I wasn’t sure if I should bring this topic up because I’m still trying to figure out what the answer to the question is. For some people, there is no trigger for anxiety attacks. Others can pinpoint the cause. I seem to bounce between the groups in my own mind, which makes this more of a challenge. Maybe I’ll get lucky and figure something out by the end of this post.
Two weeks ago was a really bad one. I woke up on the verge of an attack every day, except Thursday. I still succumbed to one by the afternoon, which might be the reason my editing was so slow. This was a strange incident because I hadn’t really woken up in such a state before. It was typically a midday/night issue, so I began wondering what was going on. My dreams weren’t any more memorable or panicky than usual, but there was a lot of life stress. Now, I had a feeling that it was related to stress to begin with, but this really locked that idea down.
The more I think about it, the more I wonder if anxiety is typically caused by some type of stress. It’s almost like a sign that the psyche has crossed a breaking point and continues to erode. At least for me, I’ve reached a point where it doesn’t take much to push me over that cliff. By this point, I can’t figure out if there’s any specific scenario or simply general stress. I’ve had anxiety attacks in the face of traffic, after fights, writing tense action scenes, and letting my mind wander. That last one has to be the worst of the lot since I can’t always pinpoint when and where that one comes from. Still, they all have the stress thing in common, so that’s probably it.
Again, I can only speak for myself here, which is why this topic gets a little shaky. I’m actually stressing about the possibility that I might be making it sound like this is how anxiety works in general. A lot of people talk as if the triggers are the same across the board, which can be frustrating. You find yourself being talked to in a way that doesn’t match your situation. For example, it does seem like it’s general stress that sends me over the edge while a friend of mine with anxiety only gets it with certain situations. Long ago, I had a similar issue that was only triggered by work too. Huh, kind of forgot about that until now.
So, I do have a general idea of what sets me off. The hard part is that there’s no way to go through life without stress. Not when you’re an indie author and trying to get other parts of your existence together. Why can’t things be easy?