Schizoaffective Anxiety Almost Chased Me from Ballet Class

Thursday, November 8 2018 Elizabeth Caudy

I experienced schizoaffective anxiety in ballet class.  Findout at HealthyPlace how I was able to get through the class, even with schizoaffective anxiety.

I've been taking a ballet class to help with my schizoaffective disorder, but still, schizoaffective anxiety almost made me leave. Exercise helps with mental health--plus, it's fun and I enjoyed ballet all through my childhood. But in my most recent class, I had a schizoaffective anxiety episode. Here's what happened.

The Schizoaffective Anxiety Zone

My schizoaffective anxiety revved up and became particularly bad recently. It's been so bad I had to take a temporary leave of absence from this blog--and everyone who knows me knows how much I love this blog. But what happened at the ballet class?

It started in the bathroom. There was very little toilet paper, so I reached for a paper towel from the stack. But, when I grabbed one towel, all the others fell on the floor. So I cleaned myself up, threw out the paper towels, used some hand sanitizer, and told my ballet teacher what had happened. She replaced the supply and I felt bad that she needed to on my account.

It didn't help that I don't like using public restrooms. Even though I didn't make a mess, I was embarrassed by what had happened. My embarrassment and anxiety affected my ability to pay attention to the teacher, so I was messing up more than usual. This heightened my anxiety more--to the point where I had an anxiety episode that fed on itself. I didn't have a panic attack. I didn't feel like I was having a heart attack or anything like that. I was in what I call the "anxiety zone." In the anxiety zone, everything I do is wrong and cause for more anxiety.  

Should I Have Gone Home Because of Schizoaffective Anxiety?

I chose to stay in the class. I chose not to leave. The dance class is a relatively safe place and close to my apartment. I felt it would be better to stay in the class where I was with other people doing something I enjoy rather than sitting at home alone feeling anxious. Also, no one else noticed what was going on with me.

I later posted about this incident on Facebook. My friends said I was brave and courageous. But was I? Part of the reason I stayed in the class was that I was scared of what other people would think if I left. Even though it would have meant sitting at home alone, maybe I should have gone back home to the safest place of all, popped in a comforting video, taken an antianxiety pill and drank a glass of cold water.

At the same time, since I didn't further embarrass myself by leaving the class early, I think I feel slightly more confident in going back to the class, which is good self-care, than I would if I had left it. So maybe I did the right thing after all.

Author: Elizabeth Caudy

Elizabeth Caudy was born in 1979 to a writer and a photographer. She has been writing since she was five years old. She has a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, Tom. Find Elizabeth on Google+ and on her personal blog.

View all posts by Elizabeth Caudy.

Schizoaffective Anxiety Almost Chased Me from Ballet Class

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