Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Hello, My Name is Anxiety

Hello, My Name is Anxiety

I have been deliberating all week about making this post, I have left it till the very last minute  going back and forth trying to decide whether to publish it. This is because I am going to talk about mental health. As it was World Mental Health Day on Monday  (October 10) I had planned for two months that I was going to make this post but as it loomed closer I suddenly got nervous about it.

I am not embarrassed about having a mental illness but I just don’t talk about it. Making this post was going to be difficult just to simply put the words together in a sentence for people to read and understand, even though I don’t understand it myself. It wasn’t until Debby, a fellow UCB blogger encouraged me to make the post that I realised there would be more pros to cons. Debby has made a few posts about mental health, you can read my favourite here.

Mental illnesses are a funny old thing, funny-peculiar rather than funny-haha. I have only recognised my mental illness, which is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), in the past year although I now realise it has been a niggling problem for a long time. I felt that finally being able to label how I was feeling and having an explanation enabled me to let out a great sigh of relief. Prior to being diagnosed it was a like a vicious circle, feeling anxious and depressed, yet not having a specific reason why made me more scared, lost and confused.

 

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Image from OnlineTherapy.com

 

Since coming to recognise mental health problems I have noticed the amount of people in the world who have been affected by mental health in some way, and this helped me to feel less like an alien with a funky brain and more like a person …with a funky brain. Since 2000, the overall rates of Common Mental Disorder (CMD) in England have steadily increased in women and remained largely stable in men. The figures equate to one adult in six – that’s one in five women and one in eight men.

At this moment in time I can’t sit here and type up a long blog post about how to live with your anxiety and depression and how to deal with it because to be honest, I don’t know. Fortunately, even though I do have GAD I have never experienced a panic attack. This means I don’t experience the physical symptoms of anxiety so I have become an excellent actress! It makes me laugh that they abbreviate Generalised Anxiety Disorder to GAD because if I ever feel anxious about something I can just say “oh my GAD”. My head can be thinking “oh my GAD” but my body is saying “I’m cool, calm and collected”

 

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This is me when my brain is saying “oh my GAD” but my body is saying “look how nonchalant I am with my salad”

 

I know I appear to be making fun of my funny old brain and that’s my way of dealing with it, but GAD or any other mental health problem is no laughing matter and do need to be taken seriously.

Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.” 
― Charles H. Spurgeon

I love this quote because of how true it is, for me it rings home and I wish I could live my life with this outlook. However, at this moment in time, I can’t. But that’s okay because hopefully some day I will! If you find yourself ever struggling and you feel like you are experiencing any mental health problems, please please please speak to someone! Anyone; a counsellor, a doctor, your priest, a close friend, just anyone because I can 100% guarantee you are not alone.

Hope this helps!

Emilia x



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