Crowds are not kind to the person with generalized anxiety disorder.
They are especially not kind to such a person who has been experiencing a flare-up of anxiety, enough of one that depressing feelings of hopelessness have appeared*.
Airport security lines are one thing – they are a means to an end. I cannot visit with family and friends without the hassle of the TSA.
Willingly heading into a crowd like the one at Taste of Madison is another story. I decided it would not so be so bad, not when it would allow me to spend more time with my parents on such a short weekend trip. And so, I chose not to take any anti-anxiety medication.
It turned out that I actually enjoyed myself (and the food). The only explanation is keeping track of the three-year-old nieces kept anxiety far from my mind. Even though there were three other adults doing the same, not all of us could be watching at every moment.
This is not the outcome to be expected with each experience involving crowds. It is good to know, however, that with the right attitude and distractions, anxiety in such situations can be managed without incident.
*Please know I am in good hands with the spectacular mental health professional. Overwhelmed has been an understatement the past few weeks, and that kind of feeling does tend to spiral into depression. Just trying to take everything one day at a time, and accepting that there are some things out of my control.