Sunday, February 14, 2016

Anxiety Disorder -- The Most Common Mental Illness in the United States



Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the U.S. age 18 and older, which is 18% of the population.

I have three triggers that send my anxiety over the edge. You'll find me huddled in a corner breathing deep until the medication kicks in when these instances are unavoidable.

Noise.

Small talk.

Grocery shopping.

In this moment, I'm waiting for my husband to deliver the gift of silence to me. He's taking our boys to the movies. It's the greatest gift I could receive. Well, I wouldn't shy away from kitchen gadgets or a new vacuum either. I'm that type of girl. Three hours of blissful quiet is phenomenal.

So yes, my children trigger my anxiety with their noise quite often. They're kids and are going to make noise, but they seem to understand what over the top noise does to me, and they generally respect that.


There haven't been too many to date, but children's birthday parties are the absolute worst kind of combination noise and small talk action on the planet (for me). When I see an invitation to a small person's birthday party I:

1) Cringe at having to RSVP because...small talk.

Then I have to prepare far in advance for:

2) Attending said party. All that noise and mess and snot nosed kids and oh the fucking noise and parent small talk.

I mean the sun is out but we all know it's still cold as fuck outside. Do we need to say the words out loud too...just for the sake of speaking to one another?

The only solution to my noise and small talk issues is to attempt to keep myself out of situations where loud noises are involved like kid's birthday parties, company parties (I usually decide far in advance who I'll cling to throughout the event) and well -parties in general- holiday or otherwise.

Let's face it, when you suffer with anxiety and are an introvert, you'd rather be at home curled up in a quiet room with a book or movie. (try being married to an extrovert.)

Grocery shopping gets under my skin unlike any other activity in this world. I feel like it takes days of preparation. I make my list, rewrite it in the order of the store layout (anything to get me out of there faster), then on the day of it's all about getting ready to go. It's usually a Saturday and I don't want to leave the house. The week of work prior has me feeling like I've earned staying home if I want to. But alas, the family has to eat.

So I'm ready and I've got my list...now it's time to find the least broken cart available and get all the shit on my list without snapping on someone. There's always someone in my way, a child (who can't help it) is probably screaming from the other end of the store, they're out of this or that and now I have to substitute, figure out whether I'm going to stand in the line at the deli that day or get prepackaged sandwich meat. It's a lot of work. Then you have to check out. The fucking lines are insane and heaven forbid the cashier is asked to use your reusable bags with the cool handles on them for hiking up to the third floor to your apartment. It. Is. INSANITY.

While I have very little control over noise and small talk (cashiers always want to fucking chat), as far as my groceries are concerned, I began having them delivered a month ago. It has saved what little sanity I have left and has freed up my time to do other shit.

I'm not trying to sell you on this. I'm not affiliated with Walmart in any way but I do want to say that there is a plethora of coupon codes online, which in the end gives you free shipping and then a few bucks off your order. The delivery range is from $7-$10 and you pick the time slot (you're even offered "green" choices if someone as cool as you is having a delivery in that slot). I try to order in the beginning of the week so I can have delivery around Thursday night and then minimal stress for the up coming weekend (they can come as late as 10pm!). As I said, I'm not affiliated with Walmart, but if you're interested, you can give it a try by clicking the Walmart logo in my sidebar ---> to get $10 off. I get $10 off as well and so we both win. If you love it, you can do the same.

I was worried, at first, about substitutions and the quality of produce. I don't get any Walmart brand meat (I head to a different store and pick that up when I'm getting my buckets of medication on my way home from work, since I'm already out). The produce so far has been exceptional and the one time I had to get a substitute (during the check out process you pick which items are NOT okay to substitute) it was something I would have chosen myself.

Grocery delivery has saved my sanity!

What about you? What causes your anxieties to set off?


1 comment:

  1. Being sold things makes me feel anxious. For example, I love convention dealer rooms, but I often find myself having stopped at a booth and feeling guilty for walking away without buying something. That feeling grows in me until I find myself in quiet corridor in a forgotten part of the convention center trying to psych myself up to go back in but unable to.

    It's even worse when there is active selling. Door to door people are the worst. I've started being very promptly and firmly rude to them. Usually a firm "no" and closing the door makes them go away. If I let them get a foot in, to start talking about whatever petition, religion, or candidate they're selling, I open the door for guilt to make me either give in even thought I don't want to, or to feel guilty for letting them down.

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