I think something that most people encounter during their lives is self-denial. No matter what kind of problem you find yourself in, if you are an alcoholic, drug addict, a cutter… no one likes admitting that they have a problem.
I think one of the reasons people feel like this is because they don’t want to bother other people with their problems. They feel like they have no one to talk to, or maybe they don’t like admitting that they have a weakness.
It’s very difficult to look at yourself, see your problems, and truly accept them.
Having anxiety, it’s very easy to just label it as “I just worry too much”. Or that I’m fine when I’m around other people, I just happen to “think too much” when I’m by myself. It’s very easy to push my problems aside, label them as less-significant, and continue to try and live my life normally.
But the truth is, Anxiety is a genuine problem that affects many people.
Because it’s not possible to see the inner thoughts of others, it’s very easy to suppose that other people experience the same thought patterns as you do. And other people do think like I do. But the truth is, a large majority of the population doesn’t.
Sometimes I wake up and feel anxious for no reason. If I was to talk to someone about it, my “reasons” for being anxious would eventually surface. However, it isn’t usually the different topics that I’m anxious about, it’s just having that feeling of anxiety cloud my thoughts. On good days, these little things wouldn’t bother me. It’s the fact that my brain can make mountains out of mole hills and think a thousand thoughts per second that bothers me.
I’ve also lost weight. Currently I am not losing weight, and I am also eating more and going to the gym in an effort to gain weight. However, the fact that I’ve lost weight because of my anxiety shows its visible effects within me. Some people stress eat, while I do the exact opposite. For me, when I’m highly anxious, my stomach starts churning and I lose my appetite. After not eating for a couple of hours, I get headaches and further stomach pain. All of these different factors do not make someone more interested in eating. Luckily, I’ve realized that by altering my environment when I eat can induce me to eat larger portions and more frequently. If I am surrounded by friends or family, listening to good music, or eating home-cooked food, I am more likely to eat more.
Other times I become increasingly upset by imagined situations. The other day I was sitting in the library, and I almost started crying because of a terrible scene I created in my head. When I am anxious, my brain comes up with the worst possible scenarios happening to myself or loved ones. Although these scenes are fictitious and have never happened, the scenes are so vivid in my head, I react like it HAS happened.
All of these symptoms I’ve related to you show that I indeed do have a problem. And this problem isn’t going to go away any time soon. When I was talking to my therapist about it, she alerted me to the fact that anxiety is caused by a chemical imbalance therefore out of my control. I can take medication to re-establish a chemical balance, but otherwise anxious thoughts will continue to pop into my head.
For now, I’m trying to look myself in the mirror and realize the effects of my Anxiety and the differences it causes between me and others. I’m also telling myself that Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of, it is something that many other people go through and it’s nothing that I’ve brought upon myself.
They say that realizing you have a problem is the first step in treating it.