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My daughter was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder her junior year in high school. Now a healthy, happy college sophomore, this is the article she published today on Odyssey sharing her story. She is a brilliant writer and a brave warrior. 

Today’s guest post is by my daughter, Brooke Ivey Johnson.

dragonAnxiety: 1. A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. 2. Desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease.

This is the dictionary definition of anxiety. It’s just a few sentences, easily read and understood.

Many think of anxiety as the feeling you have before a final exam, or maybe that weight in your stomach while you wait to hear the outcome of your recent job interview.

To some, it’s a little more real. If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you probably feel like you could write books on the many masks of anxiety. On the chest pain, the tight throat and foggy thoughts, the sensations that hide the real problem. But I bet you could write libraries on what happens when anxiety runs out of masks, the malicious little creature that it is, doesn’t worry, instead, it begins to show its real face, a guise even more terrifying than the masks. Maybe it shows its disfigured, gnarled features as compulsive thoughts that have you questioning the stability of your own psyche, the very truth of your thoughts. Maybe it shows itself in anxiety attacks that seem to rise from the floor and grab you by the neck, moments of such unreasonable panic, you find yourself searching for the cause, grappling for the dragon that must be breathing down your neck for your mind to be thrown into such chaos. The worst moment of all? When you finally find the lair of the Dragon, and discover him to reside in your own mind.

Continue reading the rest of her story HERE