Have you ever woke up in the morning, and before your feet ever hit the floor, you have a feeling of ‘doom & gloom’ (as I call it) for no reason what so ever? Have you ever laid in bed at night and couldn’t go to sleep because you mind would not shut off? You lay there and worry about you daughter leaving home and starting college next week. The next thing you know, some creep has followed her home and beat and raped her.
The worry of her leaving for college and being on her own is real, but your mind has created the later part and expected the very worse to happen. Now you will never get to sleep, because your thoughts begin to race and you can’t shut them off. If so, you may suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Worrying about your children leaving home and going off to college is normal. When your thoughts obsess on your worries and you exaggerate them and they start disrupting your life, that is not normal. Generalize Anxiety Disorder (also know as GAD) can disrupt your life in many ways. I know because I have been suffering from it for some time now.
Before I was diagnosed with GAD, I wondered what was wrong with me? Why could I not just relax? There are times when nothing is going on in my life that should cause me to feel this way. I always feel uptight and unable to truly relax, and waiting for the ball to drop. I haven’t always been this way, and it is very frustrating for me!
If you have GAD or know someone that has GAD, have you every said to yourself or them “just snap out of it, don’t worry”. That’s easier said that done for someone who has it. Let’s say that your husband just got laid off work and you are worried about how you all are going to pay for your daughter to go to college. She is 10 and still has 7 or 8 years before she will go to college.
It is normal for you to be concerned and worry some, but you know that it will be alright in the long run, after all that is years away from now. You don’t obsess on it to where it controls your life and your every waking thought. To someone with GAD they may think about it day and night, they can’t control their thoughts or shut them off. The worry takes on a life of it’s own and consumes everything they do.
This thought pattern may disrupt their lives. They obsess about it, it causes them to not be able to sleep or stay asleep. Those thoughts & worries disrupt their home life and their productivity at work. They can’t concentrate on anything for very long. This is not considered normal worry.
Living with General Anxiety Disorder is not easy at times. I jump at the slightest noise. My husband will joke and ask me, “are you doing something you are not supposed to be doing”? Of course I give him one of those ‘you know where you can go’ looks! I also am more irritable than I used to be, which leads to guilt because I shouldn’t be so irritable and shouldn’t let this thing control my life!
There are some steps that you can take to get hold of your ‘disorder’ or at least help you to better cope. Here are some things that usually help me.
- Take A Walk- Taking a walk outside, breathing in the air, looking at the trees and sun on my face ALWAYS makes me feel more relaxed.
- Read A Really Good Book- I have always loved to read. Reading a really good book ‘usually’ takes my mind off the ‘real’world, and for that period of time I am somewhere else.
- Call & Talk To Someone Special To You- You would want to talk to someone who makes you feel good, someone you have a bond with, someone that loves you no matter what! In this case I usually always call my daughter. She is always so honest and has a genuine ‘sunshine’ personality. I sometimes call my grandmother and she always knows the right thing to say to me. They make me smile and ‘all is well with the world,’ if only for a short while.
- Deep Breathing- A friend show me this relaxation technique. Sit up straight with you back against a the back of the chair. Place you hands on your lap, with palms up. Take a deep breath through you nose, counting to 15-20. Then exhale through your mouth slowly. Do this 10 times or so. I guarantee you this will calm and relax you.
If you have GAD, you know that some days are better that others. Plus if you have another mental illness on top of the GAD it only seems to magnify and you can feel trapped. There are medications you can take for GAD that will make you feel better or may not. That is something you can talk with to your doctor.
Remember that your disorder is nothing to be ashamed of! You can control your thought pattern with a little practice. Don’t give up and be sure to talk with your friends and family and I am sure that they will to understand. It would probably not be a good idea to talk with someone that is a big worrier also. This could make the situation worse. I know at times my husband thinks I am just bitching about things, but it really stems from fear and anger within myself.
What do you do to try to relax when the anxiety takes hold of you? Does it help & for how long?
Never Give Up!