I have a secret!
But before I reveal it, I want to tell you something about myself.
My loved ones come to me when they are in a jam. I am their official go-to person for all kinds of problems.
They praise me for my poise under challenging situations.
Some people even feel that just talking to me eases them.
Besides, being a doctor, comforting patients is my primary goal. And for doing this, I need to be relaxed.
With the information, you would picture me as someone calm and composed, right?
Well, you are both right and wrong.
Yes, I am calm on the exterior but NOT on the interior.
And that’s my secret.
I have anxiety that stirs me and keeps me awake.
Don’t Be Too Hard Yourself. Anxiety Can affect Anyone, Even A Doctor Like me!
That’s right. Anxiety is more common than you may think.
Did you know every one in five individuals will have anxiety once in their lifetime? And about 8% of the children will have anxiety disorder before they turn 21.
I know it might not be easy for you to accept.
My loved ones couldn’t believe that I could have anxiety. Rather, I, too, was shocked. I always had this in my mind, “Why me?”.
But you know what, I have learned this from my journey…
Instead of fighting with it, it’s best to ACCEPT that anxiety can affect anyone.
“You don’t drown by falling into water. You only drown if you stay there.”—Zig Ziglar
So, the first thing I would like to share about anxiety is…
It can affect anyone!
Fortunately, early detection and treatment aids in the effective management of the symptoms and preventing complications.
But how do you know if you have anxiety?
What Anxiety Feels Like
Imagine going to an important interview. How does it feel? Palpitations, sweating of palms and soles, nervousness, and even nausea, correct?
Now, increase the intensity of all your emotions.
This is what a person suffering from anxiety may go through daily.
If we talk about me…
I don’t know how a normal heartbeat feels.
From what I recall, I always had a racing heartbeat, like a throbbing one.
I thought this was normal until I took science after school.
The sensation would be worse before a stressful situation, such as giving an exam or going for an interview.
So, I realized my pulse rate and heartbeat are abnormal, but…
Didn’t know why.
Frankly, it didn’t bother me much as I was kind of used to it.
Only when I entered medical college, I realized I have anxiety.
But it never affected me much.
(Obviously, apart from anticipatory diarrhea, and feeling like having stomach flu before a stressful condition.)
All this changed when the intensity of symptoms increased, and I could hear my heartbeat while sleeping.
It started bothering me.
Sometimes I used to get butterflies in my stomach, and my hands started trembling for no reason.
I also used to feel as if everything is out of control.
Other times I used to cry, shutting myself in the bathroom.
So, the second thing I want you to know is symptoms of anxiety vary and are out of proportion to the problem or stress.
Anxiety Can Hamper the Quality of Your Life
There is one more aspect of my life that I would like to share.
I am a people person. I love being around people, knowing them and their journey. All this excites me.
I also love to explore unknown places, especially those close to nature.
But many times, anxiety holds me back.
“What if the opposite person wouldn’t like me?”, “What if I fail?” or “What if the person notices my hand tremors?”
My mind would create thousands of negative scenarios that would stop me from being myself.
With all these thoughts, it would be difficult to concentrate. Frequent headaches, nausea, diarrhea, sleepless nights, and feeling irritable were my constant companions.
So, the last thing that I would like you to know about anxiety is that it affects the quality of your life and may handicap you.
Fortunately, as discussed before, it is TREATABLE.
You may think, why didn’t I do anything about it?
I thought it might go away, or I was strong enough to handle it. You can even say it was my pride. I was also worried about the stigma and that they might put me on medication. I didn’t want this to be my medical history.
But this was not a good idea at all. (More about this in my next blog)
A Word About Anxiety
I am not sure many of you would know how anxiety works.
So, before I end this blog, I would love to talk a bit about the condition.
Anxiety is a response to stress. While this is protective, full-blown anxiety can affect the quality of your life.
If you are stressed for a long time or have extreme emotions, you may get an anxiety attack.
Experts believe that abnormal levels of chemicals in your brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, may be responsible for anxiety symptoms.
It’s a Wrap!
The three important things anxiety taught me are: Never judge a book by its cover, symptoms of anxiety may vary, and it can affect the quality of your life.
And before you go…
Please remember, anxiety is treatable. So don’t refrain from asking for help!
I am a Medical Copywriter. With a Master’s degree in Medical Science, I enjoy writing about health and fitness. It excites me to provide the audience with simple answers to create a healthier lifestyle. I believe in research, make sense out of it, and put in simple language (Yes, I try to be a Ninja Writer :D).