What is anxiety? How do you know if you have anxiety? Have you personally overcome it?
December 3, 2010 7:25 AM Subscribe
What is anxiety? How do you know when you're anxious? I’d like to read descriptions of what it feels like to be chronically anxious or hear how you know when you yourself are experiencing higher levels. I’d also like to know how you take care of yourself when it comes up. Have you dealt with it and overcome it? Books or your own descriptions are very welcome.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (41 answers total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
To explain more by comparison, I have a solid understanding of depression. I fell into serious depression once in my life, so I know what it feels like and what I tend to do. I can recognize the heavy feelings in my body, my uptick in internet usage, or a desire to hide out rather than socialize. When that happens, I have self-care steps to take (eat healthy, avoid alcohol and sugar, take more walks, keep a more regular sleep schedule, reduce expectations on myself, and so on, and if those didn’t work, I’d go see someone). I also know what very serious depression looks like, so if I were to rapidly become very depressed, I think I'd recognize the symptoms and get help.
I would like to have the same understanding of anxiety. I’ve started to suspect it might be a chronic part of my life at moderate level. It may have risen and fallen over time without me having the self-awareness to notice "this is anxiety." But I don’t have panic attacks or phobias, so I don’t know if what I have is “anxiety” or just strong versions of “wanting to do a good job” and “not wanting to offend people.” Can you describe what it feels like to you or how you recognize it in yourself? Is there some book that describes what it feels like (similar to The Noonday Demon about depression)?
Are there self-help methods that they recommend? When it begins to increase in your life, what do you do? I’ve been so impressed with people’s willingness to share their stories of overcoming depression, and I’d love to hear stories about overcoming anxiety. Thanks for any and all information, testimonials, and suggestions.