Some background information. I'm female. I grew up reading at an early age and constantly watching discovery health and forensic files (probably to blame for my anxiety partly) and I've had anxiety for about as long as I can remember over the most trivial things. As a kid I distinctly remember a few times before the age of 10
- Walking a movie about the end of the world, so I remember checking the sky every day for weeks to make sure the moon wasn't blood red.
- Reading a book in which the character would "sell people's souls to the devil in exchange for a favor and then getting mad at my brother and thinking "I will sell you his soul if you make him leave me alone" and then mourning for my dear brother who I had just condemned to hell for all eternity
- Reading the head liner for the National Enquirer saying that on August 21(?) 2002 the world was gonna end
- Every time I left my house to stay with my cousin, I just knew something terrible had happened to my family
- Every time I was sick it must be something I just saw on tv
and that's just the most distinct times. I remember when I first heard about anxiety. I wasn't even in middle school. I was freaking out, I couldn't breathe and my chest hurt. I thought I was having a heart attack (something I had read about in a first aid book) and my dad told me that it was anxiety. I was so relieved. I had no idea for the hell I was in for.
My anxiety made school terrible. Then when my parents divorced, I had to call my mom every hour on the hour or else I was afraid some terrible thing would happen or that she might not be alive. Everytime my parents didn't answer the phone, I was picturing life without that parents and how terrible it would be. Once when neither my mom or dad answered the phone when I was with my cousin, I was so sure that my mom or dad had killed each other like people did on tv and I was in middle school at this point. I was picturing life with one parent in jail and the other gone. I had gone so far as to imagine court and how much it'd hurt.
Fast forward to 10th grade, I got in a very emotionally exhausting relationship with a guy whose anxiety rivals my own. Not only was I nonstop trying to prove to him I loved him but I was so sure he was about to leave me any minute. It was EXHAUSTING. My anxiety reached at that point an all time high and I began developing physical symptoms. Which from there, I entered the great (ha) world of Health Anxiety. I remember having it so bad for a week, I was throwing up, had a headache, and diarrhea to the point there was a little bit of blood (sorry to be graphic) AND LOW AND BEHOLD I MUST HAVE COLON CANCER. I researched non stop. I spent the next two weeks imagining the treatements, imagining telling my parents, and the guy I so dearly loved that I was sick. I had absolutely no idea at this point that anxiety had any symptoms beyond chest pains and feeling like I couldn't breathe. Eventually I calmed down and didn't even think about it anymore. I just dealt with the minor anxiety here and there but nothing too serious (once in 2011, I thought I was pregnant even though I hadn't even had sex. I was just sort of intimate with a guy and ended up missing my period for a month or two haha)
THEN WELCOME TO 2012, I won't go too far into what brought up my anxiety cause it'll freak me out even now. But I had the worst bout of health anxiety ever. I developed the constant need to check myself for swollen lymph nodes which by the way I happened to find a few shotty ones (OF COURSE) and everything just connected to this terrible illness. It just HAD to. There was NO other explanation. I was sick, throwing up, shaking, crying all the time, pacing, my hair even started falling out some, I couldn't distract myself with anything because I just knew that I was definitely dying. I couldn't do anything. Everything was pointless and this lasted for about a month and then I slowly simmered down.
THEN IT HIT ME AGAIN IN 2013, not as intensely though but still pretty bad.
And now here I am 2014. I'm 20 years old in a relationship where I constantly think the worse. I always feel like I know what's going on in other people's head. Everything's the worse case scenario. I always think my boyfriend is gonna leave me or cheat on me even when I have no reason. I watch everything my family does, looking for some sign that they know something horrible that I don't know. I'm terrified of the thought of having to go through one of my parents dying or of my parents have to go through watching me die. Anxiety is a weird thing. I don't really fear stuff I should fear, like I'll get in the car with someone sketchy any day. I'll go sky diving in a heart beat etc. I have very specific fears. Being abandoned by someone close to me (boyfriend, close friends, etc) and death of myself or my family. My anxiety isn't as bad as I make it seem, I have months where it's manageable or hardly noticeable and then episodes where it's absolutely terrible. So far, I've handled it without any medicine but I've cut caffeine out my diet. On a normal day, it just manifests itself in random thoughts here and there like "what if i forgot to let the water out the tub and my cat drowns" "what if don't unplug that light before I leave and the house catches on fire" "what if my dad got hurt at work and no one knows and that's why he isn't answering the phone" in which I either do whatever it is or forget about it, but I like to think I get by alright considering. Anxiety is probably the worst thing I've ever experienced though and I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy. It does make for some funny stories afterwards though. After an anxiety episodes, or sometimes even during it, my friends and I get a slight laugh off it. Even when I'm freaking out, I know I'm freaking out and even if it doesn't completely help. It counts for something, ya know? Well that's my story with anxiety and I think this is my first post here. I've gone through this site for about two years now. I tend to come here and look up whatever's bothering me and read posts about it, before I jump the gun. So I decided it's about time I post. Thanks for reading! :) [/font]