Can Anxiety Be Turned Off Like a Light Switch?
I wish to be freed from all my excessive worrying and fear. Part of me knows I’m blowing it out of proportion, but I can’t help it. It’s as if there are a million switches in my brain, each in charge of a different thought, that I just can’t turn off.
It’s not just ordinary things that everyone gets nervous about like taking a big test or preparing for a job interview. I literally worry about every little thing that happens... or doesn’t happen.
I get stuck focusing on a mistake I made at school or work. Before I know it, I’m panicking and thinking of all the worst-case scenarios that could have arisen. Then, I mull over whether something I said might have offended my friend. I jump to conclusions that don’t ever actually happen. The list goes on and on. It invades every part of my life.
I can feel my heart beating against my chest. Sometimes it feels like there’s a black hole of worries that nothing can fill. I wake up in the night feeling tense, on edge, and at times sick to my stomach. The switches in my brain begin to spark, the fuses burn out, and I’m left utterly exhausted, with no relief in sight.
If you sometimes feel the way I do, please know that you are not alone. There is hope. I talked to a health professional about my switches constantly being “on”, and they were able to help me learn how to turn them “off”. I used to feel worn down and hopeless but now I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Learning how to manage anxiety has helped me reach my full potential. Are you experiencing anxiety? It’s never too late to ask for help. There is no problem too big or too small.
If you or someone you know is experiencing anxiety, there is hope. Contact your health provider or call the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.