Saturday, 25 August 2012

Anxiety

Do you remember what I said yesterday about depression being a co-morbid condition with anorexia? Well, anxiety is the same. Anxiety is not your everyday worry...it is much more. People with anxiety disorder get extremely nervous and worked up over what appears to be trivial things to others. They have real panic attacks, such as hyperventilating, sweating, heart palpitations, etc. But, in some cases, anxiety can manifest itself through other symptoms, such as simply being really worried about something.

I had extreme anxiety around food and weight. ED made me look at food and instantly begin to panic. Look at all that food! You are going to get fat. Imagine that food, sitting inside your gut, making you expand minute by minute. Making you look fat. Adding weight to your body. You must find a way not to eat. Whatever you do, whatever it takes, DO NOT EAT THE FOOD.

ED made me really anxious! I would look at the food and become afraid. I'd think of my weight and body and freak out. I wanted to run away. I'd look at the time and hear my stomach rumble - a sign that it wanted nourishment. And I would become anxious about how I would skip the next meal, how I would survive throughout the day if I did not eat anything. And, if I actually ate something - no matter how small it was - ED made me even more anxious.

You fool! You ate an apple! Why?! Could you not stand the stomach pains for the rest of the evening without stuffing your face? Think of how fat you will become! The weight that you will gain! You weakling!

And it went on and on. I could do nothing right. If I did not eat, I felt anxious because I was out of energy, but I had to appear strong in front of everyone else. If I ate, I had to withstand the torments of ED, criticizing me for eating. I was trapped.

Getting over anxiety is difficult. There are medications that can help, such as atypical neuropeptides (non addictive but slow-acting medications) or benzodiazepines (fast-acting but addictive medications). I never went on any of these, but I have heard great things about atypical neuropeptides helping those with anxiety disorder (note: I was never diagnosed with anxiety. If I had been, I would certainly have taken the medication to help me get better). In my case, simple but effective strategies helped me get over the worry. First, my mom taught me to take deep breaths. I know, I know. This sounds simple and funny. But, believe me, it WORKS. The next time you feel worried, stop and take a long deep breath. Stretch out your arms and expand your lungs. Yup, it sure feels good and relaxing!

Something I had to teach myself was to argue against ED, or to simply ignore him. If he was making me anxious before I ate, I distracted myself with homework, reading, watching a movie, etc. This way, I could drown out his voice. If he told me that I was going to gain weight and become fat, I made sure that I did not listen to his voice; rather, I kept myself busy with something at all times. Now, when I feel ED's voice getting louder and louder, I immediately get up and do something - anything. This keeps my mind far off from ED and immersed into something else.

Now, I can proudly say that my anxiety has decreased A LOT. Of course, there are things that I need to work on, like my worry before a test or each time I get weighed. But, it will take time.

One step at a time, I'm getting closer and closer to recovery. And if that means I have to keep busy all the time to shut ED out, I will do it.

12 comments:

  1. My daughter ,keep busy ,pray and think positive all helping you continuing recovery for you and your follwers

    My sunday prayers for you..

    Priest C P

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind words and support. I am very lucky and blessed to have your prayers on this Sunday!

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  2. Yes Marina this is my problem and not only making me fearful,panicky ,stopping eating but also affecting my school.I feel I have severe anxiety and may be depression and I agree with you ,I need go see my doctor and start medication even before I go to the program. I can not continue igoring my probles one after the other.
    Thank you for waking me up,helping motivate me to look for treatment after long years of denial and hiding my head in the sand ..
    Thanks again Love

    Anne

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    1. Anne, you are very brave and strong for going through this journey. I encourage you to seek help and get whatever treatment you possibly can. It will be hard - that I cannot lie about. But trust me, it is worth it. And as much as I never thought I'd say this...it DOES get easier. You have all my love and support!

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  3. Hi Marina
    My daughter is a worrier,she freaks out of every little inconvience.She makes abig deal of very little things.She yells and throws things even sometimes in my face.
    Even with your suggestion is helping her eating better now but I think she may have anxiety and I hope I can encourage her to go to doctor.
    I will print this blog and keep close to her.She made several comments before about you but never acknowledge she has a problem

    Thank you

    Thankful mother

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    1. Thank you! Please know that I am here all the time to help, answer questions, etc. Please try to bring her to the doctor - it may be hard to convince her, but just let her know that as a loving mom, you have the right to worry about her. What can go wrong? The worse thing that can happen is that there is no problem with her. It must be tough hearing her and seeing her do these things..but love her anyways. And get her the help she deserves.

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  4. Long ago ,I was diagosed with GAD that stands for generalized ,anxiety disorder.basically as you said you feel worry about every thing in a degree that way to much that it need be.Luckily the medication that used for depression helping my anxiety and I am using them and I still worry but I worry just enough to make me care about my health and do my work.My doctor explain to me this equation stress= worry may normal but if worry = 5 times stress .this is anxiety disorders and needs medication as if can affect your daily eating,sleeping ,focus and concentraion and distract you.
    I encourage your reader to treat anxiety as you said.

    I admire you highly for your talent writing and love to help others.

    Shady

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    1. Thank you Shady! And good for you for getting the help you need. I am familiar with GAD, so all I can say is that I applaud you for seeking treatment. You are very brave! Please continue to help yourself...and don't forget to keep praying for me!

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  5. This is the first time ,I know that anxiety can be dangerous and abnormal.people always saying the word but i think they do not know the real meaning.
    Thanks Marina for tackling this issue

    Sally

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    1. Thanks Sally! I am glad that this blog has helped you learn something! Please keeping reading, commenting, and praying for me!

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  6. Anxiety was my challenge to get to complete recovery .You are right RD hit you hard with fears that way beoynd imagination.I used to believe my Ed and ignore any body else and that was because of anxiety.I treated my anxeity by atypical neuroleptic and SSRI and also relaxation techniques and breathing technique.It took me long time to teach my nerves to calm down and my brain to ignore ED voices and dismiss his lies and believe the trustworthy figures as my family and my doctors.
    Now I am recovered and well and I wish you too complete recovery.
    I applaud you for taking steps a head of other victims by your blog.
    I as sure it is very helpful to many even for tjhose who recovered like me

    Recovered ED victim

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  7. Let me give a standing ovation for your mother who helped you with breathing relaxation.Is she a therapist??

    Jen

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