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There’s this thing that’s plaguing our society. It affects people of all ages but today we’re focusing on how anxiety affects us. This thing causes people to second-guess themselves, feel extremely nervous about something they shouldn’t be that nervous about, Shortness of breath, not being able to talk to people out of fear, uncontrollable sweating etc. If you don’t know, yet I’m talking about anxiety. Anxiety is a topic near and dear to my heart because it’s something I’ve been going through almost all my life. It’s less now than it uses to be but I still go through it nevertheless.

It’s an issue and while yes have we’ve all dealt with anxiety before, for many people like myself it’s more intensified. It’s when all the factors I listed earlier comes into play. It isn’t “oh shit I got my first day of school tomorrow and I’m nervous which causes me to have butterflies in my stomach anxiety. It’s more like “oh shit, I gotta go in tomorrow, I’m feeling ill-prepared even though I’m prepared, thinking what if they don’t like me, so I spend all night thinking negatively about it wake up the next day still thinking about it, sweating so much that you feel like you just lost 30 pounds, negative visioning outcomes all day that it starts to eat at you anxiety. See the difference, on the one hand, we have it’s a normal nervous feeling and on the other, it’s a world is ending feeling. For some the description that I explained might sound like an over exaggeration but trust me it’s not, I’ve been there done that before.

There are times when Anxiety can take over a person. The Descriptions I gave early are signs of a possible anxiety attack. Anxiety attacks are when Anxiety overwhelms you and effects your health. I googled “anxiety attacks,” and the list of symptoms are, Shortness of breath, sweating and trembling, a choking sensation, chest pain, nausea, dizziness, fear of losing your mind, feeling hopeless and so on and so on. Doesn’t sound fun right? I then continued my search on google but this time searched up “people’s first-hand anxiety experience” and came across this article/blog post by a woman in the United Kingdom name Sarah. She talked about here anxiety attack 15 years before 2014 (which was the year the article was posted). She had just lost her friend to cancer and her partner had just left her just weeks after having their first child. She was standing on a queue ( which is what the call a line over there. ) and suddenly she just went hazy. She described the moment saying “ She can see people but couldn’t understand them, everything seemed distant, her heart felt like it was going to explode. She felt like she was going to die. Her friend broke down in tears because she didn’t know what to do herself. They ended up leaving and things got somewhat better. She ended up going to the hospital and getting counseling. She suffered from social anxiety. Social anxiety is when just being around other people or talking to them causes you to have an anxiety attack. It’s a form of anxiety and one of many alongside Generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD), Agoraphobia, Phobias, Post Traumatic stress disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

It’s rough I mean I don’t know, and it truly affects people in a bad way. I still remember my first and most extreme anxiety attack, it happened years ago, during the start of my freshman year of high school I hated everything about the school, the teachers, I didn’t know anybody, pretty much the school wasn’t what I expected and I hated it. I wanted to transfer asap. Up until that day my therapist said she would help me move, we had been working diligently to make that happen. Well on this day my therapist called me and told me that there was nothing We can do anymore I was going to have to suffer through and transfer before my sophomore year. Mind you this was in November, so I had about eight more months of suffering to go. That sounded horrible at the time and I’ll never forget it. I was in Starbucks and I started to feel like I couldn’t breathe, I was sweating like crazy, my heart was pounding, I didn’t know what was happening I never had a panic attack before, I legit thought I was going to pass out or something. I called my therapist she told me to take deep breaths it’s only thoughts that are in my head and helped me through it. I would tell you all the things she did, but unfortunately, I forgot them. Anyways pretty much all the symptoms you read earlier are real facts. I can confirm them. Reading them off I was like yup uh huh yeah, right, that’s true, yup true. It isn’t fun. I always have suffered from anxiety and still do, during my teen years it was the worse and I think I know why. Unfortunately, it had to do with my environment, I was in a school where my classmates were the same every single year I would never get in trouble as my teacher would let me do whatever I wanted, so when things weren’t the same in high school that’s when my anxiety to grow. I believe that because of how I was treated in middle school it led to me having social anxiety.

While I believe social anxiety affected by our environment, I think anxiety, in general, is influenced by our environment, especially in our youth. In a New York Times article, I read there was this guy named Jake very likable guy who was doing it all three advanced placement classes, cross country track team, Traveling to United Nations Conferences, he was doing it all. Everybody was proud of him, but there were fears that he was running 150 mph into a brick wall. Unfortunately, their fears came true one day as Jake suddenly wasn’t being himself, he began physical unhealthy having headaches, he became mentally sick becoming extremely on edge and nervous about things it was affecting him big time. His parents grew worried and took him to the hospital. At the hospital, it was revealed he was suffering from extreme anxiety. He was overwhelmed with stuff that was going on in his life and was driven out of fear of letting people down and failure. I know that feeling because I suffer from that. Notice that I didn’t say suffered I said suffer because even though my anxiety is less than it uses to be, a source of the little of my anxiety these days are me feeling overwhelmed and not wanting to let people down. I think this is a common feeling but mostly from our youth. Especially college students. In 1985 the higher education research center at UCLA asked students, incoming freshmen if they felt overwhelmed. 18% said they did, in 2010 the number surged to 29% than last year 41% and to be honest I bet the number is growing. It’s causing people to suffer from anxiety and for some it’s causing them to panic. Some, unfortunately, handle it better than others. Some just power through it and hang with there friends for support. Some can’t handle it and do extreme stuff like harming themselves, harm their environment, grow a little insane and unfortunately kill themselves. It’s sad to see and hear about it, but it happens. It always hits me because I always thought that could have been me. I could have been that person who harmed themselves, but I wasn’t. I feel blessed for that.

I tackled my problem. One of my solutions is I think people should address it early on. Don’t let it grow. Go to therapy or counseling. I advise everybody to go to therapy or counseling all the time. Don’t fear that you might be looked at as weird or crazy because you go to treatment. Go. Therapy has genuinely changed my life for the better. I went at an earlier age and am a way better person now because of it. If you feel any anxiety don’t be afraid to ask for help, some people are. And you shouldn’t be. I believe it should be talked about more, but it isn’t.  Anxiety is a real problem. I was feeling some anxiety before this speech, but I feel like it’s important to inform about anxiety. Even though we all go through it, It’s a problem for many and should be recognized more. It’s a problem.

What do you think?

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