What It’s Like to Have Anxiety and Cerebral Palsy

Tylia Flores
Tylia Flores sitting outdoors in a portable power wheelchair.
Tylia Flores sitting outdoors in a portable power wheelchair.

When I think of the word anxiety, it brings up the feelings of worry and stress my cerebral palsy causes in my everyday life.

It’s not that I want to have anxiety or that I like the feeling of having it, it’s just the simplest things can trigger me. I noticed the first thing that triggers me to have anxiety attacks is when I can’t physically be a part of something because of my disability.

“…the simplest things can trigger me.”

I feel anxiety from sitting on the sidelines. When I was growing up and attending public school, physical education used to be my least favorite class. If the teacher did something I couldn’t be a part of, I just had to watch, wishing I could be like the rest of the world.

I still feel the same way at times, even as an adult. But I would say what triggers my anxiety now as an adult is not being able to get up and go like a “normal” person would. I become overwhelmed with the everyday stresses of life. Having cerebral palsy can make me feel very overwhelmed. Going to doctor’s appointments can become very stressful and cause me to have an anxiety attack because I worry about the potential outcome.

Related:To My 17-Year-Old Self With Cerebral Palsy

When it comes to my anxiety, it feels like the world is spinning and nothing I do can stop me from having an attack. But it also feels like I’m trapped in my own body because I’m stuck in my space that I can’t get out of 24-7.

Anxiety from the chronic pain of cerebral palsy makes it hard just to keep going at times, especially when I look at people my age who don’t struggle with pain. My mind goes on a roller coaster ride as my legs begin to hurt and I think to myself, “Oh, here we go again.” It feels like I’m the gingerbread man in the board game when it gets stuck.

But the thing that helps it all, aside from having to sometimes take medication, is the support of my family and my faith in God as my savior. I believe with Him by my side, I’ll be OK.

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