I figured a good time to write about what an anxiety attack feels like is well, during one.
This one is mild
My anxiety is mostly unpredictable but when it comes to college I know exactly when one is going to happen- before an exam (cliché I know).
So the current situation: It’s getting down to the last month of my last semester as an undergraduate. There are no easy classes this semester and there aren’t many ways around work. I am anxious everyday, all day over this. In particular, nights before exams are extra taunting. The night before my exam this week I woke up in a panicking sweat around 5 am the morning of. I have studied as much as my mental state was going to allow me but my fear of the exam is overwhelming. As I laid in bed I thought about taking my exam in this mental state. Ideas such as; my colleagues are going to hear my heavy breathing while I take the exam and it’s going to distract them/ my professor is going to look at me knowing I’m not as prepared as I could be/ I’m going to get a random neck spasm and they’re going to think there is something is wrong with me/ I don’t have enough time to get ready so when I walk in late they’re all going to stare at me.. the list goes on. I realize a lot of this is absurd but when you’re suffering from this type of anxiety, everything is rational.
I e-mailed my professor with a quick excuse and laid in bed for 8 more hours in a calm but panic state.
I didn’t e-mail the professor to get extra time to study as most people would accuse me of. I don’t study any more than I already have if a make-up is allowed. That’s not what people suffering from a mental health disorder to. Also, using mental health as a reason to miss an exam isn’t something people who suffer from mental health disorders actually like to do. We don’t like flaunting our imprefections so before you judge someone try to walk a mile in their shoes, or just don’t sleep for an entire night and you’ll get a better understanding.
The current situation: I am strung up on caffeine sitting at a table in the science center. Though physically I look like a typical sleep-deprived college student, my brain is going 100mph and I can’t keep my thoughts straight. Striking up conversations this morning just leads me to rants because I am so uncontrollably hyper. I am mildly sweating with a minor headache and I can barely sit still or keep a normal breathing rate. My chest has become red and irritated from scratching it and my jaw is sore from how tightly I am clenching it.
I guess it’s kind of like the feeling you get when you were younger while you played hide-and-go-seek. You know that feeling of fear/paranoia/excitement, ya those all at once.
I realize that there are anti-depressants that help with anxiety but I also realize there are many other methods that have helped me calm down in the past- writing being one of them.
I’ve never written anything during a anxious state. It’s actually kind of humors, I feel as though I’m talking to myself.
* Take some time to look up Katie Joy Crawford, the image attached above is her work: My Anxious Heart
On that note, happy Wednesday!