Have you ever felt as though you may have an anxiety disorder? Do you get so easily overwhelmed and scared that you can’t help but shut down?
Anxiety is a creature of sorts. For many individuals, it creeps into every area it can get its hands on. It grabs your brain; it clenches your emotions. Many people can experience anxiety and stress from time to time. Most of the time, it can be a good thing because it drives us to complete various tasks on our to-do lists. However, for some individuals, anxiety is very real and it can be completely debilitating.
Anxiety is difficult to define because people experience various levels of it so differently and at various times in life. If I wanted to define the mental illness level of anxiety, I would say that it is simply uncontrollable and unexpected. Now, that doesn’t explain anything having to do with the feelings an individual feels when he/she experiences anxiety—that can vary so much (as I said at the beginning of this paragraph).
My point in saying this is to shed light on the fact that those who actually experience real, daily anxiety that is uncontrollable (perhaps an anxiety disorder) should not be told not to stress out or not to be nervous. Because anxiety that is debilitating is really a psychological and neurological illness, it is far beyond the control of the inflicted individual.
That being said, this does not mean that people with uncontrollable anxiety should sit in a well of self-pity their whole lives. It would be damaging on many levels (emotionally, relationally, etc.) to live this way and not deal with the overwhelming anxiety. People who think that their anxiety is a real issue should go to their doctor and/or see a therapist and take the necessary action steps to begin conquering their anxiety because there is help out there.
In the process, individuals around the person who is experiencing uncontrollable anxiety should be gracious and supportive. It’s important to understand that, though you may not experience anxiety as intensely as so-and-so, that doesn’t mean that you should tell them, “Just be happy.” I guarantee that is the last thing he/she will want to hear amidst the daily battle between the head (the anxiety) and the heart (not wanting to feel/think the anxious thoughts that are occurring).