What is Anxiety?


Emilee Pearman, Editor

To some, anxiety is just a feeling of worry or fear because you’re not sure what the outcome of a specific event or action will be, but to other people, much like myself, anxiety is a being that questions your every action and cuts you down when you feel strongest simply because you can’t control it. It’s kind of like OCD, everyone claims to have it, but most of the time, they really don’t.

Anxiety is simply a feeling of worry and fear, but when you have it, it feels much more complex. Anxiety comes in many different forms: Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, specific phobias, and general anxiety. You don’t have anxiety if you’re just nervous about a test coming up or if you have a fear of bugs.

Some people will give themselves anxiety attacks by thinking they have anxiety and that just ends badly.”

— Natalie Oliver

“I have trouble breathing, start shaking a lot, can barely stand and get really nauseous,” Sammi Parks, a freshman at GCHS said.

A lot of people who experience anxiety and panic attacks also face a lot of different problems during it as well.

“Shortness of breath…I get really pale…it can be anywhere from shaking to stammering to even simply feeling as if you can’t talk.” Natalie Oliver, a junior at GCHS said, co-owner of a website on many disorders. “It’s everything you would think it isn’t.”

My brother, for example, has anxiety. In his case, it is specifically about his clothing in the winter. He is very obsessive about having jeans, baseball t-shirt, long knee high socks, a jacket with a working zipper, and his baseball cap. Why is that so important? To him, it’s his comfort zone. Without all of that, he gets incredibly nervous and will have a panic attack because something is different in his routine. Now if that seems silly to you, here’s your sign that you have a very high chance of being anxiety-free. In my case, I feel comfortable with long sleeves and keep myself out of anything that gets me too much attention, I almost always have to have some sort of metal on me or extra accessory of something I can run my fingers under or through. Why? Because when I feel a surge of anxiety I would run my finger along the metal or a bracelet to calm down. Personally, the feel of the material gets my mind off that specific problem delaying the anxiety long enough for it to go away or even be solved.

“Some people will give themselves anxiety attacks by thinking they have anxiety and that just ends badly.” said Natalie Oliver.

Sierra Smallie, a freshman at GCHS said, “I’m just giving myself the anxiety attack because I’m freaking out and then I end up freaking myself out more.”

You may know someone with anxiety and perhaps have even tried to help out.

“My best friend has anxiety. I’ve been there when she has had an anxiety/panic attack and normally she gets really nervous and then has heart palpitations, which is where your heart starts beating kind of like out of rhythm. Her realization kicks in of the ‘I’m having a panic attack’ and then her breathing gets like short and shallow. She shakes sometimes and if she doesn’t do the breathing like she’s supposed to she has almost passed out a few times,” a junior at GCHS Dakota Smallie said.  

Let’s recap. Anxiety comes in many forms, but it’s not like being nervous or scared. Having it is very scary and shouldn’t be romanticized or wished to be endured by anyone. You can have minor issues when having it like shaking uncontrollably or abnormal heart rhythm, but it varies based on the level of your anxiety. Don’t stress over panic attacks. You may have a phantom attack or talk yourself into having a panic attack as a result, which is just as bad as having one. If you deal with anxiety or know someone who does, I suggest reading Dakota Smallie’s and Natalie Oliver’s blogs here.