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9 Signs You’re Having an ‘Anxiety Relapse’

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I am not OK but I am still standing.

Do you ever get a buzz around your body? It has been weeks since your anxiety last reared its ugly head; you know the feeling: the buzz. It’s the indicator something is not quite right; something is bubbling but you cannot stop it from over boiling because what is boiling is not a kettle boiling for a cup of tea. It is your anxiety rearing its ugly head.

Days pass you by, hoping the boiling will turn into a simmer. However, it does not. Your breathing quickens, racing thoughts triggering through your mind.

Worst-case scenarios are played in 3D right before your eyes; you’re choosing to believe what your mind is showing you, but there’s that little piece of logic which is quietly telling you that you should not be trusting your own mind right now. Nothing is what it seems.

It has been a week now. You know what you are feeling is an anxiety relapse; the signs are there.

How do I know when I am falling into an anxiety relapse?

  • Sleeping pattern. What sleeping pattern? Five hours of sleep, tops!
  • Quickening of my breathing; “am I having an allergic reaction?”
  • My head feeling like it is on fire.
  • My brain feeling like it is being stretched.
  • Wanting to strip off my skin and walk away from my body, or wondering if I am actually in my body. “Am I dreaming? Am I dead?” Dissociation at its finest.
  • Arguments with loved ones — being adamant that what you are seeing is not your brain playing tricks on you, but it is well and truly fact.
  • Staying in one room of your house, realizing you have been home for an entire weekend, but only confined to your bedroom when you have six other rooms to explore.
  • When did I last wash my hair?” A question I never need to ask myself when my anxiety is controlled.
  • Everyone. Hates. Me.

If I notice any of the above (with the buzz in my body, of course), I realize I am hitting rock bottom and I am not entirely sure how to dig myself out. At that moment, I call it weakness.

When you feel a tremendous amount of anxiety, reaching out to someone it the best thing you can do. Telling someone you are struggling works wonders. It does not mean you are automatically fixed; it means you have opened up to someone and shown them a side of you not many people have seen.

When I think like this, I think about who I want to open up to. It is not a case of who I trust the most, known the longest, love the most or even who I like the most. Do you know who you should turn to when you’re relapsing? The person who you feel safest with.

Why? Because it makes you realize you are not alone, and you can get through the episode without your life falling apart, even though it may seem it.

Always talk. Talking is the best medicine and therapy for me, minus going out into nature or plugging into some music. Talking is sometimes hard; it makes you admit what you believe to be weak, forces you to be vulnerable with someone else apart from you and gives you the comfort and release from what you have been feeling.

Photo by Fábio Alves on Unsplash

Originally published: April 14, 2023
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