January 30, 2017 Brittany Graffeo

My First Hand Account of Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety can range from a little nervous feeling to full blown panic attacks. I unfortunately have to deal with the latter. I’m no stranger to breathing in paper bags, and counting objects in the room to remind me that I am alright.  On the outside I look absolutely fine, but I’m actually having an inner battle. GAD affects 6.8 million adults. That’s 3.1% of the US population who experience difficult anxiety every day. If this also happens to you, I want you to know that you’re not alone.

Any form of anxiety can definitely take a huge toll on your daily life.  I’m a twenty-two year old full time college student that commutes, and has two jobs. Some of the easiest tasks instantly become tedious because of this disorder. It’s extremely hard to explain to people how I’m feeling when they don’t see anything on the outside.

As debilitating as anxiety can be, I’ve learned over time that you can’t let it control you. Fighting the anxiety isn’t going to make it go away. The more you fight it, the more you’re going to feel it. It’s easy to feel a pain and think the worst. Nevertheless, it’s easier to remind yourself that you’re healthy and the present. Something that always helps me is counting objects. I count three objects and I describe them in my mind. It distracts me and gets my breathing back on track, and also reminds me that I’m alright.

Unfortunately, this disorder will never completely disappear. The good thing is, if you learn how to handle anxiety it can become your greatest strength.

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Comments (4)

  1. Importantly, I feel gaining treatment at the beginning of my final year of university helped me secure a first-class honours degree and employment. I am also in a relationship and have been for almost 6 months. There is the odd period of anxiety and depression, but these are far less common and less debilitating then previously. I feel so much better.

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