Anxiety: The Large White Elephant In The Room

by - February 19, 2015

I said in my Saying Yes To Everything post, that I would make a post talking about my anxiety in detail. This is that post! Anxiety is like a large white elephant in the room. Let me elaborate more.

Anxiety is common among most people when stress is present. Pacing back and forth, butterflies in the stomach, and worry are all common in anxiety and most people have experienced these feelings at some point in their life.

Anxiety is natural because it’s your body sending you signals that something’s not right and it’s often related to the flight or fight response, which is also our body’s way of saying that danger, is present. It’s a safety mechanism. But when is anxiety unnatural?

Anxiety is unnatural when it becomes too much to handle or lingers for too long. At this point, it’s considered a disorder, which I admittedly have. It can be extremely unpleasant for the individual experiencing it, as there are many unpleasant side effects of the disorder.

What Does Anxiety Feel Like?

Anxiety can feel a lot like the emotion fear, but it differs in that, fear is a response to a real and present threat, unlike anxiety, which is expectation of a threat. A common term used for this very description is imminent doom.

The best way I could explain this to someone whose never suffered from an anxiety disorder, is image that your in a car accident and you feel like you see your life flash before your eyes. You feel like you’re about to die. That’s what an anxiety disorder feels like except that feeling doesn't go away and it can last for hours, days and yes years.

One of the worst “side effects” of an anxiety disorder is a panic attack. Panic attacks are especially tough, because you start having heart palpitations (your heart beats really fast as if you’ve just ran a mile), your are LITERALLY having a hard time breathing, and you feel dizzy. However, not everyone with an anxiety disorder experiences these.

Panic attacks happen suddenly and they can be triggered by anything, even something small and insignificant. There are no cures for this, but there are things you can do to calm yourself down.

Exercises For Panic Attacks:

  • Take deep, long breaths repeatedly until your breathing slows.

  • Close your eyes and focusing only on your breathing

  • Meditation before a stressful event has been shown to reduce anxiety and calm the mind

  • Remove yourself from the situation (until you can come to a state of normalcy again)

Psychology can be an invaluable resource to people suffering from this disorder. Find a psychologist who specializes in Anxiety Disorders, if you know that’s what you have.

What is the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist? There is a common misconception that they’re the same thing. But, a psychologist is basically like a licensed counselor who teaches you to change your way of thinking and provides services such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). A Psychiatrist specializes in fitting you with the right type of medication that aids in your therapy.

Psychologist – can’t write prescriptions

Psychiatrist – can write prescriptions

A lot of people are against medications for mental disorders. I’ve found that medication has helped me more with anything, especially with panic attacks.

Everyone has the personal choice to decide whether they want to go the medicinal route or try alternative methods. It’s really up to the individual experiencing these problems to decide which is best for them.

What are your thoughts on this it?

One other thing I want to stress before I end my post is that it’s totally okay to seek out professional help if you need it. I know that a lot of people think that mental health professionals are only for “crazy” people, but that’s so not true. You won’t believe how many different types of people, from all walks of life came to see my doctor.

It really is just like going to see a normal doctor only this one is super discreet and instead of treating your body, they’re treating your mind.

What did you think of this topic? Let me know in the comments below and if you have any questions regarding doctors, medications, or just any questions about anxiety in general, also leave it in the comments below.

Thanks for reading! Hope this was helpful! ☺

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  1. I've gone the non-medicinal route for years but have been considering medication lately. Yoga, talking and breathing techniques are losing their effectiveness.

  2. I've struggled with anxiety every since I was diagnosed with cancer when I was 15; always having panic attacks about it coming back or some terrible complication. I got a therapy dog a year ago and she has made a world of difference. She mimics my emotions, so I have to stay calm in order to prevent her from getting anxious! It's really helped!

  3. Amen sister! Anxiety is a terrible thing! I really enjoyed your post!

  4. I'm glad you posted this. I've been suffering from anxiety for the last 4 years. It's hard and especially hard explaining it to other people. Your observations are on point and just what a person who never suffered from it should read to fully understand it.

  5. I totally know how you feel. Anxiety is a huge problem for me. It's something really like to talk about because I have a little of that I don't want people to think I'm crazy mentality. I take medication right now and I do think it helps, but I'm going to be starting CBT in a few weeks too. Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Yes, yes, and yes! I have had horrible panic attacks and they seem to creep up on me sometimes. Medication for me has been a Godsend. I used to have several panic attacks a month and now it is maybe 5 in a year. I have found a good nights sleep helps me a lot!

  7. I know what you mean, that's why I decided to go on medication and it really helps.

  8. Thanks for sharing that, and I can't even imagine how hard that must have been, but I'm glad to hear your better! It's kind of the same for me and my dog, because I can tell when he's getting anxious, that it's because of my anxiety.

  9. Thank you Alina! It really is hard trying to explain it to someone whose never experienced it before and a lot of times, they misunderstand and think your just looking for attention.

  10. Thanks for reading! There needs to be more awareness about mental health, because there is a stigma attached to it. Just like with everything else, mental health is not one size fits all.

  11. I'm glad you mentioned that Tee, sleep is something I forgot to mention, but anxiety affects my sleep as well and medication has fixed that for me. Your 100% right, it is a Godsend.

  12. Thanks for opening up about your anxiety! I recently opened up about mine a little while ago on my blog as well. I've managed to keep mine in check for the most part through exercise. It's helped to reduce the number of panic attacks I experience, and when I do experience them I'm able to calm myself out of them much quicker.

  13. I often have panic attacks, this is due to my very bad experience as teenager. Thank you for this post! Valuable advices! I never seek professorial help and I think maybe is time? Thank you hun x

  14. Thank you! I will have to go check that out! :)

  15. Thank you! It actually took me a while to go see a doctor about it and when I did it made things a whole lot easier on me.