I am in a state of anxious exhaustion. Anxiety has been a lifelong companion that has presented itself in various ways since childhood. In hindsight, I can recognize triggers and reactions. During times of anxiety, I’ve felt as if I was losing my mind.
Over the years, I’ve learned healthy coping mechanisms. I exercised and reduced my caffeine intake, strategies that helped to prevent attacks. I avoided situations that were likely to elicit anxiety. Now with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, I experience idiopathic attacks. Additionally, positive experiences can bring on the same level of anxiety.
It is sometimes difficult for me to assimilate excitability. My brain cannot manage the influx, and when faced with a thrilling situation, I easily become overwhelmed. I force myself to step away from the stressor. I literally unplug, closing my computer, shutting off my phone, and putting myself in a self-imposed timeout. I clear my mind and gently reintroduce the day.
Living with multiple sclerosis can also create anxiety. Medical costs, quality care, pain, familial impact, loss of employment and friends, disability, and depression can contribute to the overall feeling of disquiet. The unknown is unsettling. One is unable to foresee what the future holds. It can become unnerving when wanting to plan a family or career.
Be kind to yourself. Anxiety is not a flaw, it’s a physical reaction to a perceived threat. It is essential to learn techniques to help mitigate its impact. I have found an array of tools to be helpful. I practice daily prayer and meditation. When I feel my anxiety peak, I choose a suitable mantra. I find a quiet space and clear my head. When I become distracted, I repeat my mantra.
We cannot always make time to meditate on cue. I encourage you to find a peaceful, happy place — real or imagined. Go there in your mind, and coach yourself to peace through guided imagery. Practicing breathing techniques and cognitive tools can lessen the severity of your anxiety.
Seek guidance from a professional. Both cognitive behavioral therapy and medication can be useful. Medication has allowed me to obtain homeostasis, and from there, I was receptive to valuable techniques. Line up helpful tools and use them as needed.
Living with MS can create or exacerbate anxiety. Remember that this, too, shall pass. This moment is transient — you are not.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?