In modern times, where people tend to self diagnose a lot and use these diagnoses as a way of getting sympathy and attention, having a real diagnosis or two can be challenging. I, myself, was diagnosed - may I add; by a professional - with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety not too long ago. It would only be natural for people to wonder: am I turning into one of 'those people'? Am I gonna be someone who wears my diagnoses high and proud and try to create this whole 'PTSD-Jessica' personality where I sit on social media and complain about my life being a living hell, and how I'm just a victim of society?
The short and simple answer to that question is no. I refuse to be one of those people who enters a room and suck all the happiness out of it. I refuse to be "poor Jessica", the girl with all the issues. I don't want to be that annoying person who's always complaining about life being unbearable. The one people eventually will start to avoid because it's just so depressing being around her. I think we've all met some people fitting that description, and although they might be nice people, and we feel sorry for them, they're just not pleasant to be around.
In case you guys didn't know, there's actually a word for those kinds of people. They're called energy vampires. Because instead of sucking your blood like a normal vampire, they drain you of your energy. I, for one, refuse to be an energy vampire.
One thing my psychiatrist told me, that I found very interesting, is that the diagnoses shows themselves in different ways. No two people with PTSD or social anxiety are the same. The diagnoses shows itself in certain ways, that are unique for every person. While some people with social anxiety will find it challenging to go to the mall or anywhere there are lots of people, others, like me, really enjoys those kind of things but will instead find it hard and unpleasant to pay for things and communicate with the cashier. With that in mind, I thought it'd be a good idea to tell you exactly how my diagnoses portray themselves in my case.
MY SOCIAL ANXIETY ISSUES:
♥ I find it difficult to order (or pay for) things face to face.
♥ I have some serious issues picking up, or making, phonecalls.
♥ Videochats? I just can't.
♥ I can't speak foreign languages (such as english) if there are Norwegians in the room / house / apartment. Funny enough, I have no problem speaking english in front of americans or any non-scandinavian person.
♥ I can't work out in front of people, use the vacuum cleaner, show emotions, dance, write (or type on my laptop) or sing in front of people. Fun fact; I have absolutely no problem doing any of those things if I'm playing a character. I used to do some acting back in my younger days. But as me, the real person, I can't do those things.
♥ I sometimes get so nervous socializing that I get physically sick. Like headaches, stomach cramps, all kinds of bad things.
♥ When I get stressed out, my brain just blanks out and I can't function. So naturally, I could never work as a cashier (which I had to find out the hard, embarrassing way when I was seventeen).
MY PTSD ISSUES:
♥ I have re-occuring nightmares at least twice a week about things that have happened in my past.
♥ If I hear certain names I might have an instant, mental breakdown.
♥ I have flashbacks, both images and sounds, that can ruin my entire day.
♥ There are places I can never visit without getting totally fucked up. The house I grew up in used to be one of those places. The very first time I went home alone after moving out as a nineteen year old, I had a mental breakdown the very same day and my then-boyfriend had to come get me. I was 23 at the time.
♥ I find it unpleasant to walk anywhere near the road by myself after dark, due to things that happened in my past. I actually feel safer walking in the woods in pitch black darkness.
♥ Certain voices can make my heart skip a beat.
♥ I don't feel safe around people with knives. Even if they're just cutting vegetables. Once again, because of things that happened in the past.
♥ I always have to check my bedroom window before going to bed, to see if there's anyone out there.
But I'm still a happy person who loves shopping, travelling, partying and a little bit of attention. Who speaks her mind and feel confident looking different. Who's not bothered by people staring at me. Unless, of course, I'm doing certain things mentioned above.