What is general anxiety really like? The Voice takes a look into the life of a student.

Atira Nair, Staff Writer

I have a condition called general anxiety, which basically means I get anxious about every little thing. Before tests and before anything even slightly important, it’s difficult for me to focus on anything. For example, if I’m stressed about a test, it’s the only thing I’m be able to focus on. Anxiety makes it harder for me to do a lot of things, especially activities that require me to be social. Not only do I have a harder time doing these activities, but I also become overwhelmed more easily. I have trouble talking or breathing, and it’s easy for me to get anxiety attacks. During an anxiety attack, which are also called panic attacks, I can’t breathe or really focus on anything. Everything races through my head.

How often I get anxiety attacks and the length of each attack varies. When I’m really stressed, attacks happen once every other day. But when everything is normal, they happen once every few weeks. As for the duration, I’ve had an attack that lasted two hours and one that lasted five minutes. To help myself get through them, I have a specific breathing pattern and a playlist of music. I also talk to friends about it, which helps a lot. Even before I was diagnosed, my friends had sort of figured it out.

My condition started near the end of eighth grade and the beginning of freshman year. I talked to a therapist, and she asked me questions like “How are you feeling.” At the end of the session, she diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder. After the diagnosis, I had a pretty big attack. It was nice to finally know what was going on and to have a name for that kind of experience.

I remember I once had a project due the next day, and we were given time in school to finish it. I ended up doing the project after school, but then I had this anxiety attack that lasted two hours. So instead of staying after school for an hour, I stayed after school for three. I had to cancel a class for it, and my friends sat with me during that extra time. It sucked, but I got through it, and it was nice to have friends there.

Right now, I’m handling my anxiety moderately well. I used to go to therapy sessions but not anymore. Anxiety is just something I have to live with and something I know I can get through; as I mentioned earlier, music helps me out a lot. Having anxiety does stop you from doing social activities, though. You learn to live with it because it’s something that’s always there and something that you always have to deal with.