Generally I suffer from anxiety directly related to stress. When I first started having this problem was when I had just moved cross-country and started a new job in a small town. I was hired as a sales associate at a major department store. I started to stress for many reasons. The small town we moved to, is.. well. Kind of a joke. Which means the department store I worked at, performed poorly and pay rates are directly related to making your sales quota, which I never did make. After three-months an associate is due for their review, and if they didn't make their quota they could expect a major pay-cut. This made other sales associates highly competitive with each other, which made the sales floor high-strung, and overrun with pushy sales people. Overall, a nasty work environment. Needless to say, I was anxious all the time. THINKING about going to work in the morning made my stomache hurt. On more than one occasion I felt light-headed and passed out behind the register, and generally, I felt like I was trying to breathe on mars.. every day. I also started to suffer from IBS, (again, self diagnosing) but it made me physically sick, almost every day, for three months.. right until my review... Which of course, led me to quit.
I have been working in property management for over a year now. More specifically, I am the assistant manager of a large apartment complex. I have been doing relatively well here. Currently, however, I am running this property by myself. My boss picked up and quit two weeks ago and I have been struggling to make it to work at all. Which is HORRIBLE because my company needs me more now that I'm covering for both of us. I feel overwhelmed frequently. And that feeling manifests itself physically, EVERYDAY. But thats just the normal stuff.. There are extremes too.. for example..
My worst experience was a few years back when I was exiting a concert venue by means of an underground tunnel. There was literally a thousand people walking through this tunnel at the same time and I had a panic attack. I'm not generally anxious by crowds or social settings, but the few times I have felt anxious I have been able to look up and focus on the sky.. It would help me to breathe deeper and escape the situation, calmly. Which is why the tunnel situation was so horrifying. Having the celing of the tunnel block my view made me completely freak out. I was hyperventilating and screaming and shaking.. My body wanted to run, but we were so jam-packed with other concert-goers that there really was no where to run. My then-boyfriend had to put my head in his chest and cover me with his jacket, which actually freaked me out more. He began to yell and managed to have the people in front of us move to the side slightly so that we could get out of the tunnel.
That was about four years ago.. I still don't go to big concerts anymore.
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Does it sound like GAD? Or am I just stressing out entirely too much? Sometimes its not even something major. Talking on the phone with my mother will make me panic, and I have a relitively good relationship with my mom.. I just can't handle.. anything. Anymore.
I'm scared, because all of my physical anxiety started after college. I will be attending school again for my second degree starting next week. And I'm concerned because I'm not sure if I just "became" anxious in recent years, or if it something that was always there, but i had never dealt with because I was happier and more confident with education than I have ever been in "the real world". Does that even make sense? Gah.. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet and get insurance, so a doctor can help me, instead of a plethra of LJ & Myspace groups.