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People with anxiety live with panic as a constant companion. It doesn't show on the outside, but anxiety is a mental health disorder every bit as debilitating as a physical impairment. A prosthetic leg or a white cane are obvious disabilities; but people who struggle with anxiety are broken on the inside.

Unrelenting worry dominates your thought life, leaches your energy, and interferes with daily activities. High Functioning Anxiety makes you a skilled actor. The calm and competent exterior presented to others hides a person paralyzed by self-doubt, and terrified to be exposed as an incompetent fraud.

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Depression drains your energy, hope, and drive, making it difficult to do what you need to feel better. But while overcoming depression isn’t quick or easy, it’s far from impossible. You can’t just will yourself to “snap out of it,” but you do have more control than you realize—even if your depression is severe and stubbornly persistent. The key is to start small and build from there. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day.

The road to depression recovery begins with a single step

“There’s a misconception that anxious people are antisocial, short-fused or over-dramatic. But they’re most likely processing everything around them so intensely that they can’t handle a lot of questions, people or heavy information all at once. Anxiety is when you feel everything.” — Katie Crawford

Anxiety is debilitating. It feels like a constant heaviness in your mind; like something isn’t quite right, although oftentimes you don’t know exactly what that something is.

It feels like acid in your stomach, burning and eating away at the emptiness and taking away any feelings of hunger. It’s like a tight knot that you can’t untwist.

Traumatic events, such as fire, earthquake, bombing, and hurricane, occur daily. Such devastatingcircumstances often cause an acute reaction of fear and terror for individuals who experience them. War, rape, and physical assault or abuse, whether of a child or an adult, produce equally frightening results, known as post-traumatic stress. It occurs when traumatized individuals cannot safely assign to the past what has happened in their life. The experience of trauma undermines one's expectations of safety and security in the world.

After nearly seven years of personal experience surrounding loss, I can tell who is going to read, share and comment on this article and it’s not necessarily the audience I’ve intended. Those who have walked the horrific road of loss will shake their collective heads “Yes” at many of my points below and share with pleads for the rest of the Western World to read, learn, evolve and embrace these concepts. Unfortunately, my words will fall short for my intended audience because the premise does not yet apply to their lives...yet.

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