It took me years to realize that the symptoms that followed me in day-to-day life were from a cocktail of anxiety and depression. The depression was more obvious- it feels like nothing else. The anxiety, on the other hand, can produce symptoms that are common in many other ailments. My main symptoms, for example, were nausea, a racing heart, and trouble breathing. I went to several doctors, I had a scope done a few days before my 14th birthday to check for intestinal abnormalities, and I was finally given a diagnosis of acid reflux and asthma. I was put on medication which, unsurprisingly, did nothing. None of my doctors connected the dots. I have a history of anxiety and mental illness in my family, and the symptoms only bothered me before and during school.
I guess what I’m saying is that there are people out there with symptoms just like mine who don’t realize they have anxiety, and therefore can’t get the help they need. It’s not always obvious. There’s also not always a trigger, and it can appear out of nowhere. I figured out my diagnosis myself, and all of a sudden my constant fidgeting and restless mind made sense to me. I stopped taking my acid reflux medication and using my inhaler, and instead focused on bettering my way of thinking and the way I interact with people, since my anxiety is mostly social.
Especially in my case, where I’ve had persistent anxious thoughts throughout my entire childhood, it can be hard to tell when it’s developed into a full-blown disorder. The symptoms that anxiety brings don’t always make sense if you’re trying to find a physical cause, and the same mistake can be made by doctors. Some common physical symptoms of anxiety can be: nausea, shaking, sweating, rapid heartbeat, random crying, and insomnia. You can experience all of them or just a few, and they can be caused by a trigger or come from out of nowhere. Either way, if you believe you have an anxiety disorder and you haven’t already talked to a doctor, do that. I made the mistake of avoiding it, and I didn’t realize what tremendous benefits could come from the right balance of therapy and medication. Anxiety is very treatable, and it will get better.