Anxiety dictates his entire life. Sandra is 46 years old, and for more than 15 years, her daily life has been torn apart by acute anxiety attacks, which she has never been able to explain. In France, 1 to 3% of the population will be affected by a phase of generalized anxiety during their life, after a tragedy, depression or sudden stress. But for some, the duration of the disorder, and the repetition of panic attacks for no reason, borders on a chronic illness. Sandra is one of those patients. “It appeared overnight,” she remembers, “and since then, it has often been chaos.” Impossible to work full time, friendships undermined, isolation less and less voluntary, fear of the future… “It’s hard. I fight anxiety but I have attacks all the time that happen like that, I don’t know where it comes from,” she says with a tired smile, a gray cap pulled down on her head.
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Why, how, when? Sandra struggles to gather her memories. “Because at the beginning, I had no idea what I was suffering from! About fifteen years ago, I worked in a bakery, in the village where I live, I was the only saleswoman, I took care of the customers and cleaning. I spent a lot of time indoors, from morning to night, six days a week. I got some fresh air in the afternoon, I was surrounded and I went out with friends.” Warm, at ease with everyone and happy to talk, Sandra has difficulty seeing the lack of courtesy of certain customers which sometimes borders on lack of respect.