How do we first suffer from anxiety?
Many people come to me and say ‘I don’t know why I feel like I do or how it started’, well I was pretty much in the dark myself as to why I seem to get worse and not better over the years, and why had these feelings had come on in the first place. Well in most cases it is because of a period of worry and stress, there are other causes, but in most cases this is the reason why. I receive emails from people bewildered to why they suddenly felt like this, I then ask ‘Have you been under a period of stress recently?’ They reply with, ‘Well my mother has been ill recently, my partner left me 6 months ago, my daughter has just left home and I lost my job a couple of months ago', not until I ask them do they realise the stress they have been under for the last few months, all this stress takes its toll on the body.
What I had was a nervous breakdown. This basically occurs because your body can only take so much. When you are going through a prolonged period of stress and worry, your body cannot cope so it sort of shuts down. It has reached breaking point and has said enough is enough. This may lead to feelings of anxiousness, feelings of panic, and the feeling of detachment. It does not matter what the symptoms are, it is your body saying “I can take no more". This is where the word breakdown comes in, because that is really all it is.
Now all your body is asking for is a rest and time to rejuvenate itself. Do we give it that time? No! Through no fault of our own, we then worry about these symptoms, worry we are going mad and wonder why we feel so tired and emotionless. This puts more worry and strain on our already tired body and we may begin to feel worse. We tell ourselves we must get a grip of this thing, so we fight it and worry even more. Well I think you can now see why these symptoms persist. This is exactly what I did for all those years while I suffered. In fact I was worrying because I had been ill so long and my days were filled with fighting and worry.
Through my understanding of anxiety and the knowledge I gained, I was able to reverse this habit of fighting and worry, I understood that what my body needed was a break, it did not need me having a daily battle with myself. One day I just accepted that, OK, this is me now. I actually understand why I feel like this. I need to give my mind and body a rest. I need to stop trying to make myself feel better, live alongside these feelings and stop constantly worrying about how I feel.