For most people fears are rational phobias of actual scary things. Fear of spiders. Fear of flying. Fear of dark water. For those of us with anxiety fear is more of an irrational term. Yes I have my normal person fears like being scared of heights or frogs (ok maybe that one isn’t so normal). But I also have a really large number of irrational fears.
I know it may sound crazy and I am very aware that the things I fear have no merit but that does not stop me from feeling it. This is one aspect of generalized anxiety that I think gives it the biggest stigma. As I’ve said before mental health is not something you can see. So its harder for people to understand when you are suffering when there is no outward appearance of it. A lot of the time I’ve been met with people thinking that I’m “faking it” or using it as an excuse to get out of something. I can guarantee you I would much rather be having fun then sitting in my room scared to leave the house. Of all my irrational fears the worst that I suffer from is agoraphobia. There is unfortunately no medicine you can take or magical therapist that can cure you of this. You have to fix yourself on this one.
This disorder is debilitating sometimes. I first starting having issues when I was diagnosed with social anxiety. When I was in college I would miss classes for days in a row because I just knew that everyone would know I had missed. They would all be staring at me knowing I was a slacker. As I got a little older and started facing grown up problems my social anxiety changed to full blown agoraphobia. When my stress level is high sometimes I can barely leave my house for days at a time. I can make myself stay logical on some things. I have to go to work. There is no way around it. But once I am home it takes a lot for me to leave. There are times when my husband has had to take me kicking and screaming out of the house just to go to dinner. I’ve spent many times getting ready and having to put on mascara more than once because I’ve cried so much about having to leave.
I say all this just to bring some awareness to how tough struggling with different forms of anxiety can be. Personally I know that I try really hard to keep my disorders under control but sometimes they get the best of me. It is a daily struggle. But this is my life and I have learned to deal with it.