I think living with anxiety has taught me a lot about the relationships in my life. Whether that be in friendships or with family, I have had to explain to my closest companions what I'm going through, and it doesn't always go well.
In some cases, they have denied my condition and called me dramatic. In others, they've welcomed me with open arms.That is not to say that those who can't understand your mental health condition are to blame. It's just to say we don't live in a perfect world.
Some people may not understand your perspective, and that is OK. So, you must understand their perspective. I think the best way to explained how my anxiety impacted my relationship with my family is offering an example of the strain it put on our relationship.
When I was in high school and my anxiety got worse, I would have panic attacks at 5:30 a.m. around three times a week. These would either result in me rushing to somebody's room or screaming because that was the only way to release the pressure I felt burning in my lungs. Of course, that didn't sit well with three sleeping people and two dogs.
I would have conversations with my family about needing to calm myself down and how if this didn't stop, there would be consequences. This was not because they didn't love me, they just didn't understand why my panic attacks kept happening. It was a mystery to all of us because, at that point, we thought it was just stress. In reality, it was the beginning of a very long road filled with stress and strenuous relationships.
What I have learned is that the relationships that can withstand this confusion and move past that are worth keeping. The people around you are just as confused as you are. It's a learning curve for everybody, but making sure they see anxiety as it is makes for a healthier relationship, even if it takes time.
An Anxious College Girl
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