How does anxiety affect you?

Anxiety affects people in many different ways, most of which I have already covered. However I will split them into main sections.

1. Physically
As mentioned before, anxiety can affect your body. For example, sickness, headache, your stomach, sleep, you can become irritable, fidgety, eating less or eating more etc. It changes for everyone. However the problem here is, some of these symptoms represent illness. Even though from the outside people know you are not ill, you can't help but question it yourself. Therefore this increases your anxiety and often stops you from doing the things that you love.

2. Mentally
Anxiety is exhausting. From the minute you wake to the minute you go to sleep, it is with you. It gets extremely tiring. Because of your anxiety, it often means not being able to do the things that you love and want to achieve in life  It makes it extremely hard sometimes to even get out the door. For someone who really wants to strive and do well in life, this is extremely difficult as you feel life is passing you by where as everyone else is out having fun. This mental barrier often leads to depression. Depression and anxiety come hand in hand; if you are depressed you often become anxious and so forth. This again is so debilitating.

3. Relationships
Generally speaking people are really supportive, however there will be some arrogant people out there.
Support is great, however people get tired. Some members of my family don't always understand, and can lose their temper if I can't do something.  Other people will just brush it off and be a bit insensitive with their ways. Family and friends will get tired sometimes and arguments will occur just about your condition, but remember they still want to help you.

Mentally and physically, you do become limited with what you do, but with help you can get there. I'm slowly getting there. You can do it!

All the best,

Do people really understand?

These last few posts have been really closely linked, so I'm sorry if they're becoming boring. I promise there will be better posts on the way! I just want you to get the whole picture.

As mentioned in previous posts, some people may not understand and this is why there is stigma, discrimination and bullying.

The problem is, you will only know what it feels like if you experience it. However there are some great people out there such as your therapists, friends and family who will all try their best to understand and support you. However, you could have all of the information in the world on the topic, but still not fully understand.

The best thing you can do to help a person understand, is to try and explain it to them simply. You could use the flight or fight system and so on. Of course, they may still find this weird. After all, panicking about getting into a car may seem strange to another person. The way my mum explained it to my teachers is likening it to a phobia. When I had severe problems with getting into school, my mum explained that it's like having a phobia of spiders. You're scared of them, but you don't know why.

The many people who support you and love you will try their best to understand and even if they don't, they will still continue to support you. As you've read in the last post, there are a few family members and friends that don't understand and have said that to me, but are ever so kind. However, there are people that won't understand and may be quite ignorant about it. That is their problem. Until they've experienced it themselves, they will never know. They may make sweeping statements or get angry. Just ignore it and try to explain to them if they're willing. Not everybody is going to understand your situation, just like not every person understands every single maths problem.

I hope that this last post cleared everything up for you. Not everyone will understand your situation, but may still be supportive. Others may not understand and will just be ignorant. Try your best to explain. It's true that some won't be willing to listen, but most are! You need support throughout your recovery, not people who don't care. This is where you have to be a little bit selfish. Again, because people don't understand they may make a few hurtful comments, just ignore it and brush it off. Keep going!

How will people react to me?

In the last post we covered the idea of stigma and you would be correct in saying that stigma is a reaction of mental illness. However, in this blog post I want to talk about how people react to your mental illness journey. I've split this into two: People being fed up and people who don't think before they speak.

The people who are supporting you, love you and want to be there every step of the way. Unfortunately, we are all humans and we cannot sustain such support for a long period of time. We all need time to ourselves. What I've found is that occasionally friends and family will become tired, have a shorter temper and want time alone. Just because they are a bit fed up, doesn't mean they love you any less or care for you any less. Some have even indirectly said that they can't take it anymore. They will support you 100% of the time and just because they may be finding it hard to see you suffering, doesn't mean they have stopped supporting. They are just charging their batteries to help you further! Don't give up on yourself. 

Most, if not all have been supportive. However, there have been times when what has been said is possibly inconsiderate and insensitive.  When something inconsiderate is said, I just try to brush it off and argue that it's them who has the problem. For example, I'll speak about my problems, if it's topic of conversation. However when I told about my troubled thoughts, I got told that I wasn't the person to be expected to have these problems, and everything carried on as normal. I put it down to a lack of understanding that leads to a lack of compassion. I've also had comments such as 'it's your fault why you're not doing...(enter activity here)'.

You are not to blame for your situation and I cannot doubt the support I have. However, even though I have great support, people will sometimes say things that they don't think about before hand. However, I cannot just disregard them because of a few comments. They have helped me so much.

Remember, your friends and family have helped you through your hardest times, so don't forget to help them when they're feeling a bit fed up.

All the best!