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The word ‘anxiety’ is thrown around too much for my liking.

Everybody suffers varying degrees of anxiety at some point in their lives. In the vast majority of  cases this is understandable. Some people, however, suffer anxiety that is literally paralyzing.

For those who suffer from these episodes of debilitating  anxiety, it affects every aspect of their lives in a variety of ways. They may become fearful of everyday activities such as grocery shopping or going into public places for example. The phone ringing may trigger an anxiety attack. They may stop socialising  and withdraw from society in general.

Symptoms of high anxiety vary from person to person. The most common  symptom is shaking. This shaking serves to cause more anxiety thus they serve to fuel each other. Others may feel nauseous to the point where they actually vomit. A racing mind is also a common symptom of high anxiety. The sufferer has poor concentration as their mind races from one anxiety-causing thought to another.

Catasptrophizing is also a major  symptom of high anxiety. This is where thoughts of normal activities are blown into negative and frightening situations. “What if I have a car accident?” “What if I get the shakes whilst shopping?” Catastrophizing is terribly destructive but can be treated by cognitive behavioral therapy.

I suffer episodes of high anxiety myself and it has taken me many years and vigilance when it rears its’ ugly head to keep  it at bay. When anxiety attacks occur I remind myself that there is nothing wrong and that I have done nothing wrong. Everything will be okay.

Someone once told me to take my focus away from the anxiety. I stopped researching the subject, stopped worrying that I might get the shakes and reassured myself that going into town, to the supermarket or other events will go well. All of this sounds simple but as mentioned, it  takes time and vigilance and doesn’t always work. Remain mindful.

You are not your condition..