Anxiety. The New Designer Disorder For Sympathy And Excuse Junkies.
Anxiety Disorder is EVERYWHERE these days.
Have you noticed? I bet you have at least one friend who tells you all about their Anxiety Disorder and uses it as an excuse for this or that. It seems that every so often a disorder of some kind becomes the GO TO excuse for people who really don’t suffer with it. They just need something to use as an excuse or something to get sympathy to make them feel special.
I remember when I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had only heard of it once in all my life. A former co-worker had it but other than her I was clueless about it. After a few years of unexplained pain, brain fog, joint issues etc, my Doctor sent me to a specialist and that is where I heard the term Fibromyalgia again.
A funny thing happened though. A while after I finally got diagnosed I started hearing the term on a daily basis from people who said they had it. All the sudden it seemed EVERYONE had it. I think the draw is that Fibromyalgias symptoms are different with everyone. While one person might have severe pain, another might not. One person might have little to no brain fog while another would do things like suddenly realize they were at the grocery store but have no memory of driving there or why they were there. It is notoriously hard to diagnose and the list of possible symptoms are a mile long. So everyone who had a headache started saying they had Fibro because they found it gave them an excuse and got them sympathy.
That has passed somewhat and now the new disorder everyone seems to have is Anxiety Disorder.
There are different types of Anxiety. Mine is Social. Social Anxiety now seems to be THE go to sympathy getter. Let me say that just because you are shy doesn’t mean you have Anxiety Disorder. Just because you are anxious about a situation doesn’t mean you have Anxiety Disorder. Everyone experiences anxious, nervous, and difficult situations. That is NORMAL.
Let me tell you, or at least try to tell you, about what it is like to have Social Anxiety Disorder.
Do you know the feeling you get when you are walking down the steps and you miss one? That sudden panic that you are going to fall? That is the best way I can explain the feeling. When the phone rings my heart jumps and starts beating like crazy. My mind races with possibilities about who might be on the phone. Calling someone is nearly impossible for me. I am terrified to bother someone. In order to call and make something like a Doctors appointment means a few hours of psyching myself up so I can speak without a tremble in my voice.
Large crowds are terrifying. When I first moved to Colorado the Mall was more like Hell than anything I had ever experienced. Talking to someone face to face means sweating and shaking along with the pounding heart. Being late for something is not an option. The thought of making someone wait on me fills me with so much dread that if I think I will be late for something I call and cancel. If something happens and my kids are going to be late getting to school I keep them home and call them in sick. I am early for everything no matter what it takes.
I’m not sure WHEN I developed this or why. It happened shortly after I moved to Colorado. Thankfully it wasn’t fully disabling at the time I met my husband. Had it been at the height of it I probably would not have talked to him. Somehow it got worse and worse and I was afraid to really leave the house.
Thankfully my Social Anxiety doesn’t translate to online interactions. I’m not sure why but I am able to be myself online with little fear. Put me in a room with one other person I don’t know and I will stare at my feet while counting my breath so I don’t freak out. My heart will pound and I will think frantically about what that person must be thinking about me. How they must hate me or think I’m an awful person. Possible escape routes are always running thru my head when I am away from home.
I have worked on this for quite a few years now and I am getting better. I am able to do things now that I would never have done before. When I feel comfortable around people I can be myself. It takes a bit but I have been able to push through. I still don’t answer my home phone because it’s a public number. I only answer my cell phone because the only people that have that number I am already comfortable with.
When my children first started school my poor husband had to go to all the school functions instead of me. That meant he had to take off work because his crazy ass wife was too scared to be around the other parents. He also had to take the kids to birthday parties they were invited to. It was NOT something I was proud of and I worked hard to get out from under the constant anxiety.
So when people say they have Anxiety Disorder when really they are just in a nervous situation I get very peeved. It seems that claiming Depression is also getting big. What people who fake these disorders don’t realize is that by doing so they make those of us that really do have these disorders look like fakes. A person who REALLY has these types of Disorders won’t brag about it. We don’t want people to know because everyone becomes a Google PHD and tells us how to fix ourselves. People who really have these disorders don’t want to use them as an excuse. We would rather be able to do the things you do. We will more than likely use a cold or flu as an excuse or a made up previous engagement to get out of whatever the situation might be. We don’t want your sympathy because frankly that is also too much attention and becomes a trigger.
People who really have these disorders don’t want to use them as an excuse. We would rather be able to do the things you do. We will more than likely use a cold or flu as an excuse or a made up previous engagement to get out of whatever the situation might be. We don’t want your sympathy because frankly that is also too much attention and becomes a trigger.
Like I said, I have worked very very hard to get out from under this as has anyone else who suffers. Don’t be a dick and brag you have Anxiety Disorder. It not only makes you look like an ass. It makes the rest of us look like one too.
If you REALLY feel you have Anxiety Disorder or Depression or anything like that. PLEASE see a Doctor. I took me a very long time to be able to talk about this and I wish I had had the courage to figure out what was wrong sooner. The things I’ve missed I will never get back.