Earlier this year we reported that around 15.8 million days of work were lost in 2016 due to mental illness – both pre-existing conditions and situational disorders such as stress and anxiety.
Most people will report that they’ve felt anxious at various points in their lives – before a job interview, when your to-do list is out of control, when you’re massively in the red.
But are those episodes of feeling stressed and anxious really the same as living in a constant state of anxiousness? What is it really like to live with anxiety on an everyday basis?
To try to clear up the confusion beauty vlogger and makeup artist Brittany Nichole Morefield has penned a powerful and personal post about how it really feels to have anxiety. And why it isn’t always what it seems.
Sharing a candid image of her legs in the bath to Facebook, Brittany also took the opportunity to open up about her own anxiety battle.
“Anxiety isn’t just having a hard time catching your breath. Anxiety is waking up at 3 am from a dead sleep because your heart is racing,” she wrote.
“Anxiety is breaking out in a rash for no reason. Anxiety is stressing over things that may or my not be real. Anxiety is questioning your faith, how could my creator allow me to feel this way!? Anxiety is calling your sister 3 hours before she gets up for work, in hopes she’ll answer so you can get your mind off the attack.”
“Anxiety is a 2 am shower. Anxiety is your mood changing in a matter of minutes. Anxiety is uncontrollable shaking and twitching. Anxiety is crying, real and painful tears. Anxiety is nausea. Anxiety is crippling. Anxiety is dark.”
Brittany goes on to list some further examples of how living with anxiety feels before going on to explain that people who are suffering from anxiety shouldn’t blame themselves.
“Your feelings matter. Just because you’re bothered by something others aren’t, it doesn’t make you crazy or worthless. Some of the most successful people in life have anxiety. This is not your fault. This is not the end. You are strong. You are intelligent. You are brave. You are worthy,” she wrote.
She ends her empowering post by urging others with anxiety to speak up about what they are going through.
“If you ever need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’ll never ever be upset if you make me your 2 am phone call.”
Although the post was originally shared back in the summer, it has recently gone viral thanks to being shared by some high-profile sufferers of anxiety. Since posting Brittany’s inspiring monologue has been shared more than 418K times and received over 58K comments thanking her for her candid take on the mental health disorder.
“I battle with these things every day of my life and still fill like no one gets me,” one Facebook user wrote.
“I suffer from Anxiety it’s not fun and games like some people think,” another added. “It’s frightening. Not understanding why you are the way you are while others are enjoying life.”
“Oh my. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting that out there. It is a demon that will ruin your life and most of your friendships. Always excuse after excuse after excuse. You described it perfectly,” yet another user wrote.
According to the mental health charity Mind: “Anxiety is what we feel when we are worried, tense or afraid – particularly about things that are about to happen, or which we think could happen in the future. Anxiety is a natural human response when we perceive that we are under threat. It can be experienced through our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations.”
They go on to say that anxiety can become a mental health problem if it impacts on your ability to live your life as fully as you want to. For example, if:
your feelings of anxiety are very strong or last for a long time
your fears or worries are out of proportion to the situation
you avoid situations that might cause you to feel anxious
your worries feel very distressing or are hard to control
you regularly experience symptoms of anxiety, which could include panic attacks
you find it hard to go about your everyday life or do things you enjoy.
If you’re feeling more anxious than normal visit your GP or contact the MIND helpline 0300 123 3393, email email@example.com or Text: 86463
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