How it feels to live with Anxiety

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Anxiety – “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.”

A feeling of worry? Nervousness? Sounds normal? Although it isn’t just a FEELING! After a certain period of time it feels like a constant cloud of dread, hovering over you. A cloud of fear determined to rain on every tiny aspect of your life. I don’t remember the precise period of my life when it first triggered, but as long as I can try to think, I have been suffering with Anxiety & Panic attacks since my childhood. It probably started as a child due to some unusual events around me and then at school when this group of people bullied me. I was bullied to an extent that as a child I wanted to kill myself at one point of time. I wanted to tell someone how I felt but instead kept quiet and kept sulking over the horror of going through it again and again. Once I was out of school, I changed as a person. I became rebellious. I did everything and anything that would make me look strong and out going. I had a pretty good days as a teenager and BAM!!! It hit me again in 2010. Since then, it haunts me. Every single year.

There are types of Anxiety :

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) : A person feels anxious on most days, worrying about lots of different things, for a period of six months or more.
  • Social Phobia : A person has an intense fear of being criticised, embarrassed or humiliated, even in everyday situations, such as speaking publicly, eating in public, being assertive at work or making small talk.
  • Panic Disorder : A person has panic attacks, which are intense, overwhelming and often uncontrollable feelings of anxiety combined with a range of physical symptoms. Someone having a panic attack may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and excessive perspiration. Sometimes, people experiencing a panic attack think they are having a heart attack or are about to die. If a person has recurrent panic attacks or persistently fears having one for more than a month, they’re said to have panic disorder.
  • Phobias (Specific) : A person feels very fearful about a particular object or situation and may go to great lengths to avoid it, for example, having an injection or travelling on a plane. There are many different types of phobias
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) : This can happen after a person experiences a traumatic event (e.g. war, assault, accident, disaster). Symptoms can include difficulty relaxing, upsetting dreams or flashbacks of the event, and avoidance of anything related to the event. PTSD is diagnosed when a person has symptoms for at least a month.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) : A person has ongoing unwanted/intrusive thoughts and fears that cause anxiety. Although the person may acknowledge these thoughts as silly, they often try to relieve their anxiety by carrying out certain behaviours or rituals. For example, a fear of germs and contamination can lead to constant washing of hands and clothes.

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I have suffered on and off with bouts of anxiety since childhood. Most of the time I’m OK, and then life and stuff gets in the way and things go wrong.

First of all I’ve identified that what happens to me when I get anxious again is a subtle build up of little worries. Such is life. This happens, then that happens, then one day, the knot in my stomach appears for no apparent reason. Except what has happened is that I haven’t been looking after my mental state carefully enough. But nowadays I’m much better at not blaming myself for that. Sometimes life runs smoothly, sometimes, like the no 10 bus, 5 worries come along at once. It can’t be helped and it’s all part of life’s rich pattern.

Well, I did a test to get a diagnosis of my Anxiety and even though I cannot share the entire report, here’s just an intro of what it said

“There is no nice way of saying this: your life must be like hell on earth. You feel like you’re unable to cope with specific situations that others don’t recognize as troublesome, and you have started to compulsively make problems at random. You have developed all kinds of irrational fears and paranoia, and you routinely feel as though you’re beyond repair. Rest assured, while you’re alive there is always hope for you. Regardless of how gruesome and ominous it seems, you can manage your psychological condition so that you can eventually reclaim your life. Maybe it will be a long journey until you feel normal again, but it will be worth all the effort you put into it.”

Living with Anxiety is traumatic every single day. All I wish is people around me to understand that it is not just in my head. It is a genuine disorder. I wish there is more awareness about Anxiety & Depression. People suffering from Anxiety and/or Depression are not crazy. It is just like any other disease. Just because there is no cast or bandage on your body from the outside does not mean the wounds does not exist. It is there. Always. It feels wrong. What feels wrong? That is what we don’t know. Maybe nothing. But it still get’s too much to handle. Be compassionate!

To understand a little more about Anxiety and Depression, you can click here

I would really appreciate if you get to know about it more by clicking the link and understanding more about how Anxiety sufferers are not just dramatic people. It may help you understand us better.

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5 signs you need a break

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Hustle! – Such a powerful word.  I love to hustle. It motivates me. I love the thrill of it. I always imagine myself on top of the game. Be it work, or just life in general. I have always been a magnet of money and success. I have always believed that no matter what goes on in my life (and trust me I got too much) my work is something that never ditched me. It always had my back when nothing else does. There have been times when I was falling apart and what got back me together was my work. It was the pressure of always giving the best, the expectations that people had/have and the responsibilty of living up to the expectation that keeps me going. However, sometimes, it does get too much. I do not remember the last time I took a break and went for a vacation. I have been traveling a lot for my work but of course it doesn’t count. I really think I need to slow down a little bit in terms of work and here are some signs that make me feel the way I do

  1. Unprepared: I have found myself unready a lot of times lately. As a Master of ceremony, I have to fully prepared of what I need to be in action and holding the crowd. I lack this quality now. I do not have a plan. I take spontaneuos which is helpful at times but not in the long run. I cannot be unprepared and then take last minute decisions because it is just chaotic and not healthy.
  2. Overwhelmed: I do suffer from anxiety and it has been increasing day by day. Anxiety and panic attacks itself is a big sign for a taking a break. I do get anxious and feel overwhelmed before and after an event. Which is clearly affecting my mental and physical health. Every time I have to host an event, I prefer not doing anything at all. I stay at home all day doing nothing and having regular events means doing nothing for days. I cannot do anything else because I dont want clutter my mind with any more thoughts and let it deal with work alone. There is no room for any more drama.
  3. Tired: Walking 3 floors to my house in the building itself is a task. I am tired all day even when I just clearly mentioned that I do not do anything else when I have an event. I still feel extremely tired, sleepy and lethargic right before going on the stage. Again taking a toll on my health and well being. A well rested worker is a happy worker and that means you need some rest.
  4. Irritable: Small small things irritate me. I phone call, a message, people around me, I just want to be by myself. I do not appreciate any disturbance and so I have been avoiding meetings as well. Some times even when I know it could be helpful for my show. I remember I used to insist a meeting few days before the event in order to give my best in the event but now I have all the excuses ready to cancel the meetings and take all the updates just before the event. Well, some times I do have genuine reasons why I cant have a meeting with the client though.
  5. No Motivation: The only thing that motivates me to take up new events is because I have a shopping list that I maintain and I know I need money to buy those stuff. That is not enough or the right motivation IMO. Money should not be the reason you work but you need to have an ambition. I do not feel the urge or the interest and I am working just because I have to or because people want me to. This is not the lifestyle that I would want to have.

Slowing down once in a while is not lazy. Too much work will only derail you faster than anything else. If you break down, so does everything else that you have been working on. I know I have to slow down not because I feel it is important but also because I deserve it. In order to give my best again, I have to re-evaluate myself. All for a healthy lifestyle.

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