My first anxiety attack was in freshman year, when I was going to be late to class because I was trying to print out a paper for second period. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting down in my seat physically shaking. I tried to control my leg bouncing rapidly, but I could not. My brain was going on a frenzy. I did not feel like my body was present in the real world. I did not think the objects in front of me were tangible. I did not know how to breathe. I did not know how to control my shakiness. I did not know.
Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, unease, or worry that typically occurs in the absence of an imminent threat (Konkel). People who have been through traumatic events early in their childhood are more likely to experience anxiety later in life. Other factors also include genetics and the structure of their brain (Everyday Health). The majority of people that I have ran into mistaken anxiety with being stressed. However, they are not the same thing. Being stressed is when a student has too much homework to complete, or when an adult has to pay their taxes. Anxiety is when you are panicky, even over the tiniest of things. Whenever I have anxiety, sometimes I do not know where I am. My brain unplugs itself from the socket that is called life and there is a term for it.
Depersonalization Disorder is the experience of feeling unreal, detached, and often, unable to feel emotion (Anxiety UK). It shows how the nervous system can be over stimulated and overworked. With that much pressure being put on one’s self, it can lead to people experiencing physical sensations, emotions and thoughts acting together as one component (Anxiety United). How many of you have heard of this mental disorder? It is not commonly talked about, but yet it affects 6.4 million people in the United States(The Guardian). The person experiencing this sensation may describe life as being a dream. Your reality is their unreality.
What does anxiety have to do with depersonalization you may be asking yourself. Depersonalization is like a blanket for anxiety. Your brain keeps you disconnected from the real world, in order to protect you from the harm that is around you. It protects you from the dangers that lurk around the corner. How do you tell your parents that everything you see is not real to you? How can you enjoy your time with your friends while you are disconnected? It would be a difficult thing for them to process because they do not understand. You are the kid that hides under his blanket because he is terrified of the scary monster that is under his bed. You feel safe under the blanket because your mind has convinced you that it is comfortable. However, I am here to say that it is alright to feel this way. People should not be looked at differently because their brain processes life in another matter. It is not their fault that they have been through traumatic experience and this is the only way that their brain can handle it. For those who are suffering through this, you are not alone. We as a human race need to realize that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Do not be afraid to speak up about what you are going through because there is someone who knows how you feel.
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