“Why do you always say no?”, Shreya pouted at her best friend.
The sequel to her favourite movie was out, and her bestie was currently sprawled across the bed in her pyjamas with not so much as an ounce of excitement. They had seen the first part together, and had vowed to follow through all the parts together, but Rimjhim felt it was a waste of time.
“It just released today. I don’t see why we must watch it today. Besides, I don’t feel like standing in a queue or being surrounded by like a gazillion people. We’ll just watch it when it’s available for download.”
“You always do this! Every time we’re going out, you come up with ridiculous excuses not to go!”, Shreya seethed at the expense of Rimjhim.
“ I don’t feel well! Can’t you just drop it?”, Rimjhim retorted with annoyance.
She knew that Shreya was right. Rimjhim always did manage to excuse herself from going out to any social gatherings. She couldn’t help it. Every outing she went for, ended in the same way, with her struggling to stand up straight, to catch her breath and to quiet down her frantic heart from beating out of her chest. She hated to do this to her friend again, but she just felt sick knowing it would happen to her again.
“Don’t be a selfish prick! Not everything is about you. We’re going to watch this movie, no matter what you say! Now get off the bed, and get dressed!”, Shreya replied with anger, as she pulled the duvet off her struggling friend.
“I don’t want to go!”, Rimjhim tried in vain, once again.
“Tough luck! You’re going. Now get dressed.”, Shreya replied.
Rimjhim resigned to her fate as she started getting dressed, a small knot of tension beginning to form in her stomach. Once outside, she couldn’t help but be plagued by a simple thought that she shouldn’t have left her house; that she was going to encounter people she didn’t want to meet or that something bad would happen to her on the way. It always did. She was a magnet for misfortune, or so she thought.
In the queue for the ticket booth, Rimjhim couldn’t stop fidgeting. She could feel her thoughts running at the speed of light, and she unconsciously started scratching her arm.
“Why are you scratching your arm?” Shreya asked, looking dubiously at the right arm of her friend, which was turning bright red by the second.
Rimjhim didn’t reply.
“Rimjhim?”, Shreya called to her friend again.
This time Rimjhim looked up at her friend as if she had been shocked back to reality and didn’t know where she was.
“You said something?”, Rimjhim asked, absentmindedly still scratching her arm.
“Yes. I asked you why you’re scratching your arm. Are you alright? You look pale!”, Shreya asked with concern.
Rimjhim looked down at her arms now, and realised she had in fact scratched her arm quite brutally. Being caught in the moment, she felt embarrassed, like she had done something which she shouldn’t have done.
“I need a minute!”, Rimjhim said, as she sprinted across the floor, rushing towards the empty cubicle of the washroom.
Shreya followed her frantic friend, only to find her now curled up into a ball on the washroom’s floor, shivering violently, and absentmindedly pulling at her hair. Rimjhim couldn’t fathom any of this. All she could feel was the loud taboo of her heart across her rib cage and a sense of impending doom. She felt pain but it was under her skin and she had to let it out. She pulled at her hair, ripping several of them from her scalp, but she felt nothing.
Shreya was tense. She had never seen her friend like this. In retrospect, she understood why Rimjhim had been avoiding getting out of house, but most things were still unclear to her. Rimjhim was panting now, deep laboured breathing giving way to sweat on her flustered face. She got up from her huddled position shakily, and made a beeline for the sink.
“Rimjhim, are you alright?”, Shreya asked with concern, as her panting friend splashed water repeatedly over her face.
Rimjhim looked up at her drenched face and bewildered eyes in the mirror. She let out a deep sigh, then turned towards her friend and with the quietest voice replied, “Let’s just go watch the movie!”
If you or any of your friends has gone through anything similar to what Rimjhim went through, then there’s a likelihood that you are suffering from anxiety. Anxiety is a silent disorder which might sneak up on you, without you realising. An anxiety attack can make a person’s heart beat faster, cause sweats, involuntary body tremors, and an inexplicable fear. Mostly anxiety is coupled with an obsessive thought which you have no control over. What can cause anxiety is a varied topic and the triggers for the same differ from person to person. Anxiety can be eased through psychotherapy and any person suffering from anxiety can resort to medical assistance for the same. The symptoms for anxiety are:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
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