Many adult children of narcissistic parents have trouble with anxiety. Those of us who live with it know the awful feelings of blind fear that anxiety can bring or the misery of a panic attack. But, did you know anxiety can bring other seemingly unrelated symptoms as well?
Are you clumsy? That can be related to anxiety. If you are preoccupied as many people with anxiety are, you can miss seeing that hole in the sidewalk that makes you twist your ankle or not pay enough attention to the item you’re holding so you drop it.
Forgetful? Also anxiety related. Being distracted by anxiety, you are less likely to concentrate on other things, so you may forget things easily.
Do you have unusual dreams? That also may be related to anxiety. The brain constantly processes information- good, bad or indifferent- even when we’re sleeping. Anxiety can make you overthink things, thus opening the door to unusual or even bad dreams.
Changes in how your voice sounds? Stuttering? That also can be related to anxiety. A person’s voice may change when exposed to higher levels of anxiety. Their voice may get shaky or higher pitched.
Difficulty finding the right words? Anxiety again, especially when in difficult situations. If you’re in a situation that reminds you of a traumatic experience in particular, finding the right words can be difficult because of the intrusive thoughts of the traumatic experiences.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you aren’t crazy! You’re anxious. Don’t panic! Easier said than done, I know, but try not to panic at least. Anxiety is a nasty problem but it can be managed.
As anxiety kicks in, try to relax the best you can. Slow down. Pray. Tell God what you feel & ask for help. Write in your journal. Talk to yourself- ask what are you so afraid of? Can things happening really hurt you right now? Breathe deeply & slowly. Hold something that offers you comfort, such as a soft blanket. Smell a scent that comforts you- lavender isn’t only a pleasant scent but it offers anti-anxiety properties. Tactics like this may help you to get through the intense moments.
There are medications available for those with anxiety disorders. Talk to your general practitioner for more information, or for a referral to a psychiatrist. If you prefer the natural, herbal route, there are alternatives. Valerian root, lemon balm & kava kava are plants that have anti-anxiety properties. I take valerian root supplements & drink lemon balm tea at night often as it helps me to sleep. In fact, I grow lemon balm plants in my yard- it’s easy to grow & to dry the leaves for making tea. It’s a good idea to speak with your doctor before taking herbal remedies though to make sure they won’t interact with any medications you may be taking.