What we already feel in the midst of an anxiety attack is a loss of control of our emotions, our thoughts, our being. Every word that wants to come out cyclones into a monstrous torrent of incoherent thoughts. Only a few words ring clear through that garbled mess, and for me, they’re not pretty. Dramatic, stupid, monster, b*itch. Those are the only words I can make out when an attack comes on me.
It is not an understatement for me to say in those moments when my mind shuts down and my emotions break loose that I genuinely feel like I’d rather die than for the person on the receiving end of this meltdown to see me like this.
The other element to my panic is imagining situations that aren’t real. I mean, that is usually what causes the outburst in the first place, am I right fellow anxious friends? For me it is an imagined situation where I have disappointed someone again, and I am getting ready to receive an onslaught of hateful speech from a loved one for how insignificant I am and how I just can’t get anything right. They don’t love me anymore so what the heck, just leave already.
I did not wake up asking the universe to flip on its axis and catapult an ocean of emotions down my throat. I too am trying to figure out how to understand what is happening.
So what do you say to your loved one with anxiety when they scream, “I can’t take this anymore!” A hug. The best thing you can do is hold them in a tight embrace and say, “Everything is going to be OK. I am here for you. We will get through this.” Because really, the reason all of this is happening is because your loved one is feeling immense pressure to measure up. Whether it be your standards or ones they have placed upon themselves (usually the latter), all they need to hear from you is that they do measure up, there is nothing to worry about, and things are going to be just fine.
Read the full article: The One Word Your Partner With Anxiety Doesn’t Need to Hear by Sarah Wallace, Contributor, on The Mighty
This is something I can definitely relate to.
Growing up, I had meltdowns exactly like this at least once a week. They were less frequent during the summer, but during the school year it happened all the time. Thankfully, it was usually only at home and my parents, usually my dad, were on the other side of it. Because at that time we didn’t know I had anxiety, it was usually made worse by my dad’s agitated, angry response to my irrational thought processes.
The good news is, now that I know this is caused by my anxiety and depression, I am usually able to feel when it’s coming and can work my way out of it. Sometimes it does still get the better of me, but most of the time I can take control of it.