Anxiety is something we all experience from time to time. Perhaps anxiety as a result of uncertainty.
Anxiety disorders are recorded as some of the most common mental health problems, and their very categorization as a 'mental health problem' ensures that there is a stigma and discrimination associated with anxiety. As with many mental health issues, for the sufferer there is the fear of being alone, and this can be the worst source of anxiety of all, the anxiety of feeling detached from your environment and the people in it.
Anxiety can be seen as a 'modern plague'. Anxiety due perhaps to uncertainty and due to the unrealistic expectations that we place upon ourselves. Expectations to BE more, to DO more. And the fear that we won't live up to these unrealistic expectations. Anxiety is those intense feelings of fear, panic, doom, foreboding, gloom. These can be accompanied by physical symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, trembling. When your heart beats, pounds, races and in that moment you let the irrational thoughts take over and gain control.
Anxiety is not the same as fear. Fear is regarded as an appropriate response to a perceived threat; something intimidating or dangerous or frightening. Anxiety is a feeling of fear, worry, and uneasiness, but it is largely unfocused and often irrational; it is seen as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as menacing; a dread of something unlikely to happen.
However real or imagined the fear is; no matter how irrational, it is often uncontrollable and it certainly is very unpleasant.
Anxiety is often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, and muscular tension. Anxiety is not considered to be a normal reaction to a perceived situation. But these symptoms of inner turmoil that are experienced are themselves very unpleasant and very real. It has been suggested that 'anxiety' could be defined as agony, dread, terror, or even apprehension. People often experience physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms when they feel anxious or stressed. In addition stress and anxiety are known to affect the body's ability to fight disease.
So symptoms of Anxiety can include symptoms of restlessness, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. It is therefore not terribly surprising that anxiety is associated with living with multiple sclerosis (MS) (it is thought that about a third of people with MS are affected) which not only shares some symptoms (fatigue), but which is itself a source of uncertainty.
It is not surprising that living with a chronic condition that is so unpredictable that anxiety is therefore another symptom of the MS that I am trying to understand and come to terms with. MS is the fear that causes my anxiety. I live with a constant state of uncertainty and therefore of anxiety.
For me, my source of anxiety is the overwhelming, overpowering, devastating fear that I am not good enough. My uncertainty leads me to feel that I am not good enough. That negative feeling. That nagging doubt. That constant sense of not making the grade. That isn't good for anyone. It certainly isn't good for me. I may not be the best, but I am doing my best. I am trying to be the best that I can be, and surely that is good enough?