I am a long time sufferer of anxiety. I have had it for years. I remember feeling it in high school. In fact I remember having it much younger, it was a gift that was given to me by my wonderful parents. They can take it back now because I have had enough!
My BD (see previous post) gave me the gift with his unexpected bouts of anger. When he was angry, he was scary. My mother gave me the gift in a few other ways. When I was with my BD I would wake early and I was lonely and scared so I would call her. She did not like my calls and so she told me to hang up the phone and she called him and woke him up to tell him what I was doing. She also would leave me with my grandmother when it was her weekend and go out with friends. She would often not be there when I got up in the morning, so I would go and sit on the steps all alone by myself really early in the morning and cry.
I had never understood what the anxiety was, I would have these bouts that lasted about an hour. I felt that the whole world was going to come crashing down on me and that I had done something terrible to someone, I just had no real idea exactly what. I felt like everyone hated me and that I was just a big screw up.
One day my husband came home and was telling me about one of his friends at work. She had recently sent her oldest son off to college and then she started to get anxiety attacks. It was as we were talking about her situation that it clicked and I understood that I had anxiety attacks as well.
I have not done a great deal of research about them. I know that my attacks will pass and they usually don’t last too long. I have found that recently they are getting a bit more debilitation then they used to be, but I attribute it to moving outside of the US and trying to learn to live in a foreign country.
Exercise does seem to really make a differece to my mental health in general. I enjoy running and I am a trained Yoga/Pilates teacher. I have found benefits from all forms of exercise. In fact my husband sees a difference in me as well, he often encourages me to go and do something.