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Exploring The Secret Benefits Of Living With Anxiety

An insightful listicle coming from someone who lives with clinical anxiety

By Talia DevoraPublished 3 months ago 9 min read
Exploring The Secret Benefits Of Living With Anxiety
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

What is an anxiety disorder?!

Anxiety is a typical human feeling that everyone feels from time to time, for example, when facing a problem at work, before taking a test or exam, or when your loved one is ill or injured. With that said, anxiety disorders are different from typical anxiety. The distress anxiety disorders cause are so great that it can impact a persons ability to function. For individuals with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are unstoppable and irrepressible, and can be damaging to his/her health.

The types of anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, particular phobias such as agoraphobia, feeling scared and avoiding certain places or situations that induces anxiety and stress, and generalized anxiety disorder.

Multiple brain researchers feel that anxiety disorders may be caused by issues in the functioning of the brain circuits that control fear and other emotions. Studies have revealed that severe or chronic stress can alter the way nerve cells within these brain circuits transmit information from one area of the brain to another. Other studies have revealed that people with certain anxiety disorders have changes in certain brain structures that regulate memories connected to strong emotions.

Anxiety disorders run in families, meaning they can be at least slightly inherited from one of both parents, like the risk of certain diseases like heart disease, diabetes, etc. Furthermore, certain environmental factors, such as a traumatic event that happened in ones life, can trigger an anxiety disorder in people who've inherited susceptibility to developing an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders affect millions of adults in North America. Women have a higher chance of developing an anxiety disorder than men.

Even though living with generalized anxiety disorder has put a huge toll of my psychological wellbeing over the years, I’ve taken time to explore the secret benefits of living with anxiety. Depending on the type of anxiety disorder one may have, or how anxiety affects a person, the benefits will be different for each person. Let's explore the secret benefits it's had for me!

1. Improved academic performance

By Miguel Henriques on Unsplash

Besides having a fear of getting in trouble, I've also had a fear of failure for many years. When I was in high school, I developed a tremendous fear of academic failure. I would have giant panic attacks and anxiety bouts before an exam or test, which impacted me very much. The fear continued in college. Even one mistake on a project, test, or exam set me off quickly.

Since my fear of academic failure was huge, I'd always come home and do my homework or study when it was necessary. Many of my schoolmates didn't have a phobia of academic failure, about their academic success, but I did, so I made sure I was on top of everything. I didn't care if my autism and anxiety disorder was hard for me some days, I wanted to do what I needed to do, so I can be like everyone else.

I'm glad I developed a fear of academic failure, because it increased my motivation to learn, grow, study, and become a dedicated student. In both high school and college, I never failed one course. The lowest grades I'd ever receive were 60's. I mainly got 70's, 80's, 90's, and even 100 one time. I was a recepient of many course-specific awards like the English award, honours rolls, and I graduated college with honours. Thanks to my great fear of academic failure, my dream of becoming a dedicated student came true!

2. Reduced likelihood of getting into trouble

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As I've mentioned in other Vocal stories, I've always been a highly sensitive individual who doesn't only despise being yelled at, but also fears being reprimanded and yelled at. Every time I've done something improper, I would always get afraid of getting in trouble, even though I knew it'd be a possible consequence for my behaviour.

Although anxiety made it harder for me to accept consequences as a child and teenager, anxiety also made it possible for me to do the right things, so the likelihood of me getting in trouble would be slimmer. Yes, I've done things that were uncalled for and got called out for them, but I've never exhibited any serious behaviours that would lead to serious ramifications like suspension, expulsion, paying legal fines, etc.

I'm happy that anxiety has kept me in check for many years, because if it didn't, I'd live quite a messy and lonely life!

3. Increased empathy for other people

By Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

I've always been a highly empathetic person, but having an anxiety disorder has made me more empathetic than ever before. I'm able to relate to people on a higher level, and I'm able to help people who goes through the same challenges as myself. Whenever one of my friends is having a serious panic attack, I make sure he/she has everything he/she needs and wants; I'd never leave them to their own devices. I also have a heap of family members who live with an anxiety disorder, so I'm quite knowledgeable in this area.

My goal was to always help and support people, so anxiety made me possible for me to catch that dream sooner than later!

4. Improved social wellbeing

By Shane Rounce on Unsplash

For people with specific anxiety disorders such as social anxiety disorder, this may not be the case, but having an anxiety disorder has given me a sense of belonging over the years. This is because I've made tons of friends who also experience anxiety in some way shape or form. Many of the people in my peer group either have an anxiety disorder or experience anxiety periodically, so it gives me an opportunity to connect with them on a higher level. Besides experiencing anxiety, the vast majority of people in my social circle also live with a mental health disorder and/or dual diagnosis.

I've been living with a dual diagnosis since I was 11 years old. Later on in elementary school, I had difficulties making and keeping friends, because of the intolerance they had. Many of the kids I went to elementary school with didn't struggle with a mental health disorder, a disability, or a dual diagnosis, so it was challenging for them to put themselves into my shoes. Very few of the kids I went to school with had a disability. As a result, it increased my anxiety and stress levels, because I'd always fear losing friends, and I always felt alone.

Leaving elementary school was a complete blessing for me, because I didn't have to worry about feeling alone anymore. When I began my junior high school career, I finally felt a sense of belonging. I've made many friends who were similar to me, which was a relief for me. In high school, I made even more friends who had similar challenges as me, so it allowed me to make even more friends and have a strong bond with them. Throughout my adulthood, I've made tons of friends who don't only live with a disability or mental health disorder themselves, they also have the ability to understand me. It's made making and keeping friends so much easier for me. I don't feel alone anymore, because I know I have friends who understand and accept me for who I am.

To read my previous story Recess Was A Nightmare, please view the link in the references section down below.

5. Increased creativity

By Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash

Anything can increase one's creative abilities, but having anxiety is one major reason why I want to continue writing poetry and making art. My anxiety causes me to see things in an alternate way, so it produces more creative juices. My anxiety also makes me tense, angry, and dejected, so it had encouraged me to make art and write poetry. Doing art and writing poetry is what has helped me manage my anxiety disorder over the years. Without these two creative outlets, I'd be lost. It has reduced the chances of me having meltdowns, suicidal episodes, and has given me a voice on days when I'd lose it.

I've written a few poems about what it's like living with an anxiety disorder, so please check them out. The links to the poems are in the references section down below!

6. Reduced chances of being victimized

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Even though I've been bullied in different settings throughout the years, I've lived a fairly healthy and happy life. I've never been a victim of serious crimes such as robbery or rape.

Although my family and I aren't strictly religious anymore, we still appreciate the concepts of modesty. Modesty, in our family, doesn't mean we cover ourselves from head to toe. It means that we don't dress in provocative ways. We don't wear things like halter tops, bikini's, strapless tops, because we believe that it shows too much skin and vulnerable parts of the human body. If we dress provocatively, we believe that it'll attract unwanted attention. If we dress reasonably, we believe that the likelihood of getting unwanted attention is slim. Even just a t-shirt, a pair of jeans, and sneakers are enough for a woman to cover her body.

According to psychological research, a woman who dresses provocatively was more likely to be a victim of robbery and rape than a woman who dresses more modestly. Research shows the delicate interaction of protection, patronizing, and personal accountability. Please view the article in the references section down below.

Thanks to my parents for telling me not to wear short skirts, short shorts, spaghetti strap tops, or anything else that'll show too much skin. Because of the way I was conditioned, no man has manage to touch me in a highly dangerous manner.

By Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Thank you for taking the time to read another one of my stories. If you enjoyed this story, please give it a ❤️, share it with others, comment, and please feel free to send me a tip/pledge to show your appreciation and support. To find and read more exciting content, please consider subscribing and visiting my public profile. Stay tuned for more poetry, recipes, stories, and much more!

Please feel free to keep in touch with me!

IG: @tdwrites24 (where you'll find all of my literary works) and @taliascreations331 (where you'll find all of my artwork, photography, digital art, and coding projects

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About the Creator

Talia Devora

Poetess, visual artist and lifestyle/quiz writer! My pastimes include reading, sleeping, gaming, music, fitness, etc! Be yourselves, be kind and value life! Let's connect and be friends!

My IG accounts: @tdwrites24 & @tdcreates97

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  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Thank you, Talia, for sharing your story!!!❤️❤️💕

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