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for those of us diagnosed with anxiety, i'm just wondering what anxiety is to you or what it feels like to you? my T thinks i suffered from anxiety before the depression set in. Prior to seeing T i never even considered that i was a candidate for anxiety. but through our discussions, and with increased awareness of my moods and states, i agree whole-heartedly that i suffer from anxiety. it took a long time to realize exactly what my day-to-day, consistent affective state was, and longer still to give it the label "anxiety", but it's happened and i was just wondering what others thought about this condition. also, for the longest time i considered that the label of being "anxious" was perhaps trivial in that everybody suffers from anxiety. right??? but, i think i've finally realized the what the anxiety "state" is, and the fact that it really isn't as trivial as I believed. i'll share what it is to me (and i'm sure it says a lot about me for not just putting it out there now), but i just wanted to see how it manifests itself to others and how it affects their lives. i don't want my opinions to hamper what others' experience with anxiety is. and, i suppose, it's different for everybody. anyway, muchas gracias for your thoughts/experiences/opinions on this.
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Hola Closed Doors! Fellow spanish speaker? im new here Smiler
I understand very well what you say, since for me anxiety was also something i thought i could never be a candidate for. Turns out ive had anxiety for a long time, not in a continuous way, but has definitely showed up several times throughout my life. For some reason, i also didnt notice or realized. I noticed depression first. But then again, just not too long ago, i realized i had depression way before i thought i had my first episode. For both anxiety and depression, i think it's because it first manifested itself in a non-classical way. It can take different forms. When i was little, i had ocd (just realized this as an adult) and i cried ar bedtime and had a lot of fears. And anxiety when people (family, friends) would leave (to run errands) and would delay just a bit. I cried. Would panick. Now as an adult, anxiety prevents me from eating, and urges me to do things to myself that are not very nice. It prevents me from sleeping still, it makes my heart race and panick. Anxiety can kick im at any moment for me, alternating with depression. Im still having a hard time understand how that's possible.
Well, that's it for me, looking forward to read you all!
Hi CD (((Hugs)))

I have been diagnosed with major deppresive disorder and anxiety disorder. I am happy to share with you how it manifests with me. It comes on in a few different forms. At times, the trigger is very obvious, other times not. When the trigger is obvious, I always go straight into flight or fight mode. I will literally get up and run. I have run out of peoples houses, out of public places, restaraunts, whatever....when I run, I am able to fight off the panic better. If I cant run and I have to "fight"...for instance if I am with my kids somewhere, or even home with them, then its really tough. Usually ends up with very unhealthy coping mechanisms to relieve the panic.

Sometimes, the anxiety hits me out of nowhere and I have no idea what or if there was a trigger. It can happen in diffeent ways. Sometime my heart just starts pounding and I cant control my breathing or I start talking really fast and cant control my thoughts. Sometines it ends up in a full blown panic attack. One time I hyperventilated and passed out and my husband had to call 911

Other times, I just have this feeling of dread and fear in my lower stomach like something horrible is going to happen and sonetimes it rises up to my chest and either makes me vomit or go into panic. Or sometines it just sits there ALL day.

It can also manifest in less obvious ways that I have learned are also anxiety. Its like a fear or dread of just proceeding with my day...of having to see people, socialize, get things done, ect....normal things people do everyday, overwhelms me to the point of being afraid to get out of my bed in the morning.

I also clench my teeth terribly at night to the point of daily headaches.

I am sorry you are struggling with this. Anxiety is horrible... But it can be managed in several different ways...I am slowly getting better at managing it. I hope this was helpful.

I live anxiety. It manifests both physically and emotionally.

So physically it can be a body memory (fear coming up) but many times it is when my heart rate will pick up on it's own or my thyroid messing up my "electricity" (heart beats, etc) My grandfather had a similar condition and told me as I was growing up that it was okay and not to worry because people with anxiety live longer. Probably not true, but he lived until his mid 90s... So whatever I'll go with it!

Emotionally it comes up with memories, PTSD, thoughts, etc.

No matter how my anxiety starts, it pretty much feels the same. My experience is so hard to explain... I just feel "fast" as if I have little balls of energy running all around me, my personal space gets huge (anyone within even 20ft of me I just get more tense) and any one I know around me I am hyper attuned to them and very internally tentative. My heart rate is quick and my thoughts are very fast and succinct (this works great for when I'm under pressure - I can't write unless I'm in a state of at least some anxiety). If it's mild I will feel a restless discomfort and a need to move/walk (this is usually as far as my physical anxiety will go). Emotionally caused I will start to fear for my life, need to be alone, shake, my thoughts start streaming down like a waterfall of 5 things at once. I feel like I'm playing hide and go seek and the seeker is walking right past where I am.

I didn't realize how much it impacts my life until I took inventory of some of my habits in therapy. I go out of my way to avoid a need for phone conversation, I have nightmares or night terrors and constsntly use my pets and their reactions to figure out if things ARE unsafe or I'm just feeling unsafe... Worst is I'm not really involved in my life - sometimes my mind is elsewhere or it causes me to dissociate or... I'm feeling so afraid and "fast" that I'm calming myself on the inside so I can maintain the outside and I'm therefore missing everything Frowner Sometimes suicidal feelings or urges will come up, I'll get insomnia, I don't recognize myself in the mirror and get very body conscious, I tap my chest. It prevents me at times from shopping in the same grocery isle as someone else, stop me from entering stores with no customers inside or loud music, prevents me from asking for what I want, keeps me in bad situations, blocks confidence and worth... It's no fun at all. I have physics symptoms too like site muscles, extreme fatigue, etc.

I've learned to take the energy and move it in to other things sometimes. It's always in the background though. I get triggered when my body relaxes sometimes (even when I'm falling asleep so I take medication for that, too). I'm not sure what I would feel like if I didn't have at least a 2/10 level of anxiety on all the time. I think I manage it well, it's really only the bad storms or full panic attacks that I still struggle with.

Not sure if that helps... People often describe me as a nervous cat. Untrusting, skittish, but sometimes relaxed... But cats are almost always sleeping "with one eye open" and ready to scurry at any time.
I have horrible eczema that is triggered by anxiety. I tend to handle crisis situations really well. I don't crumble, no emotion, move through what tasks need to be done. I don't recognize the anxiety in my body. But then a day or so later the eczema outbreak will begin. I suffered horribly through every finals week in college and high school. Things had subsided for awhile and then I noticed the eczema was roaring back and realised it was tied to taking on the caregiver role for mom.

I'm working on ways to try to move the anxiety out through my body so I don't have to suffer with the horrible rash but so far the only thing that is helping is the drug Lexapro.

it's interesting to read all of your thoughts and experiences with anxiety.

welcome, (((LTB))) and thanks for sharing! alas, no, i don't speak Spanish outside of a handful of words. although I can understand it, i don't relate too much with your "brand" of anxiety, but i do appreciate you sharing your experiences and find it interesting to see how it affects people differently.

(((kmay))) it's good to see you posting again. I also run when anxious, but i run inside of myself and hide in order to avoid any kind of confrontation or vulnerability.

Worst is I'm not really involved in my life - sometimes my mind is elsewhere or it causes me to dissociate or... I'm feeling so afraid and "fast" that I'm calming myself on the inside so I can maintain the outside and I'm therefore missing everything

i most relate with your brand of anxiety, (((cat))) ... the high energy and the huge personal space. but the quote above is what popped out for me. I think i very often am anxious and just never really knew it, maybe just because i'm so used to feeling that way that i think it's normal and how everybody else feels. in general, for me it's a very spacey feeling, almost all the time, like my head isn't really connected with my body which i wonder if that's a mild form of dissociation. also, always feeling like everything i do is automatic pilot. I Live my life largely by always being in motion ... i have to always be doing something and can't seem to ever really slow down and be in touch with what's going on around me or inside of me. i live inside my head, if that makes any sense to anybody.

and this:
prevents me from asking for what I want, keeps me in bad situations, blocks confidence and worth
i could have written that. and i get the "site" muscle pains (very sharp, stabbing pains at various locations on my body). I guess i never made the connection with anxiety, but it makes sense to me, and now i'll be more aware when it's happening to see if i can tie it to anxiety. thanks for sharing your experiences, and i'm glad to hear that you manage it well.

(((Jillann))), i also am an exzema sufferer! it's awful, isn't it? again, i would never have even considered that it was tied in to my anxiety, so I'll be more aware of it when it happens. for me it's my hands and wrists and the arches of my feet and the outside of my ankles. it is maddening! i'm sorry to hear you suffer from this as well. Thanks for sharing your experience. I just might have to check into Lexapro!

thanks again for sharing your thoughts and experiences, everybody!

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