Disclaimer: Trying to explain what anxiety feels like to somebody who has never experienced it is like trying to describe the taste of water.
Everyone has anxiety of some sort. It’s considered normal to feel anxious before taking a test or going in for a job interview. But when you’re diagnosed with generalized anxiety with panic disorder it takes anxiety to another level. Anxiety becomes a problem when it starts to affect your day to day life. Or in my case when It causes me to suddenly lose consciousness from over stimulation of my senses. The first time I fainted was on stage in the second grade at my chorus rehearsal. I didn’t even know what the word anxiety meant. I had a variety of tests done and no doctor could quite explain why exactly this was happening to me. It’s embarrassing really, because since the age of 8 I have been passing out without warning. Mind you, I am now 22 years old. Every time I think I have this under control I end up in another situation that causes me to faint.Yeah, not exactly the kind of thing you want to tell somebody when you first meet them. But, better they be prepared incase ya know? These episodes are usually followed by nausea, vomiting, and a whole lot of fear. Over time I have gotten a little more experienced about these episodes, and I’ve since learned the signs that one is coming. How do I feel when this is happening to me? Well, terrified would be an understatement. I can feel my body shutting down and it shakes me up every single time. I know when its over I’ll wake up. “But what if you don’t?” My conscious is screaming in my head. While it is all phycological its far beyond my control. The second I acknowledge its happening it gets even worse. Allow me to walk you through what doctors say is the “WORST type of anxiety”…
Its always out of the blue when I least expect it. I start to feel nauseous. This is then followed by heat flashes starting in my head and traveling down to my feet in a wave. This will happen simultaneously as my senses begin to over stimulate. The senses are the worst part. Every single noise sounds so much louder than it actually is. The smells are stronger. So strong I can hardly breath. And everyone around asking me if I’m ok is enough to send me to the bathroom. The feeling of my boyfriends hand rubbing my shoulders to “relax me” is making me want to vomit. I begin to have an increased awareness of my heartbeat and this is then followed by the worst of it… Syncope. More commonly known as fainting. I drop to the ground wherever I might be. The floor of a bathroom stall, a wet grassy field, the passenger seat of a car, a boardwalk, an airplane, a shower… You name it. I’ve probably fainted there.
I know I’m not the only person out there who suffers with anxiety. But I do know that I’m one of few who spirals out of control and passes out whenever it gets to be too much. Just typing this blog post makes me nervous. But people have overcome this before. This can’t be the rest of my life. I hope that one day it’s all just a memory.
“This too shall pass.”