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Anxiety Made Actress Ashley Benson Lose Trust in Her Body

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Anxiety comes with a plethora of symptoms, and not all of them impact our minds. On top of worry-filled thoughts, intrusive thoughts and high levels of stress, many of us who deal with anxiety also experience physical symptoms. You may experience fatigue, trouble breathing, increased heart rate, excessive sweating and so on.

When anxiety affects your body, it can be easy to think there’s something more than anxiety going on (and sometimes there is). This unknown led actress Ashley Benson to become less trusting of her body after experiencing a panic attack on the set of “Pretty Little Liars.”

“Every day, I thought I was going to have a heart attack or something like that,” she told MindBodyGreen. “I didn’t trust my body anymore, and I was always second-guessing every little feeling.”

For Benson, anxiety and panic attacks knocked her confidence and made her feel like she was dying. This led her to seek medical attention at the hospital.

We asked The Mighty’s mental health community how anxiety impacted their relationship with their bodies.

Here’s what they had to say:

  1. “I’ve felt betrayed by my own body when anxiety manifests in physical symptoms, and I end up feeling like only a small part of me actually fights to get control but the rest of my body is in utter chaos while I’m left holding on for dear life.” — Ludi W.
  2. “More anxiety over not doing what I want to physically still do, need to still do because otherwise it doesn’t get done. My mind is tricky little gremlin…not sure if my mind is lying to my body or my body is lying to my mind, clearly one is out of sync with the other.” — Lissa R.
  3. “My anxiety makes me think that everyone can look at how I’m dressed and know that I’m crawling and aching inside. If I look nice, they won’t know.” — Lindsay G.
  4.  “I’m way more aware of things that occur with my body because of how my anxiety makes me feel. I’m more aware of my pulse or other body sensations when a panic attack is coming like how my stomach feels, how my chest feels, or when I get antsy and jittery. When I get like this I know a panic attack is coming on.” — Liz Ann T.
  5. “My anxiety manifests itself as tremors and spasms (I have MS and anxiety worsens my symptoms) that are easily visible to others. I have become quite self-conscious about it and actively avoid confronting stressful situations in person.” — Kdragnfli
  6. “Anxiety makes me feel as though my mind and body are two separate entities forcefully wanting to separate, and the only way to fix it would be ripping all my skin off. Sometimes it feels like my mind is the adult saying “calm down, we are fine now” and my body is a child sitting with hands over their ears yelling, ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU!’ My body shakes long after the initial perceived threat is gone. It feels like betrayal.” — Jessie
  7. “Overall, it’s just made me more aware of my body and more connected to it. I must be kind to both my body and my mind because when one suffers, as does the other.” — Peyton W.

How has your anxiety impacted your relationship with your body? Join the conversation on The Mighty.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/jjduncan_80

Originally published: July 31, 2018
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