Last time we focused on what it is like to live with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and how it impacts your life physically and socially. In part two of this series, we’re talking about how GAD affects you mentally and emotionally.
I have been told that I’m too emotional or that I create drama because I like to talk things out instead of push them under the rug. Well, my friends, ’tis not so. GAD is not an excuse to be overly emotional or dramatic. If anything, I hold a lot of things back and let it fester inside so I don’t cause any “problems.” Life with GAD is difficult, especially if it hits you hard in the feels. Here are some examples in my life on how GAD affects me mentally and emotionally”
I love learning and knowledge. I also love to speak and help others learn as well. Sometimes, this is a challenge because all of a sudden I lose my train of thought and it takes me a few seconds to even get a word out. This causes me to stutter which makes me feel self-conscience. Even though this seems like everyone has this issue, a person doesn’t have to have GAD to do this, it’s a side affect of GAD. I either have trouble speaking at all and my brain stops working for a minute, or I speak and think really quickly. This goes with mental clarity. When I am alone, I find myself staring into space not realizing how long I’ve been doing so. I have to mentally say, “Okay, Kenz, what is your next step? Okay, go get a drink of water and then sit down on the couch.” My mind moves so slowly that the brain doesn’t speak to my muscles right away making me speak and do things slowly or walk and eat too quickly.
GAD affects my emotions the most. I can cry easily, I feel guilt for not being productive every second of every day, I feel weak or like I’m a burden, like I’m never enough, and shame for having all of those feelings! Those high emotions only come in waves and I take medication to help stabilize them. There’s a chemical deficiency in my body that controls the amount of happy emotions I have verses the amount of sad emotions.
I used to have panic attacks every week, but I’m proud to say that I’m getting so much better at slowing down and allowing my brain to stop before things get out of hand. When I do have panic attacks, however, I start to hyperventilate, stutter, and my mind brings up everything negative going on in my life or every “what if” imaginable. The Devil knows this and uses this tactic a lot. My first reaction to having a panic attack is to run to my bed and hide under the covers where is the only place I feel safe sometimes.
A lot of the mental and emotional side of GAD is caused by emotional abuse or traumatic experiences. While I’m not going to go into detail about what I’ve been through, I can explain how someone may feel because they have GAD. If you know someone who struggles with this, the best things you can do to help is pray that we would learn to trust God in everything, to listen, and keep inviting us to things. It really boosts your confidence when you feel like a burden and someone still wants to hang out with you.
Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ, we rebuke the Devil and his stronghold on people with GAD. Remind us that we’re not fighting FOR victory, but FROM victory. Amen.
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