"We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down."
Anxiety is one of the largest growing diagnoses in mental health today. It is often misdiagnosed as depression, attention problems, anger issues or simply being "stressed out." While all of those symptoms can also be related to anxiety, they don't help us understand the entire picture. Anxiety can take many forms.
Some symptoms people don't recognize easily are:
feeling irritable or edgy for no clear reason
intrusive thoughts: unpleasant thoughts or images that you can get out of your head
checking: unpleasant thoughts or worry you might or might not have done something, despite you've confirmed it. For example: checking lights, locks, stoves, etc. multiple times.
avoiding social situations for fear people might judge you or you will stick out
nightmares, inability to sleep
jumping or being startled at loud noises
always having to control your environment (where you sit, who you see, what people expect of you) to avoid feeling anxious
These are just some of the indicators anxiety might be ruling your life. Anxiety forces us to control our world to avoid it. As a result we interact with others less, we avoid new things, we feel stuck, and our world becomes very small. I know this not only because of my training but also because I lived it.
The good news is that there is hope, we can learn to change our habits and get our of our comfort zones. I've done it and so can you.