Anxiety disorder and dating
When you have an anxiety disorder, living a normal life becomes virtually impossible.
Everyday situations that other people don't think twice about can make you sweat and give you heart palpitations, and experiences that most people might consider to be slightly stressful can give you a full-on panic attack.
Once you've been dating someone for a while, you generally know enough about them to figure out if they just fell asleep in the middle of texting or if they actually decided that they hate you mid-conversation.
When you're talking to someone new, though, everything they do is enough to make your heart rate go up. Or are they secretly praying for this date to come to an early end because your attempts at humor are so pathetic?
It's almost more comforting when things do start to go wrong, because your mind has spent so much time preparing for disaster that it's a relief to know that you're not crazy and the downfall of your relationship has really always been waiting just around the corner.
Your worries become a self-fulfilling prophecy as your anxiety begins to affect your relationship for the worse, and it's like there's nothing you can do to stop it.
But lots of situations that are no big deal to most people can cause a serious rush of adrenaline for someone with anxiety.
Trying out that interesting new Indian restaurant in town? My heart pounds a little faster right before a potentially life-changing job interview," or, "I totally know what you're going through.
Read Zoe's blog about her experience of being diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) after her Dad passed away.
or worse, maybe you've accidentally manipulated them into thinking that everyone freaks out as often as you do. Plus, when the person you're dating lives super far away, it makes it a lot easier for them to cheat on you with their five supermodel-hot friends that occasionally "like" their Facebook posts.
There are people with anxiety who manage to carry on LDRs, but most of us couldn't handle the stress.
The feeling you get when there's conflict in your relationship is a more vibrant form of anxiety that bursts into your mind and feels much more intense, but the kind you get when everything appears to be just fine is a slow-burning worry that sits in the back of your mind and wreaks a very subtle kind of havoc on your psyche.
All the paranoia, panic attacks, and physical health symptoms that plague you when you have anxiety can make you feel like you're sometimes less than human.