Anxiety is a simple word of 7 alphabets. But once it finds its place on the top of a doctors’ slip, this very word turns into a catalyst of unthinkable change. I was diagnosed with ‘Anxiety Disorder’ at the age of 11, and have learned how to cherish the teachings of this notorious source of knowledge over the years.
How did people react to it?
My anxiety was always very prominently visible to others. I wasn’t a carefree child before the diagnosis either, but everyone could see that I had started worrying about the smallest of things.
This drastic change was extremely worrisome for my family. They even took me to some renowned Psychiatrists with the hope of finding the right help for me. Unfortunately, none of their medicines helped.
In the meanwhile, I was losing my friends as well. I had started investing nearly all of my time in studying, reading or worrying about something or the other. This new behavior irritated them initially and then drove most of them away. Nevertheless, I will always be grateful to those friends of mine who were by my side through thick and thin!
Moreover, skepticism replaced the confidence that certain people had in me. I was no longer the bright student or the young girl who could make friends instantly. Neither was I the confident elocutionist, nor the occasional dramatist and certainly not the little dancer who had always been eager to go onstage and put her best foot forward.
My anxiety had turned me into nothing more than a fearful student struggling to ace in academics. The only force that drove me to work so hard was my fear of failing miserably.
How did I learn to handle my anxiety?
In the beginning, I used to let my anxiety take over me. The time which I could have used wisely was simply wasted in crying and worrying about what will happen next.
All the helplessness and agitation that I experienced had to be let out in one way or another. So, I decided to work immediately on the things that would make me worried. Moreover, those things that weren’t in my control slowly became the verses of my poetry.
What has anxiety taught me?
Living with this particular disorder has taught me some treasured life lessons. Some of them are:-
- People are a lot more than just their diagnosis: I was often teased, scolded and picked upon for getting anxious so easily. ‘Anxiety’ was also used as a nickname for me at times. However, I realized that it is just one part of me! My abilities, choices, qualities, imperfections, personality as well as the disorder combine to make me who I am today.
- People deserve to be understood, accepted and cared for: Learning how to accept myself with the disorder taught me how to be less judgemental of others as well. Every single person has a lot more to them than what I can see. Now, I try not to rush to conclusions about people. Rather, I try to gain a better understanding of them and see if I can be of any help.
- Imperfections aren’t unacceptable: Had I not encountered anxiety, I wouldn’t have even dreamt of writing poetry. Once I accepted that this condition was overwhelming for me, I got the courage to sort my thoughts out. Thus, a disorder and its therapy introduced me to a form of art that I treasure today.
- A disorder isn’t a sign of a weak personality: An anxiety disorder doesn’t signify that one is weak. It’s a psychological disorder that can happen to anyone. The right treatment can cure it as well. I’d rather say that it takes a lot of perseverance and optimism to fight such a problem every single day.
- Finally, don’t lose hope until the very end: I received the counseling I needed for getting better after many years. Nevertheless, it’s very important to cling to the hope of getting better irrespective of how long you have been struggling with your disorder for.
The diagnosis of a Psychological disorder doesn’t define you as a person. Furthermore, you can overcome this obstacle with the right kind of help from a mental health professional. If you know someone who is suffering from any disorder, please provide them with the help and support they require to win their battle for better mental health. Connect them with a counselor from Mind Solace to help them understand, accept, learn from, and get cured of their Psychological disorder.