The many faces of anxiety Pt1

Hi I’m Tahiyya and I have anxiety!

Before working in the mental health field the closest I got to knowing what anxiety was is when my granny would talk about taking her nerve pills. Nerve pills. I didn’t know what nerve pills were. I assumed it was for her nerves in her body. Little did I know it was for being nervous. Anxiety.

My granny didn’t appear nervous. As a matter of fact she was very strong. She was quick with the tongue and didn’t take no junk. My granny never showed that she was worried about anything.  She slept good at night and go up early the next morning with the chickens. My granny sat on the porch and watched the people and enjoyed her fresh air. If she wasn’t on the porch she was watching the news or The Andy Griffith Show. Granny didn’t look like she had anxiety. Silent Sufferer.

Granny’s story is just one of many when it comes to the faces of anxiety.  In the older generation many took nerve pills which were actually anxiety medication. The older generation kept their worries to themselves because that is what they were taught to do by their parents. In doing so they were able to walk around as if nothing was worrying them. You would often hear the saying, “I’m going to leave it in God’s hands”. However you would hear your grandma (and sometimes Grandpa) praying every night over the same thing aka worry.

Let’s look at other faces of anxiety.

Perfectionist. Always busy trying to make things look good out of fear of rejection. Unable to sleep at night as your thoughts are consumed with plans for the next day, what you forgot to do that day, who is going to be upset, how you could have said this or said that, what you are going to do tomorrow, and much much more. You panic at the thought of not being in control because if you don’t have control it won’t be “perfect”. When you wake up in the morning everything is in “perfect” place from hair, makeup, clothes, and smile. Yet inside you are consumed with overthinking, overanalyzing, and rumination of thoughts.

Overachiever. The overachiever is sometimes paired with the perfectionist characteristics. Always trying to outdo what you have done previously. Looking for ways to achieve more in life, love, health, status, finance, or some part of life just to get the satisfaction or approval from others and/or self.  Your thoughts are consumed with achieving more, doing more, succeeding more and being better; getting it right for the people’s admiration. You thrive off feeling as if you are in control of your success or failures. Yet you look calm and collected. You don’t look like you are anxious. Again this is another face of anxiety; high functioning anxiety. Think of Olivia Pope

Worry Warrior. You look worried even if there’s nothing to worry about. You look nervous even when the environment is stable. Your sleep is filled with things to worry about even when a threat has not been preceived. Your conversations is about worrying and not feeling confident. You are hypervigilant. You hide from success and failure because you worry about the outcome of both. Sometimes you are on “nerve pills” just to calm down the thoughts of worry that is in your head. Another face of anxiety.

Always angry (irritable). You go to bed angry. You get up angry. You don’t want to be bothered so you either isolate yourself through being mean or physically remove yourself from others. Your thoughts are all over the place with worry and assumed thoughts of what others think of you. Heck sometimes these thoughts are of what you think of yourself. When you return to your center, it is filled with anger. The anger masks the anxiety that lives within you; the fear of outcomes that you have no control over. The fear is deep because anger plays the protector. Another face of anxiety.

The indecisive one. You are afraid to make decisions because you worry that it may not be the right decision. You are always looking for cues as to which way you should go with your decision. You fear that if you make the wrong decision people will reject you therefore you walk on eggshells when it comes to decisions.

The phobia one. Certain events, items, people, places trigger the anxiety in you. Your mind is consumed with being in the presence of the person, place, or thing. The thought of the person, place or thing puts you in a state of fear and often prevents you from living happily or from having fun.

These are the faces of anxiety. It is very important to understand which face or faces you wear in order to get the best treatment out there. Although similar techniques can be used to treat the different faces the techniques are tailored to the trigger that sets off the different types of anxiety. Check me out on FB Live on 5/11/2017 at 7pm to find out how to manage the symptoms!!!

Hey ladies! If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety please contact me at counseling.simplelife@gmail.com to schedule an appointment.

Don’t live close to Charlotte, NC then you can utilize teletherapy (North Carolina natives only).

If you are not local please check out these resources.

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders#1

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20024562

https://www.adaa.org

Until next time;

Tahiyya xo

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