Due to the lack of public discourse, most people aren’t aware of the fact that an intense case of anxiety can physically and emotionally paralyze you. Paralyzing anxiety is an extremely debilitating form of anxiety, that can render a person completely overwhelmed. It can result in a complete lack of functionality. As a matter of fact, some people find it completely impossible to move or even utter a word while an anxiety attack takes its course.
Finding out more about paralyzing anxiety is essential considering how its impact on one’s physical and mental wellbeing can completely disrupt their daily routine. We’re talking about a form of anxiety that is so extreme, it can render you completely immovable on your own accord. The latest findings on paralyzing anxiety can help you understand the risks it poses. Additionally, if you or someone near you remains undiagnosed, having some starting pointers can really make a change!
Dealing With Paralyzing Anxiety: Symptoms
The symptoms indicating debilitating anxiety can be divided into 2 categories based on their nature. These categories are as follows;
1. Behavioral Changes
Under the impact of a paralytic anxiety attack, most people show the following indications;
- The general practice of being in social withdrawal. This includes showing a complete lack of interest in visiting public places. Such individuals tend to avoid nights out with friends or a casual date night with a partner.
- The exhibition of extremely irrational fear is another indication of paralyzing anxiety. Under the control of this fear, an individual might exhibit some irrational and compulsive actions. For instance; some people fear the impact of germ transfer or unknown viruses. Thus they repeatedly wash their hands and sanitize the items near them.
- Paralyzing anxiety also increases the need for constant reassurance. If there’s someone close by, an anxious person will constantly demand to know that they’re fine and there’s nothing wrong. Paralytic anxiety can also make sufferers fear the unknown. They’ll experience constant dread which results in further uneasiness. Additionally, they’ll become more watchful and alert. An example of this would be; becoming extremely fearful of strangers in a crowd, becoming irrationally vigilant while driving, etc.
- Another common symptom is, expecting the worse in all situations. While a normal individual would most likely ignore a common cold someone with paralyzing anxiety can consider it a life-threatening situation. Thus they’ll most likely overdiagnose their situation or continue visiting a physician until the fear wears off.
- A person dealing with paralyzing anxiety is in a constant state of confusion as to why something like this suddenly happened.
- They tend to expect the worse and feel unsafe in all mildly harsh situations. Thus they’d rather become homebound than even be mildly social. It can indicate the onset of agoraphobia.
- Paralyzing anxiety can also result in cognitive distortion. A person in that situation will be more inclined towards the “all or nothing” thinking. Because of that, they’d want to perform an act without delay, right at that very moment and with an intense focus on perfection. It’s a negative thinking pattern and if one thing goes wrong they might believe that the entire thing needs to be thrown out of the window.
- The overwhelming feeling that arises from having an anxiety attack can make a sufferer unable to respond normally even to simple questions. They might also sound unusually less empathetic or excited. So, if there’s someone who’s all of a sudden acting distant and not responding normally to emotional situations. It could also be a symptom of severe emotionally paralyzing anxiety.
2. Physical Symptoms
Physical symptoms are much more obvious and easy to detect as you might’ve guessed. Paralyzing anxiety manifests itself physically in the following manners;
- Under the impact of extremely debilitating anxiety, some people find themselves in the presence of severe digestion problems. They’ll frequently visit the lavatory for their excessive need to urinate. It has a lot to do with the fear of the unknown that anxious people experience. Another related sign would be severe stomach ache and in some very extreme cases, diarrhea.
- Insomnia or lack of sleep is another chronic condition that could indicate the onset of paralyzing anxiety. When you’re extremely mentally disturbed and under the radar of stress you probably won’t find yourself sleeping through the night. Sufferers of extreme forms of anxiety fail to have a proper sleeping schedule which further adds to their constant state of exhaustion.
- Some people also report a lack of appetite
- People struggling with intense forms of anxiety often complain about a constantly nauseating feeling. They might feel like retching without any reason. Lightheadedness and headache pangs are also very noticeable in such situations.
- In an anxious state, sufferers tend to sweat a lot. You’ll notice visible sweat marks around their armpits and their hands usually feel pretty wet. Another traceable sign is their irregular heartbeat. Their heart usually starts pounding as anxiety starts taking over.
- People that usually struggle with paralyzing anxiety find it harder to breathe under an anxiety attack. Apart from shortness of breath they can also find themselves feeling unusually claustrophobic.
- Muscle twitching, muscle tightness are some of the many prominent signs. In more intense cases this muscle twitching can turn into violent tremors.
Paralyzing Anxiety: Causes
Major Life Changes: Huge alterations in your routine can disrupt your entire life. Some common examples would be; the addition of a new family member, death of someone close to you, starting a new job, getting fired from an old job, moving/relocation, getting married or divorced, etc. These major life changes can turn into stressors because they’re different from the norm. Henceforth, studies prove that major life changes can cause paralyzing anxiety.
Hereditary Reasons: If anxiety disorders run in your family then you’re more likely of having one. Having an abundance of anxious people in the family absolutely does not mean that you must also have an undiagnosed condition. It only means that you’re more likely to struggle with similar circumstances as compared to people that don’t have such hereditary reasoning.
The Occurrence Of A Traumatic Event: Whenever something dreadful happens to you, near you, or to someone close to you, it can leave a noticeable or unnoticeable impact on you. Sometimes this traumatic impact is suddenly noticeable from the very beginning. Meanwhile, in other cases, it can secretly linger on as you unknowingly try to cope with it without showing a sign of struggle. As a result of keeping things inside you for too long, one may or may not become the victim of paralyzing anxiety.
It can be in the form of a sudden meltdown in which the struggler doesn’t even realize what’s happening to him/her. Thus any kind of undealt grief regarding someone’s death or unprocessed trauma related to sexual abuse, childhood neglect, accidents, etc. can contribute to paralyzing anxiety.
Environmental Factors: The more time you spend in a stressful environment the more likely you are of getting affected negatively. Some people are just more mentally and emotionally resilient. It would be fitting to say that some people are just built differently. On the contrary, people that are less resilient can be more at risk of having emotionally or physically paralyzing anxiety.
Some common examples would be; living in an unstable household with abusive parents, extreme poverty or living in bad financial conditions, stressful working conditions, living with a long-term physical illness, extreme academic pressure, residing in an area with debilitating climatic conditions or natural disasters, etc.
The Impact Of Paralyzing Anxiety
- When suddenly greeted with undiagnosed physically paralyzing anxiety, people are usually under a wrong impression. They tend to assume that there might be something physically wrong with them instead of wondering whether it could be an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. In some cases, it can result in maltreatment and further exhaustion which can disrupt one’s life.
- Emotionally paralyzing anxiety can make a person seem distant and less empathetic in front of others. Under the impression that you’re not responding normally people close to you can make false assumptions about it. Thus it can affect your relationship with a romantic partner, friends, and family.
- Due to their debilitating condition and the risk that comes with paralyzing anxiety people can become severely antisocial. They want to avoid the embarrassment that comes with having a public meltdown. In the long run, they struggle with feelings of sadness and can experience loneliness due to the lack of companionship.
- Paralyzing anxiety can cause feelings of shame and exhaustion among people who deal with it. Their inabilities to perform basic tasks normally may make them feel like they’re useless and result in an inferiority complex.
- For people that get triggered by hectic social environments working in an official setting can be pretty worse. There are more chances of having a paralyzing anxiety attack during work hours which affects their ability to perform. Unemployment can be one of the many consequences of paralyzing anxiety.
Living With Paralyzing Anxiety: Treatment & Coping Mechanisms
Therapy & Medication: Most therapists heavily rely on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CHY) when it comes to paralyzing anxiety. One of the biggest reasons behind this is that CBT can aid someone like you in breaking the link between the emotion of the anxiety and the particular behavior that is getting in your way. The medication plan for controlling the impact of short-term and long-term anxiety disorders varies. Only with the vigilant routine of taking medication and attending therapy sessions one can learn how to live normally with an anxiety disorder.
In order to provide short-term relief, most doctors prescribe Benzodiazepines which are central nervous system depressants. Furthermore, long-term treatment of anxiety disorders is carried out with the help of anti-depressants. Instead of ingesting whatever others suggest on the internet, get in contact with a doctor. Antidepressants can have varying negative consequences when consumed for longer periods, in non-prescribed amounts. So, make sure you’re consuming only the drugs prescribed by your doctor in the right dosage.
Searching For Patterns & Triggers: The manifestation of a paralyzing anxiety attack indicates that you might be in the presence of a stressor. If a stressor is contributing to the issue, then finding that stressor can either diminish or reduce the impact of anxiety on you. These triggers may vary from person to person. For instance; for some people, a common trigger would be staying in a new, unknown social setting or locality. Meanwhile, for others, a trigger could be working in a hectic environment under uncompromising dominant authoritative figures.
Once you realize what triggers you can find ways to control the impact of those triggers on you or completely avoid them based on a counselor’s advice. For example, if moving to a new city, alone seems to be the cause behind paralyzing anxiety you can talk to a counselor. A counselor can suggest ways that can you help you adjust better to your surroundings. Perhaps becoming more familiar with your locality, making new friends, and sort of becoming stable reduces the chances of having an anxiety attack seldom. Furthermore, if there are people that could be unintentionally triggering you into having an anxiety attack, it might be time to give yourself preference. You have no space for negativity in your life. Thus creating boundaries between you and such triggers can also reduce the chances of paralyzing anxiety.
If a diagnosed physical anomaly is contributing to your anxious state you’ve got to bring some change. Maintaining your health and working out can set this change in motion. Find what makes you happy and dedicate your time to releasing some dopamine or serotonin. Additionally, find ways to calm yourself down in a sudden overwhelming situation. Practicing yoga, listening to calming music and other meditative activities seems to work out well for a lot of people. Introduce a healthy diet in your life and adopt a normal sleeping schedule to avoid further exhaustion. Just remember to take one thing at a time so you can avoid becoming overwhelmed by too much.