Living with Generalized Anxiety Disorder – Her Campus

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Ever since I was younger, things have seemed to hold a lot more traction and gravity in my life. There was never a day where things were not perpetually on edge and consistently impeding my mentality. There were outbursts of panic and anxiety that spiraled into consuming weeks of my life on end. Relationships would stress me out to the point of nausea, public spaces and loud noises would propagate me getting overstimulating, and I could never focus on the actuality of the situation, only my warped perceptions. It was an incredibly gray time in my life from when I was around 12 to 17 years old trying to navigate the mess that was my mind.
At 15 I started therapy as my mom started to notice my supposed “higher levels of sensitivity” more. Speaking with her more and more, my therapist helped me understand that this was not what everyone experienced on a day-to-day basis; it was a disorder. The thoughts wreaking havoc on my mind, paralyzing fear to mess up, excessive planning to perfection, heart palpitations, and intrusive thoughts were offset from what the general public experienced. At 16, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Getting this diagnosis was probably one of the weirdest things for my immigrant parents, and even I, to comprehend. It was not normalized in my household to speak about mental health or afflictions with anxiety and stress; but ever since receiving treatment my personal growth has been unmatched. I have been on medication for almost two years now and I am incredibly open with others whenever they are struggling with anything in the realm that I have struggled with. 
This is not to say that there hasn’t been stigmatization of how I acted along the way. People in high school and even some in college would call me an anxious freak. They would question why I was on medication, bombard me with questions about whether or not I “skipped my dosage” if I was having a bad day, and talked about my nervous habits behind my back. Regardless, I am writing this for people to have a sense of normalcy. Having an anxiety disorder is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. Life affects people differently and a disorder just means that a certain aspect is impeding your daily life; there will always be ways to repair that. Affixing meanings like “anxious/depressed freak” or “over medicated” are things that others do in order to project their own insecurities about mental health onto those that are open and willing to stimulate conversation about it. Putting in energy towards yourself in order to maintain peace in your mind is one of the biggest lessons I have learned in this process. Please never forget that there are so many resources that can help, and that the same things don’t work for everyone.
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Don’t forget to put energy into creating your peace of mind,
Jess <3
The newsletter you won’t leave unread.
USF ’24
(but via email)
The newsletter you won’t leave unread.

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