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Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world
It affects 1 in every 13 people – that is a staggering 7.3%, globally. And although it is a treatable illness, many, many people go on through life without seeking any help due to the stigma attached to being diagnosed with a mental illness. Sadly, many people choose to bear the difficulties in silence.
Now, what if I told you that there is something that you can do that to help your anxiety levels under control? ONE. SIMPLE. THING.
You see, there were many times when my anxiety levels got so bad, that I simply could not function.
I would miss work and stay at home, holed up in my bedroom with the curtains shut. I used to work as a corporate Recruitment Consultant. It was a high stress role – highly visible to clients and full engagement was required at all times. It was a sales role, so you couldn’t have bad days.
More importantly – I would miss out on my parenting responsibilities and tell the children that I was unwell. They would come home to a quiet house, and aim to keep it quiet… because their mama had a migraine. And while I did (and still do) get migraines – the quiet I needed was because I could not bear to have my silence ruffled. Any kind of sound would make my heart beat fast – ready to jump out of my chest. I would forget to breathe. Do you get that too? Have you experienced that?
Sometimes, I could not function for days. I felt like crawling into a dark hole and never coming out. Some days… I just wanted it to end.
Through the years, I have learned that I am not alone. WE ARE NOT ALONE.
On days that it was really bad, I would find myself sitting in my family doctor’s office, begging for her to do something.
I was asking her to help me – to make it all go away. No more pills. I wanted her to wave a magic wand, get anxiety levels under control, and make me “normal”.
Now, I love our family doctor. She’s amazing. She really is…. but she doesn’t have a magic wand.
She would ask about what was going on in my life – you know… about the events that have occurred prior to me finally coming to her.
“Was there a trigger?” she would ask.
And every time I relayed the days prior, I felt ashamed that these “events” could so easily get me into a nasty spin. Because let me tell you — there were no real, specific events that triggered it. Nothing.
I felt ashamed because I was certain that there were other people who were going through far more difficult – perhaps worse things – than my events.
Sleeping Disorder vs. Anxiety Disorder
Looking back – on each and every occasion that I went to see my doctor because of my anxieties; there was always one question that she would ask: Are you getting enough sleep?
My answer was always yes…. because I thought it was getting enough. I would sleep at midnight (after doing having my Me time) and wake up at 6.30am. That’s pretty normal isn’t it?
Apparently – there is no normal. Some people can take it… and some people just can’t. It’s in our biological make up. That’s it. There is no other amazing truth to it.
People who suffer from anxiety tend to suffer sleepless nights. And people who don’t get a good night’s sleep, can well experience anxiety.
You see, it’s like the chicken and the egg. Which came first? It’s a vicious cycle. Anxiety causes sleeping problems — BUT! research also suggests that sleep deprivation can cause an anxiety disorder.
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