
As I started looking into numbers and facts of anxiety and stress-related disorders, I realized I was not alone and was one of those numbers.
Knowing this , really did not help but gave me a starting place.
Some numbers to fall into...
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects 2.2 million, 1.0% equally common among men and women.
Hoarding is the compulsive purchasing, acquiring, searching, and saving of items that have little or no value.
Panic Disorder 6 million, 2.7% Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 7.7 million, 3.5% Women are more likely to be affected than men.
Social Anxiety Disorder 15 million, 6.8% equally common among men and women, typically beginning around age 13.
Specific Phobias 19 million, 8.7% Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
Anxiety and Depression usually go hand in hand and it is not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa.
When plagued with anxiety disorder, other disorders rear their ugly heads putting things into a much more complicated situation.
•Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
•Adult ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactive disorder)
•BDD (body dysmorphic disorder)
What do we do with this information?
We can become enlightened to the fact that we are not alone in our solitude and others are having panic when the solitude is threatened.
We know the reason for the behaviors and we know that it all can start to interfere with life and relationships. It is like 'being' hurts and your dreams scare you, not when you are sleeping but when you are daring yourself to dream big, to succeed, try something new or just do something like go to a mall.
When you want to be famous but the utter thought of it makes you physically sick, these are contradictions you struggle with and start to plant yourself in a mode of survival.
When anxiety disorders are a force that takes over your life, you shelter yourself from embarrassment that does not exist, disappointments that have not happened and judgments’ that only you know about.
It is exhausting to evaluate yourself constantly. Trying to guess other people’s reactions consumes you and invites panic and that feeling you dread. Avoiding situations starts to bring comfort from the panic and the mental and physical pains you feel. If I could only disappear.
I envy the possession of an invisibility cloak!
I stopped dancing….
When thrown into thought, knowing that to succeed and to make things happen, I needed to promote myself. I have spent too much time finding ways not to exist and endlessly trying to find approval for every thought and idea.
Constantly searching for inspiration, guidance and direction and surrounding myself with tons of life coaches, quotes, articles and self-help books.
Everyone knowing more than me; when I happen to find some inspiration, a spark of goal setting or dream making guidance, I had become a master of destruction and set up the process of unworthiness and failure solidifying why all the great advice was not for me.
Now I knew this was happening, that I was my own worst enemy and I realized I had stopped dancing.
In my daily search of ‘help me out of this hole’ I realized that I needed to write my bio with powerfully positive words…not just words on paper but words that were truths and I really needed to believe those words.
I read other bios and found one that impressed me the most, one stood out. The words flew off the screen and I liked this person, no clue who she was but liked her.
Then it hit me, like a paper air plane that had been waiting to land, I had been trying to write about myself in a particular way, so it would sound good to others, so it would be ‘up to snuff’, so it would be proper, ‘good enough to get in the door’, set to guidelines and so on.
Who exactly was I trying to write about?
I had no belief that I was awesome, so when I try to write a bio it was just a bunch of fluff.
I forgot to dance…..
Crank up the music and dance like no one is watching.
I had searched for examples of bios, almost wishing I could be someone else to make it easier to write my own. Then I remembered all I had to do was dance, I am happy when I dance, it feels good, great exercise, mind relaxing……so when
I remembered to dance…..
I am a sexy, fun loving woman who believes that sometimes dancing in your pajama pants as the sun streams through the windows makes you a star in your own show.
Laughter and fun to start a day, then share it with the world because everyone needs to dance.
Don't hide it, just dance.
Listen now to the podcast episode about depression and anxiety