Anxiety: Wait! There's More!
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AbbeyMarie's avatar
By AbbeyMarie   |   Watch
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Published: October 20, 2014


When it comes to severe anxiety, the chances of you only having anxiety is pretty slim. There are quite a few secondary conditions that come along with having anxiety that are just as (not) fun as anxiety itself! Some of these secondary conditions tend to go on while you're not actually experiencing your anxiety, and are more of a side effect from the anxiety itself. You can have these things independently from anxiety of course, but for now we are going to talk about them as a secondary condition. The side dishes to the main meal.

The Big Three

  • Depression 
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Paranoia 
These are the three most common secondary conditions you are likely to encounter while dealing with anxiety. The goal for this journal is to share experiences, knowledge, troubles, and success when it comes to dealing with the after effects of anxiety  

My Experiences 

Depression

Depression is often caused by living a less than fulfilling life, being restricted by your anxiety can cause you to hide away. Not having the job you want, the life you want, the friends you want. It can become tiring, and feel hopeless when everything you do is focused around avoiding anxiety. It makes me feel weak not being able to deal with my anxiety, I feel ashamed and embarrassed of it. I consider everyday a new failure, and depression is a constant in my life because of it. I won't be able to kick it until I have managed my anxiety.  

Paranoia

When it comes to social anxiety, paranoia is it's best friend. The feeling of constantly being watched, judged and whispered about. It's the starting point of many a panic attack in my experiences. It's kept me from leaving my house for weeks at a time, and has caused me to pass on countless positive opportunities. This ones a bitch to shake, but ultimately boils down to three things for me: a) confidence, b) "fuck it" and c) fake confidence. I found something to be confident about: my art. I then developed a very strong "fuck it" attitude, I simply can't be bothered to be paranoid anymore. And finally I just started pretending like I was the coolest shit ever. Which is easy to do after all, I mean I must have a pretty huge ego if I go around assuming the world is watching/talking about me. 

OCD

I've also had very slight stints of OCD. Obsessively counting,  scratching and picking at my skin and hair, other odd small things I felt compelled to do; though I never had to deal with it on a large scale. I am not sure where it came from, or why it went away. It was just there, and then kinda just...left.

My Advice 

I have a few pieces of advice to share. They are short, sweet and to the point:
Fake it till you make it. Fake like you know what you are doing, and eventually you will actually know. Keep in mind, I don't mean fake being happy, or lie about any issues. That's a big no no! 

Laugh at yourself. Accept yourself. Don't take yourself seriously. Acknowledge your neurotic nature  for what it is: silliness. Laugh at it, then love it. You are your own worst enemy, learn to love thy enemy.

Admit it. When I do something off, or odd, or start to freak out in front of people I just straight up say "I have intense anxiety. My brain is basically melting right now". People do one of three things 1) Laugh (with me) 2) Give sympathy/compassion 3) Don't care. At all. People are busy with their own lives, there own issues. They aren't going to talk about you or judge you, they aren't even going to remember you.

QUESTIONS

  • Have you had to deal with any of these, or other secondary conditions?
  • If so, do they come from your anxiety or are they the cause of your anxiety?
  • What do/did you do to cope? 
  • Do you have any advice to give?


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Comments14
anonymous's avatar
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BatCat20's avatar
BatCat20Student General Artist
Omg
thanks for the advice
i have Anxiety, Paranoia, slight depression and I think I'm starting to develop schrizophenia 
It is fucking horrible
My mum keeps telling me that she is going to send me to a counciler
 but the first time I did I had a panic attack and I do every time she mentions on
do you have any advice on how to deal with panic attacks QAQ
WildSpiritsLiveInMe's avatar
WildSpiritsLiveInMeStudent General Artist
  • Have you had to deal with any of these, or other secondary conditions?   - Oh my god, yes. Depression, OCD(I like to say CDO instead because it's in alphabetical.), anxiety, schizophrenia, PTSD, and some more.
  • If so, do they come from your anxiety or are they the cause of your anxiety?  - I kind of think it's a mixture? Like,  I've had my CDO since I can remember, I even used to organize my blocks by color as a kid and my mom always found it weird. Schizophrenia runs in the family, but it didn't really start showing itself until the depression came. Which, the depression and PTSD came around the same time from my fathers death. I feel like the anxiety feeds off of the depression and such, because it didn't really start getting noticeable until a couple of years ago.
  • What do/did you do to cope?    - For a long while I didn't cope in the best ways. It was cutting and smoking and drinking, all by the age of 12. Here recently I've found so help, and now I write and draw and read, and I like to take walks, or go swing on a play-set. I like taking a long rope and knotting it and un-knotting it until I can't feel my fingers. Some times I even go and color coordinate my closet. 
  • Do you have any advice to give?   - I have to say, although I don't like talking much, to anyone, I found someone I really love and just opened up one day. A friend, family member, or even your actual consular. It doesn't help as much as the fact that they have a different perspective on things and can help you figure out something to do to cope.
destinysWalrus's avatar
I've got the rather annoying trio of anxiety, depression, and ADD. None of these were diagnosed until a few years ago. I'm still having trouble managing them.
AbbeyMarie's avatar
AbbeyMarieProfessional Digital Artist
Unfortunately this things go hand in hand. Anxiety always has it's friends :stare:
Nocturnaliss's avatar
"Fake it till you make it"? What do you mean by that?
AbbeyMarie's avatar
AbbeyMarieProfessional Digital Artist
It mostly pertains to confidence. I find pretending like I am absurdly over confident, while at the same time being incredibly insecure creates situations where the ridiculousness of it makes me laugh, and removes the aurora of insecurity that I would normally have.

More than anything it's faking who you want to be, even if you don't think you're that person yet. Or rather than the word "fake", think of it more as "practicing".
Nocturnaliss's avatar
I see. That makes sense.
SadisticIceCream's avatar
I have depression in addition to anxiety. I have no idea which came first, but they definitely feed off each other. I basically wasn't coping very much at all before, but since then I've started keeping a journal where I write down five things I'm grateful for, five things I like about myself, and "talk back" to negative thoughts. I've also started doing breathing exercises and meditation, and sometimes I do yoga. All of that probably sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but managing these things is a lot of work -- I guess my advice is to remember that feeling better doesn't come easily or all at once, and to not give up. :)
RomyInNeverland's avatar
RomyInNeverlandHobbyist General Artist
That is exactly what happened with me! They actually only found out about my anxiety when they noticed I had a depression, but later concluded that my depression came from my anxiety which has already been there for years and years. Also the OCD was a big part in my life. I mainly put self harm in that category, since I felt restless when I didn't have a knife with me or didn't do it for a day or after certain activities. Still, I also put it in the category addiction. My OCD further includes some strange things. Like, "tasty" and "not tasty" foods are not allowed to touch each other, I will freak out if they do. I check three times if all the doors are locked when I go out or go to bed and my bread needs to be perfectly made.
But, I can't say anything about the paranoia. In my case it is true that people talk about me and make fun of me. Most people around me are pretty young and think it's funny to make fun of someone who reacts to the extreme in some situations.  
shadeley's avatar
shadeleyHobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for sharing your experiences with us, Abbey! Maybe reading these journal entries will help us cope with our 'silliness'. ^^
I feel the worst when I have to talk in front of a bunch of people which is bad for me because I will be a teacher. Sweaty palms, shaking hands and knees, I can't find words and my brain doesn't want to work. Yeah, it was a hell of a decision and it was a force to do because I couldn't make it to an art university. And this caused a depression, depression caused low self confident and self esteem... I think these are the reasons why I have anxiety symptons.
In order to fight with my problem I make myself to do speeches in my mother language and in English as well. It is hard but I'd like to believe this will help me. :)
AbbeyMarie's avatar
AbbeyMarieProfessional Digital Artist
That's what I hope. :D 

It's awesome you don't let your anxiety stop you from pursuing a job in education! 
shadeley's avatar
shadeleyHobbyist Digital Artist
It really helps. Seriously. :D
I realised after going to university that I have this anxiety (and I like creating photomanipulations better than learning English syntax or the discovery of America) so it's just an exigency but I try to do my best!
JTorrevillas's avatar
JTorrevillasProfessional Digital Artist
thank you :)
AbbeyMarie's avatar
AbbeyMarieProfessional Digital Artist
My pleasure! 
anonymous's avatar
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