Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mind Your Mind - Anxiety 101

Although I am constantly posting about the body, it is rare that I talk about the mind. Tonight though, I am switching it up.

My name is Danielle, and I am an anxiety sufferer. When I don't get it, which is the majority of the time, life is good.

When anxiety hits though, which is usually unexpected, life is scary. I feel paralyzed, and I have irrational thoughts. The smallest of tasks seem too big and scary to handle. It absolutely sucks. Anxiety is an evil/dumb genius that tries stopping you from doing what you want and enjoying the activities you love.

To quote the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, here is the low down:

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.
  • Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country's $148 billion total mental health bill, according to "The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders," a study commissioned by ADAA (The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,60(7), July 1999).

Pretty shitty stuff if you ask me. When you have anxiety, you cannot trust the negativity that comes from your thoughts. You have to remember that thoughts are nothing more than, well, thoughts. Nothing more than that.

Try telling me the former when I am suffering from anxiety. It doesn't make any sense when you're in a panicky state.

So far this week, I've suffered a panic attack that sent me lying on my bathroom floor. I've cried out of frustration. I've felt weak and depressed. I haven't wanted to eat. I've paced around my mother-in-law's house, shaky. I've woken up most mornings feeling anxious and out of control.

Also this week, I called my friend when I suffered from the panic attack, who talked me through it. We went to an event in Beverly Hills one hour later so I could write about it. I've stopped crying. I went for sprints, walks, got on a treadmill with a fan on me. I've gone to therapy. I've finished all of my work. I've had writing job interviews and tests. I've talked it out with the people I love. I've gotten through the mornings. And even sans appetite, I've cooked and eaten.

And right now, I am sitting in my backyard, while my fiancé and his friends play darts, dogs next to me, feeling content.

Four hours ago, I felt too paralyzed for cooking, eating, socializing. I cooked and baked a cake. I ate. I am hanging out and having fun.

When your mind is messed up with anxiety, you have to nurture it. No matter mow much you feel like you can't, you can. I am someone who is managing my anxiety as I write.

I am not writing this because I have an answer. However, I want everyone to know that no matter what place you are in, you can get through it.

Remember, THOUGHTS and nothing more than THOUGHTS. They are what fuel anxiety.

It takes work to manage it. Even I can't manage anxiety all the time even though I've had it my whole life. I just want to say from experience though, that it CAN be managed through patience, working out, healthy eating, support of friends and family, therapy, and in some instances, medications.

Remember that, even if you feel bad about telling anyone, do not suffer alone. By reaching out to the people who love me, I was able to get through this anxious week.

I just wanted to throw this out there, and change the discourse of the blog for this post. Mental health is an important issue and it's just not spoken about enough.


  1. I love you and appreciate how honest and vulnerable this post is, it's a hard topic to discuss. xoxo!! I know what you're going through first hand and I can only imagine how much the wedding planning must be affecting this. Keep up the hard work, I know it's a daily task to keep things in check but you can do it and you have amazing people who are here to support you.

  2. I love you too! Thank you for the support. So many people go through it, but everyone is embarrassed or ashamed to talk about. I decided that it's time to stop being quiet. Wedding planning and house buying definitely add to the equation!

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