#anx­i­ety How to break free

Shak­ing, sweat­ing, mind churn­ing – and that’s just for starters. Robyn Wilder ex­plains how it feels to live with this com­mon men­tal health is­sue, and why say­ing “don’t worry” never helps.

Glamour (South Africa) - - News -

sup­pose you re­ceived a let­ter one day – an unim­peach­able, of­fi­cial-look­ing let­ter signed by God, the Queen and Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch him­self – in­form­ing you that you were soon to be mur­dered by a ninja as­sas­sin. Wouldn’t it worry you?

I imagine it would make you dread leav­ing home, and that you would jump when­ever some­one a bit as­sas­siny-look­ing walked past. You’d prob­a­bly lie awake at night, ex­plor­ing and ree-xplor­ing every pos­si­ble way to es­cape your fate. Even­tu­ally, the vig­i­lance and over­think­ing would wear you down into a low-level ex­haus­tion that would wreck your con­cen­tra­tion and mem­ory.

Your diet would suf­fer. Your skin­care would go down­hill. And you’d start to avoid friends, partly be­cause you’d re­sent their blithe, as­sas­sin-free lives, and also be­cause there are only so many times you can re­ply to the text: “What’s up?” with “Just fac­ing the spec­tre of death lol what’s up with you?” be­fore peo­ple start to call you a drama queen.

As silly as it sounds, this is more or less how we live. Ob­vi­ously, I don’t have an as­sas­sin af­ter me, and I’ve never had post from Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch, but oth­er­wise it pretty much de­scribes how I feel on a day-to-day ba­sis.

It all started when I was 21 and fresh out of univer­sity. Sud­denly, I started hav­ing what I thought were flu symp­toms when I went out. I’d be mind­ing my own busi­ness at the bar

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.