Friday, July 8, 2016

A 7 Lettered Word That Affects Most of Us: Anxiety

Anxiety is something I was never aware of having when I was younger, I always thought it was my awkward personality that made me act the way I do.

 anx · i · e· ty  --  a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. synonyms: worry, concern, apprehension, apprehensiveness, uneasiness, unease, fearfulness, fear, disquiet, disquietude, inquietude, perturbation, agitation, angst, misgiving, nervousness, nerves, tension, tenseness, etc.

I remember being in 5th grade taking our annual exams when my teacher came over to me to wish me luck. I don't know if I had a certain facial expression (#teamRBF) or if she was just curious, but she asked me if I was anxious. I heard that word many times before but I never knew what it meant, literally, I had no clue what the definition of that word was, all I knew was that it was associated with feeling bad. After that happened I slowly started learning more about it, never actually thinking I might have it/deal with this issue. Years passed, I graduated from high school and still I thought nothing of it, and I think a big part of that was because whenever I saw anything about people dealing with anxiety it was in shows or movies and it was usually a very bad case. It wasn't until college, where my anxiety worsened - no big news there, that I began understanding the ugly ogre (sorry to Shrek) better, more in depth. On tumblr I'd see people with anxiety making jokes of it, by using their own comics or dialogues, and I thought wow this really hits home, like kinda too close. I have never gone to a therapist to be diagnosed because I just have a feeling I deal with it and as of right now I have my situation under control, plus I don't want to go to a doctor for them to tell me something I already know. In my life anxiety was always seen as a very serious problem, because my background is from a 3rd world country, when you bring it up around family they think it's a joke, since I'm physically healthy and not in a hospital. It's a hard topic to talk about to foreigners. When I told my mom I thought I might be dealing with anxiety, the responses I got at first were annoying, but I knew it was because she had grown up in a different country and she saw it differently. It wasn't until I read an article stating that women tend to suffer more from anxiety & depression than men, especially if there was a family history of it, that it finally clicked. Never in my life did I stop to connect the dots to check where this problem might have came from. My family has a history of anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. When I told my mom this information I think she finally believed that I might have it. I joked with her and said it would have been a miracle if I, or my brothers, had not gotten any of these issues...she smacked my arm LOL.

Anxiety is a different ride for everyone. I still think that's so weird. I know some people that worry about others liking/disliking them, and others about their health, or that something tragic is going to happen to them in the next 2 seconds, and then there are those that worry about all of this. It's so crazy! I wish more people would take a minute to learn more about mental disorders. Life with a mental illness is not always what you see on tv, it has different categories, levels, etc.

As I've gotten older it feels like it has worsened for me, but I think it's very normal for someone in their early 20s to feel like it has, or at least that's what I like to tell myself. I also like to tell myself that I am an optimistic person with anxiety, such a contradiction I know, but it's what has helped me so far from going overboard and it's a basic description of what I'm dealing with.

I hope one day it'll be over, I hope one day more people will be able to get the help they truly need.