What does a Person Suffering from Anxiety Disorder Look Like?

Not many people talk about it, or have the courage to say that they suffer from Anxiety Disorder. I am using my blog and my social media accounts to spread awareness about this to help others to seek help and get diagnosed. I waited for long enough to get diagnosed.

I look pretty normal and many have said that I don't look like that I am experiencing Anxiety. Anxiety is different from Depression. A person with Depression may be experiencing depressed moods, lack of interest in enjoyable activities, feeling of guilt and worthlessness, suicidal thoughts or behaviors. While a person with Anxiety can experience being irritable, easily feels fatigue, excessive worry, muscle tension and restlessness.

It's important to know the difference because people suffering from either of these needs different type of support. I was diagnosed with having an Anxiety Disorder with Panic Attacks. Panic Attacks generally mean that a person suffers at anytime, anywhere with no clear reason some of these symptoms: Hyperventilation, difficulty breathing, palpitations, uncontrollable shaking of the body, nausea, feeling that they are going to die.

 I first experienced a panic attack in my early 20's where I was working in a retail outlet. It came out of nowhere and I suffered for months that I needed to quit my job. I could not leave the house at all, every time I would step out of our gate, I immediately felt nauseated. My mom even had me checked by an albularyo. I somehow lost the panic attacks and I was able to work again. A few years forward in my mid-30's I again started getting panic attacks and this was when I was pregnant (I lost the baby).

Now, I am in my 40's. The panic attacks came back again last year in September. I was holding back a lot of disappointment, anger and stress. Since then, I have been chained down by these panic attacks to enjoy the simple things I love to do: go to malls, ride the MRT, go to the Ukay store and other normal stuff.

So, let me show what I would look like even after suffering a panic attack - every single time I am exhausted and I feel weak but I try not to drag the people around me as much as I can. Again, I have no control over my panic attacks and it can happen at any time.

1. Company Hosting at SM MOA Arena
We were in the green room having the general production meeting. There were so many people inside the room and it felt a little stuffy since it was enclosed. I slowly felt this uneasiness and my stomach started to ache. I tried to fight it by telling myself (in my head) that I am okay. I stepped out the room pretending to look for a bathroom just not to make a scene. I could no longer control it, my body started to shake and I felt nauseous. I bolted out of the arena into the street to get fresh air and sat on the curb feeling like a loser. After around 30 minutes or so, I forcefully composed myself and continue the day. It was still the best experience out of all of my hosting gigs.

2. Travelling to Pinto Art Museum
My husband and I planned a date since we were able to get someone to look after the kids. It was a rather hot and humid day but I really wanted to experience the Pinto Art Museum. We were riding on my husband's motorcycle and as soon as we turned into Marcos Highway, I felt different. I was upset a few days prior and I kept going back to that thought, I was still able to fight it off until we got to Antipolo highway and I had to ask my husband to pull over. I felt nauseous and I felt my entire body shake plus my hands were cold and clammy.

3. Disney Princess Birthday Party
I was very happy and excited for this day. I prepped for this party weeks prior and for the first time rented a costume as Rapunzel. I have a phobia with riding taxi's or Grab car by myself due to a bad experience in the past. Yet, I had no choice. I had so many things to bring that I could not manage to commute. I got on the Grab car and as it turned into EDSA, I could feel the anxiety kick in. I called my husband over the phone so that he could talk me through with being calm. It lessened, but my hands were cold and I was slightly shaking. I was on the phone with my husband all throughout the ride and the anxiety lessened as soon as I alighted from the car. I had to do the same thing riding home.

4. Cosplayer Make Up Gig
I was excited to do something I love and the venue itself was something to look forward to since it was a haven for gamer enthusiasts. I was to do make up for one of my trainers and her daughter. I tagged my little lass along. We rode an FX thinking it would lessen the effort to get there plus I had a lot of stuff with me. When we were midway, I started feeling the panic attack, I felt dizzy and my hands were cold. My daughter and I needed to get off so I could feel a little better. After a little relief, we took a jeep this time (maybe it was the air condition), but nope the panic attack started creeping up again. We got off again for me to try and find relief. Lastly, we took a tricycle to the venue and finally made it. My hands were cold, I felt a little nauseous but it died down.

All these happened in a span of 4 months, but these are only a few of my stories of when I experienced the panic attacks. Nowhere in my photos could you tell that I suffered a panic attack. This means it can happen to anyone. Anyone could have an Anxiety Disorder that you do not know about.

Again, I don't write about this because I want to seek sympathy, but I want people to understand how hard it is for those that suffer from this disorder and it is not that easy to control. I tried everything prior to my check up with the Psychiatrist, believe me. 

Now, if you or a friend experiences the same symptoms the best thing to do is to get help. Don't try to ride it out. It is not going to happen.

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