anxiety
By Ben Warden

I thought I’d share my own experiences with the dark sides of mental health and anxiety. I was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder last year, age 35, by a member of the IAAPT team. This was during my initial phone call interview before volunteering for cognitive behavioural therapy.

The symptoms I disclosed were those that I’d been suffering with as long as I could remember. I think I’d only told my GP about it in the first place because I was more frantic than normal. This was possibly due to recently moving into a property and getting married a few weeks later.

I’ve always been a worrier. A huge chunk of my life has been spent having internal battles in my mind, constantly replaying the last thing I felt I did wrong. I then torment myself by thinking I would have avoided ruining that thing or having that incident if I’d just taken the other path instead. This is followed by repeatedly wishing in my own mind that I’d taken the correct option. Then everything would be perfect.

Glimpse into the mind of anxiety

It feels like I suffer from this 24/7, or as long as there’s energy in my body. There’s a constant issue with my health – such as sight and hearing. With money – such as forever worrying that I’ve overpaid with the contactless card machine. Also, I’m always worrying that I haven’t clocked in at work or done it properly. I’m terrible with new items that I’ve bought or been bought for me – say an item of clothing like the New England shirt which I feel I’ve immediately ruined by catching the shoulder part of the garment on the car door as I enter the vehicle.

This is just a glimpse into my mind, and I’ll always replay these moments wishing that I’d not ruined everything by taking the other option instead, or if I don’t get paid properly then that’s loads of stress to deal with, or I’m going to go deaf. It’s rare I experience internal bliss.

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