(HS Insider)


Column: Living with anxiety

I look anxiously at the vehicle in front of me. Its loud engine grows louder and louder. I step inside and as the vehicle moves, it gains speed. It takes a long turn onto a large street where other vehicles race past. Without paying attention, my sweaty hands grip the door handle. My brain races…
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June 2, 2021

I look anxiously at the vehicle in front of me. Its loud engine grows louder and louder. I step inside and as the vehicle moves, it gains speed. It takes a long turn onto a large street where other vehicles race past. Without paying attention, my sweaty hands grip the door handle. My brain races with thoughts, alongside with the ever growing noise, the bumps on the road, the car next to us racing toward us.

Anxiety is a feeling of dread or fear. Many people have experienced it. It’s when you have a job interview and you’re scared of not getting it or making a fool of yourself. It’s when you lose your parents at the supermarket, or when you’re in a constant state of fear of the people and objects around you. This is usually the worst type of anxiety, and I live with it.

People have different lives, their personality, their wealth and their health affect every aspect of how they experience the world around them. Sadly, those with severe cases of anxiety don’t have much fun. I don’t have a very severe case of anxiety but it’s also not very little.

I’m always in constant fear, whether that be a constant fear of being in a car crash while driving in the freeway, or always having the worst possible social anxiety that makes me unable to ask for ketchup at my local McDonald’s.

A lot can cause anxiety too, from people to certain objects or places. Even traumatizing events can affect your anxiety. The list can go on. Someone might have anxiety over mountains, or being in an elevator, or to people or a certain person.

There’s also noises like a firework bang or just a really loud car that sounds like it’s getting closer and closer, louder and louder, and your body tenses up for an explosion or a crash, but it doesn’t. It never does, and you’re left there with that fear still stuck in your chest. 

It makes my experience with the world a lot harder, as I’m always in a constant state of fear and it really sucks. Some people might say that I’m overreacting, that It’s silly to think that I’ll be in a car crash every time I’m on the freeway, and that’s not the best thing to say to someone with a different view of the world.

Anxiety is a messy feeling, and often comes prancing toward you with depression. It makes your life miserable and worse if you have depression. You’re in a constant battle with yourself, saying that thinking these things are silly, but your anxiety makes you feel fear, makes you believe that it’s scary. It makes you feel like avoiding everything. That isn’t a good thing. 

As someone who suffers from both depression and anxiety, it’s not really the best feeling. I always get pushed down by my depression and terrorized by my anxiety. It’s like two bullies ganging up on you in school for your Lunchables.

A lot of people don’t understand that its not as easy as just becoming brave and facing your fears and anxieties. It’s more than that. If you suffer from depression you might bring yourself down, you might second guess yourself and say that you aren’t strong enough.

It could lead to people being really scared to even go outside if they have severe cases of anxiety. It’s a serious mental issue and many people can get told off as just being shy, or just being a “little girl”, being too much of a wuss. That could just make it worse for them. 

With anxiety comes panic attacks. A state where your body gets tense, you feel like you feel like you can’t breathe, you’re hyperventilating. Sometimes I feel like my throat gets stuck, my chest feels heavy and it feels like I can’t breathe.

It’s like you’re sucked into a black void, and you feel it closing in onto you, you see no walls, but you feel your body pressing up against each other slowly, the air around you feels thick and you can’t breathe. A lot of people need help. Sometimes they can’t tell anybody, sometimes they’re scared, sometimes they don’t have anybody and that can really affect people. 

When people have a lot of schoolwork or stress, it can build up quickly. I’m sure many people have experienced a time when they felt so anxious over something in school. Whether it was a really important project or just a lot of minor ones.

It can really affect how that person feels and experiences their school life. Their grades might drop and feel like they can’t anymore. That’s how I feel. It feels like you can’t do anything. You’re just in constant fear of that deadline. A lot of people aren’t so understanding, a lot of people are just scared. That’s why it’s important to acknowledge that and take it into consideration. 

If someone is feeling upset, you shouldn’t tease them about it. You should tell them they’re OK and if they don’t feel like doing anything that’s fine too. If someone at least tries to talk to someone who is upset, it’ll make that person feel better and validated. You shouldn’t make them feel different though. They just experience the world a bit differently from you.

There’s so many eyes, so many points of view, so many different thoughts and emotions. Everyone has their own version of this world. We just need to make sure we open our eyes and see those different worlds. 

I open my eyes and see that the car is just driving next to us, at a slightly faster speed, and then drives off to wherever it needs to go. My body is still tense and I take a deep breath. It feels like I’m trapped inside a black void but I feel walls closing in on me and the air around me disappearing. I try to snap out of it with music, as I start slowing breathing in and out.

This is my anxiety.