# What's thrown me more than anything in the past eighteen months or so is the anxiety I've been experiencing. Depression, to a degree, is familiar - almost like the Simon and Garfunkel lyric "hello darkness my old friend" - even though it has been the worst I've experienced since my early 20's.
The anxiety, however, is new, different, unexpected. It mainly manifests when in busy, crowded environments with a feeling I can only liken to claustrophobia. When it strikes (which is not predictable) I feel I just need to get away from where I am, retreat to somewhere quieter.
It can be overwhelming and takes everything I have not to flee so, if possible, I'll put on my headphones and retire inward, sheltered by the music. It doesn't have to be loud or block out the sounds around me, just enough to focus on and create a bubble with.
I've always been an introvert, oft uneasy in unfamiliar company and surroundings, but never experienced this type of feeling before and I wonder why it should happen now. Is it linked to the severity of the depression or is there another trigger?
If so, what?