My Anxiety Makes Me Ill


My son started nursery a few weeks ago. His teacher called me and said, “Don’t worry, he’s fine, but he has a nasty bump on his head, and you need you to come to get him. It looks worse than it is, so please don’t freak out.”…she doesn’t know that I am already in a panic.

I’ve noticed my 6-year-old daughter has caught on to how I can react sometimes. She’s seen my anxiety panics more time than I like to say.

Cora has seen me “trying” to hide my hyperventilating when things have gotten a little overwhelming at home. It’s generally a time when I have found myself alone with the children, my husband working late or all weekend. He’s good at keeping calm and collected during massive meltdowns or accidents. 



And at that moment, as I hung up the phone, I looked around for someone to help me in this situation. But, I was the only adult in the house. Then I started to wonder if I would need to take him to the hospital, what if I didn’t, and he died! How would Rory handle this situation?

One minute I was living my best life, child-free – cleaning the house and enjoying some me-time. Then after the call, I was so taken over by anxiety, my body started to feel ill.

I’ve always been an anxious over-thinker. But launch some kids into life, and I feel like my anxiety has power beyond me.

A lot of the time I can’t talk myself down, though I have gotten better over time. Especially if something really rocks me, like when my son has an accident, or they get sick.

 After I saw his bump, I wasn’t sure how to deal with it, but the nursery assured me he was fine, I followed their lead. I had to remind myself to breathe, though, I could feel my heart racing. That night, I couldn’t sleep. I had tremors, my stomach churned.

The next day, I couldn’t concentrate. My body felt like I had some kind of flu coming on, and my head foggy.

I can often feel these anxiety reactions for up to a week or longer if really affected.


 I still have panicked flashbacks of when Cora was sick when she was 18 months old…she’s now 6, and it’s tough for me to think about that day because I’m right back in that moment and I have to relive the horror I felt. I still feel like I can’t cope with my children when they are ill because of that time. 

Physical symptoms of anxiety are genuine. I used to think when I got worked up, I was getting sick and would take time off work as a precaution. Looking back, it was my anxiety, making me feel ill.

I would shut myself down when my anxiety was high, it can hard for me to find the words what is wrong or why I’m feeling the way I am.

Before I would try and push it down, only for it to bubble over when I was under to ignore it anymore. It would take over everything, lost to my anxious thoughts, my overthinking, feel sick with nerves and wait for it to pass.

There are times when I get worried or stressed, and I seem to handle it, and I feel strong, capable but one unprepared minute later it could all go to pot. It doesn’t take much for me to be set off, then it can be days of dread.  



Usually, my anxiety and nervousness can become so intense I want to get rid of it. I want something to happen immediately to take it away because I know what will happen. It will fester and turn into this massive thing I can’t get a handle of.

When my body experiences anxiety, it’s basically the fight-or-flight mode thrusting in and saying, ‘Danger!’

This doesn’t always resemble your standard perspiring palms and the thumping heart you get when you get excited.

But I have found it can turn quickly into headaches, nausea, weariness, head fog, upset stomach, a run-down immune system, and even a sore throat.

The one thing I’ve discovered since it seems like my anxiety is on steroids is that I am not alone in this. The more I talk about it (and not hide as I used to) the more I find people who are coping with the same thing.

Remember, anxiety doesn’t just go away for some people. It can make you feel physically ill. And if you are one of them, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your doctor or a therapist. There are ways to make your physical signs of anxiety more manageable.