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Surprisingly, Staying Home All Day Has Made Me Anxious — Not Depressed

When I heard the news about the shelter in place order in my town, my first thought was, “There’s no way my depression won’t be triggered again.” I was afraid because I knew that being trapped at home, without physical contact and social interaction, without the ability to go out and distract myself, could easily trigger a relapse. I was aware of this.

But what I wasn’t aware of was how bad my anxiety would become. Thankfully, my depression has not (yet) been triggered. However, my anxiety has gotten so bad it’s a constant, debilitating part of my daily life. Honestly, most times, I don’t even know why I feel anxious. I just know that my chest feels tight and it’s hard to breathe and at 4 p.m. I am lying on my side and staring at my walls because I physically can’t move.

At night I don’t sleep. I toss and turn in bed until 3:00 a.m. and wake up again at 7:30 a.m. with my heart beating so hard and so fast. My head aches and I try my best to fall asleep again and usually succeed, falling asleep until 11:00 a.m. and then waking up again unable to breathe. The headaches don’t stop, the nausea rattles my body constantly and my stomach feels empty and full at the same time.

While my mind seems overwhelmed by the news, my online classes, the fear of getting sick, the lack of sleep, my overly loud family and all the triggers that have been clawing at my body, I know I am struggling right now and that it’s OK that I am. I know there is much to be grateful for, but that doesn’t erase how I feel inside. The only thing bringing me comfort is knowing that someday, everything will be OK. There are people out there who love me, who love us, and people who are doing everything in their power to support us and help us through this situation, and I am so grateful for that. Some day, it will all be OK again.

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Getty image via Maria Voronovich