Anxiety is an illness typically diagnosed alongside of depression. I was officially diagnosed with anxiety five years ago when I was 13. Anxiety, to me, is described as a feeling of worry and always being nervous. Constantly feeling like someone is watching you, sweaty hands and feeling like a huge ball is at the pit of your stomach. I strongly believe we all have some sort of form of anxiety, just some being worse than others. At the time of my diagnosis I was told I had anxiety due to a traumatic event I went through at age 10 which also caused me to have depression and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). PTSD causes my abnormal sleeping patterns and makes me irritable. Anxiety is a very difficult concept to grasp and causes a headache, literally.

There are many types of anxiety that you can be diagnosed with. Separation anxiety, typically affecting children, is when you have an attachment to a person or an object and letting go physically hurts. Selective mutism, occurs when a person chooses not to talk in certain social situations. Specific phobia is having fear of a specific object or task like flying and heights. Panic anxiety causes panic attacks without warning or with triggers and always having fear of that next attack. Generalized anxiety is the uncontrolled worrying. I have a mixture of generalized and panic anxiety.

Through research I have discovered that anxiety is associated with many other disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome, also called IBS, is characterized by abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. In early 2016, just two years after being diagnosed with anxiety, I was diagnosed with IBS and all of these symptoms affect me along with one fifth of adults. The colon is partly controlled by the nervous system, which is why anxiety and stress triggers your IBS symptoms. In my experience, when I am stressed out, like after an argument, I start to feel my stomach cramp very badly. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this; medicine only helps calm the symptoms down. Trichotillomania is characterized by repeatedly pulling out one’s own hair, most commonly from scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes. I also found this out while researching, and this fact completely caught me off guard. I have never heard of this disorder nor been diagnosed, but I relate to it. When I am very nervous I find myself picking at my eyelashes and eyebrows. I mostly pull my eyebrows out and I never related anxiety to it very much. Other disorders related to anxiety include ocd, excoriation, hoarding, and body dysmorphic disorder.

Anxiety will always be a part of my life, but after researching I definitely learned a lot more than I knew before. This helps me understand how to control my anxiety and hopefully I may help others in this same situation. Anxiety and all the quirks that are associated with do not have to be frowned upon if we just speak about the topic and educate others.

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March 5, 2020 8:10 pm

Hi Tori,
I think this subject is so hard to touch on because so many people have it but it’s hard to explain and the way you explained everything was so good. Having anxiety is hard for people to deal with and go through because of the things it causes you to do and how to cope with it. I hope everything is good for you.

December 7, 2019 10:36 pm

Hi Tori,

As someone who also has anxiety, I admire your courage to talk about your story. I agree that there are stigmas in society about mental health, but by educating and spreading awareness about mental health to the public, we can diminish these stigmas. Reading your article made me feel less alone, and I believe that your article is capable of helping many other people as well. For future posts, maybe you could write about strategies that help you cope with anxiety. I believe this would be very beneficial to others.

Here is an article with some helpful tips for coping with anxiety:

Looking forward to what you write next,

  • Bella
April 29, 2019 7:16 pm

I am really encouraged by this post to open up about my anxiety with my family and friends. I appreciate your bravery for sharing your story with all of your readers. I also like the fact that you gave several definitions in order to educate those who shame mental health. I also learned more through your article about panic anxiety and IBS.

Emmanuela Androulidakis
April 26, 2019 12:18 pm

I really appreciated how you felt as well as how anxiety affected you. It really was nice reading from a more personal perspective, and for me personally it was something I could relate to. I also thought it was well done to discuss how there are different types of anxiety and how these effects of anxiety affect children as well as adults. I learned a lot more not only the effects on an individual mentally, but physically. Anxiety shouldn’t be something we frown upon, here is a link to learn more about trichotillomania.

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