What anxiety has meant for me
Posted by
13th May 2014

To mark the start of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, SANE supporter Vicky Herbert has shared what it is like to live with anxiety. Here she explains how this mental illness has affected her social life as well as her ability to carry out simple day to day tasks.

For me, anxiety has completely affected my ability to carry out simple day to day tasks. I now do the majority of my shopping online and the thought of going somewhere, having to navigate crowds, stand in line with other people, is all too much for me to bare. I don’t even know what it is exactly I’m afraid of and these things have never been a problem for me before.

I very rarely answer either my mobile or my house phone as I can’t face talking to anyone and making a call myself is practically impossible. I literally have to build myself up to do these things over several days and the majority of the time I will put it off for as long as I can get away with it. For someone who was previously quite organised and outgoing it has been a major shock to my system, I seem to have lost every shred of confidence I ever had.

It wasn’t just the day to day tasks that were affected, my social life has become non-existent. The things I used to enjoy doing, I now avoid like the plague. I used to live for my next night out, a chance to let my hair down and dance until the early hours with my friends, or a gig to see a band I loved with my partner. If I do happen to be attending such an event I spend days worrying beforehand, to the point I can’t focus on anything else.

The thing about anxiety is that it isn’t just a case of worrying or stressing about something, it literally takes over your life and changes you as a person. I share my story openly because I don’t want people in my position to feel alone, and I want people to understand it is a real condition but with the right help and support there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Recovery may not be easy but it is possible.

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