Life

Symptoms, tales from people with crippling anxiety

Many people have anxiety – but not everyone has an anxiety disorder. The Mayo Clinic describes clinical anxiety disorders as involving “repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).”

Different types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders may be more common than you think: About 31% of U.S. adults will experience an anxiety disorder over the course of their lives. Treatments range from therapy to medication to mindfulness.

Experts recommend seeking medical attention if anxiety is interrupting your work or other parts of your life; if you have suicidal thoughts, get medical care as soon as possible.

But what does an anxiety disorder really feel like? And what do people who are living with anxiety wish you knew? We asked them.

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Stephanie Faucher

How she managers her “spiral days”: “I refer to my struggle days as going down the rabbit hole. These are the days when things may have slipped slightly out of balance, and for some reason, an event that day causes it to tumble into a spiral of rethinking and overanalyzing every aspect of what occurred. That spiral frequently expands to encompass any worry that I had over the past day, week, or even month. Now, I can recognize my warning signs and self-correct either with my versions of self-help such as allowing myself to dive into books, doing yoga, or bullet pointing my thoughts to force my thoughts to slow down.”

One thing you wish people knew: “I think that people frequently associate the word anxiety just with the general feeling rather than understanding it is also the core part of a variety of diagnoses. While there will be similarities, not every anxiety is the same, and everyone has to find their own management tools to work within the disorder.”

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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