Anxiety is a sneaky little bastard who happens to destroy you not only mentally but also physically.
Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time I was 18 years old and suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and hypochondria. After counting moles on my body, reading various articles about skin cancer and dragging myself to few dermatologists I decided it was time to find something new in my body to focus on. My breasts: ta- dah !!! I found something in my breast… oh God… it was time to shift my attention to the terrifying breast cancer. The same process repeated itself: various articles, sick feeling in my throat, checking my breasts few times a day to feel the lumps… I was convinced I had few tumours… but that time was different because I had also started experiencing headaches, chest, neck, breasts and back pains…that was it… My anxiety made a decision for me… I was dying. I rushed myself to A&E in order to be examined, not only that… I demanded to be examined and I was met with ridicule. I know now that it wasn’t appropriate of doctors to make me feel like a complete and deluded freak. They didn’t show any understanding for a person who was obviously and visibly showing signs of being in poor mental health. Guess what… I was utterly ashamed of myself but it also felt like a wake up call. I sobered up immediately and told me self- ‘ What are you doing to yourself?!’ I still made an appointment to have my breasts examined- everything was fine.
The whole situation taught me an important lesson. It taught me that I was using my body as a shield to protect myself from underlying mental problems I had struggled with since childhood. I was desperately looking for a reassurance from strangers because I thought once they tell me that I’m ok all of my issues will dissapear. I had put my body under a lot of stress to the point that I was experiencing physical symptoms, such as, pain, dizziness and nausea.
Instead of focusing on my body I should have gone and seek mental help from the psychologist or psychiatrist. Please, if you are are in a similar position today don’t waste your time and contact mental help team to get support you need.