Stress is a normal part of human existence. It’s a normal part of most living creatures. Even animals can suffer from stress, and knowing how to deal with that is very important in life.
But what happens when stress isn’t a situation but a state of being?
Indications of stress read a lot like anxiety (According to HealthStatus.com:
- Palpitations – the sort of irregular beats of your heart against your chest that feel hard and too fast or fluttering. You can feel them in your neck, throat, and chest.
- Overeating, Undereating
- Low Social Drive
- Low Sex Drive
But what really separates stress from anxiety?
While stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed by the goings on in your life- usually and external pressure- anxiety is a state of uneasiness or fear, which can sometimes stem from stressful situations and tends to linger long after the issue is resolved.
Often, stress stems from a real problem or situation and the strain on someone is reasonable or makes sense. Anxiety is often illogical and unnecessary, relentless worry.
According to doctors on MedicineNet.com stress can be related to panic attacks, though panic attacks themselves are more commonly linked to panic and anxiety disorders.
The common denomination is that stress can cause anxiety and anxiety can lead to stress, though the two are markedly similar, they boil down to one difference:
Stress is reasonable and often triggered by something real for understandable reasons.
Anxiety is a constant, long-drawn state of being often triggered by unnecessary overthought, worry, and a disorder that often needs intervention.
What is the point? I’m sure people are reading this and asking themselves what the reason behind a fantasy writer talking medical jibberish really is. The answer is pretty simple.
I suffer from anxiety. Not then the stress-related kind that fades over time. I suffer from a 24+ year disorder that has become worse within the last five years due to major stressors in my life.
Living with Social Anxiety (or social phobia), General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). No, I’m not washing my hands 3 times, clicking fingers or those other more common images of OCD, though they do happen to people with OCD. Instead, I’m less likely to drink the bottom of a bottle or can of soda, I’ll throw a drink away if it has sat for more than 10 minutes, I eat most foods by ensuring my cheeks are even – 3 M&M’s in one cheek, 3 in the other- I like my books organized by category and I’m constantly stopping things to reorganize and improve my system. When I’m cooking, I have been known to throw away several dollars worth of food because I think it has been contaminated with something or just forgo eating.
I sound like a basket case, and I understand that. Logically, my state of existence is ridiculous, much like my irrational fear of snakes, clowns, and balloons, but they exist as a part of me. So, I’ve learned over the years while being grossly underdiagnosed most of my childhood, how to manage a good portion of these issues and live with the rest. Thankfully, my children and husband are also well equipped to tease me and laugh off my ridiculous without needless stress between us.
This is why it has taken me 3 years to get my blog off the ground and try putting my work out for people to read, and when the day is over, I’m still battling my demons. Why has no one commented? Am I not good enough? Did I do enough? Will I succeed? Will people hate me? Why am I doing this? Her voice is this loathsome sound that resonates with deep vibrato, whispering in my ear.
As a child, this sort of darkness manifested as a woman in my imagination. She was wicked and cruel, stealing the light and pleasure that I should have found in most situations. As an adult, I had become skilled in ignoring her, but from time to time, like an imprisoned soul on the other side of the mirror, she pounds on that wall, clawing for freedom and screaming her hateful tar at me.
She is Suoixna.
-To be continued on Thursday, January 18, 2018.