Do you have anxiety so bad that you can’t work, talk, sleep, eat, or perform daily functions? Many people have bad anxiety including myself so bad that it makes concentrating on work nearly impossible. The only way to make it through life if you know you have anxiety is to force yourself to deal with symptoms.
I have a lot of empathy for other people that have anxiety disorders because I know how debilitating they can be. In some respects, I believe that having anxiety is more difficult to cope with than depression because anxiety can make you afraid of everything. Even with depression you can drag yourself to do things. With anxiety you may completely freeze up and be unable to get anything done – you are frozen.
There are still ways to work with your symptoms of anxiety and lead a productive life. Millions of people have anxiety problems, yet in most cases, they suck it up and continue dealing with life. You may have been through the ringer of medications (e.g. antidepressant roulette), you may have tried all the therapies in the book, and you may feel like giving up on everything, but you have nothing to gain by giving up.
What if you have anxiety so bad you can’t work?
I have been there and done that. Sometimes you may have such bad anxiety that you cannot concentrate on the job, get tasks done, and/or interact with fellow colleagues. You may be embarrassed by your condition and may not know what to do. It isn’t about knowing what to do, it’s about picking yourself back up and giving it another shot.
My guess is that you can still work if you push yourself. There are tons of people with anxiety that hold down jobs just fine. In fact, my guess is that many people with anxiety fit so well into their job that you couldn’t even point out that they were anxious on the job. Think about the fact that you have a job – this is a reason to be grateful. There are people suffering so bad that they’ve never even gotten a job.
What if your anxiety is so bad you can’t talk?
It’s common to experience anxiety so severely that you have a difficult time talking or expressing yourself verbally. Thinking may be slowed, you may be unable to come up with conversational topics, and/or feel “forced” or completely unnatural in social settings. This is because anxiety is a fear-response in the brain that causes us to “freeze up.” The only way to overcome it is by working to tame that fear response so that we aren’t scared of our own actions.
What if your anxiety is so bad you can’t sleep?
If your anxiety is so bad that you are unable to sleep at night, take it for what it’s worth. Accept this fact and do something productive while you are awake. If you are physically tired, focus your energy on relaxation techniques. Eventually you will drift off to sleep and you may get an even better night’s sleep as a result. If you are stuck and unable to fall asleep, either: do something productive OR work on your relaxation.
What if your anxiety is so bad you can’t eat?
Feeling anxious is somewhat of a stimulant-based response by the body. You may feel nervous and your appetite may actually decrease. If you aren’t able to eat, this could be viewed as a problem and you may lose an unhealthy amount of weight. Focus on eating what you can and whenever you get hungry. If you are working out on a consistent basis, this should help stimulate your appetite, especially after you burn a lot of calories.
How to deal with crippling anxiety diorders
There is no blueprint for dealing with anxiety and for people seriously affected by it, there aren’t any miracle cures. If you have read that there are some exotic herbs and/or cures out there, you’re wrong. Anyone who tells you that they’ve overcome their anxiety fully probably never had severe genetic-based anxiety in the first place. Some have hypothesized that social anxiety could be caused by overstimulation and/or hyperarousal. Below are some things I recommend based on my personal struggle with severe anxiety for my entire existence.
1. Explore natural treatments
I wrote an article about natural cures for anxiety that you should check out. There are plenty of natural treatments available. Many of these natural treatments are very effective too. The problem is that many individuals assume that pharmaceuticals are the only solution. In some cases, pharmaceuticals are the only and/or best option, but you cannot assume that they are the best treatment if you haven’t explored natural options. For example, if you are someone who never exercises, the fact that you don’t exercise could be part of the problem.
2. Explore pharmaceutical options
If you have looked into all possible natural treatments, consider working with a psychiatrist to target the anxiety from a pharmaceutical perspective. Specifically check out various anti-anxiety medications (anxiolytics) to help ease symptoms. One medication in particular that was developed for anxiety is that of Buspar (Buspirone) – many people have had success. You may also end up trying an array of SSRI’s (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors), benzodiazepines, as well as psychostimulants which are a counterintuitive treatment (e.g. Adderall for anxiety) that works well for some people.
3. Face your fears
Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable and annoying options for people with anxiety disorders is to face their fears head on. I have done this for years, and although it never usually helps ease anxious symptoms, it can help us get things done. For example, if you have anxiety and go to school or are trying to get a certain degree, part of accomplishing that goal is pushing yourself to go to class every single day. It may seem like an unwinnable battle to face your fears with anxiety disorders – and that’s because it is. However, facing them means you are strong enough to continue putting up a fight.
4. Accept the pain
Anxiety is associated with feelings of pain. You have all this extra energy trapped inside your body, but you cannot express it because you are too anxious. Wouldn’t it be nice to just let loose and not really care what other people thought of you? Since you were not born this way, you need to accept the pain that you are dealing with. Life is not easy for anyone, and you were dealt a hand of anxiety. Part of being responsible is accepting that you have this condition and it may not be easy, but you can and will carry on.
5. Push your limits
We can recognize that anxiety is often caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In most cases, it is caused by genetics – how we were born. There are certain genes that are hypothesized to play a role in contributing to us feeling the way we do – anxious 24/7. Individuals that don’t have anxiety, just don’t really understand it very well because it’s not how they are genetically wired. People without anxiety disorders don’t really understand what it’s like – at all. Keep doing things out of your comfort zone and who knows, you may even experience some slight relief in the process.
6. Never give up
In the end, life is painful for everyone. You may have anxiety so bad that you can’t do the things you’ve always dreamed of doing. This doesn’t mean that you should automatically throw in the towel and give up on your dreams and aspirations. Do what you can do to work towards some sort of goal – even if that goal is something as simple as reducing your anxiety enough so that you can function in society. There are some brilliant people out there with anxiety and everyone matters in this world, never give up on life just because of the pain.