Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog.
I hope that you are all well.
Today I have a slightly more serious post to share with you. Now this is something that is very personal to me and it is the topic of anxiety and panic attacks. I am writing this post in the hope that I can help fellow anxiety sufferers and make those who might know of someone who suffers with anxiety develop a better understanding of what it is, so they can display their support and realise that anxiety is not just a bit of nerves.
Now this is going to be more of a chatty post so there will be a lot of writing and no photos so I apologise for that.
Anxiety seems to be very common these days and I just want to say that in this post I am being completely honest with you. I have heard of people who fake anxiety and panic attacks just for attention and I just want to let you know that I am definitely not one of those people. Anxiety is a very serious mental illness (yes people do classify it as that) to live with.
Right then, (takes a deep breath) I think we shall begin.
We all suffer with some form of anxiety, we all get nervous for certain things, whether that is the thought of going to school/work or going to the doctor or dentist. But some people suffer with anxiety on a much higher level of scale.
I have always been a shy and nervous person but a few years ago I was involved in a car accident which made my anxiety worse. As I was only about 13 at the time, I was oblivious as to what anxiety was and what it meant therefore I kind of just ignored it. Now you are probably thinking how can someone ignore their anxiety? Well as for me I keep a lot of things to myself and try to push things to the back of my mind and try to forget about them. Now anxiety is not easy to ignore and it came back to the surface when I was in year 11 at school (15/16 years old). I never actually told anyone about my anxiety as I didn’t know what to do or say. I did watch some of Zoe Sugg’s (Zoella) anxiety related videos on YouTube as she suffers with anxiety herself and I found her videos to be quite helpful and it made me feel less alone.
When I feel anxious it’s not like the normal feeling of nervousness. It’s as if I feel trapped, I feel terrified and down and like nothing will go right. I feel tense and sometimes a bit sick.
When I was 15 I wasn’t totally aware of the meaning of anxiety therefore I tried to ignore it once more but this time it didn’t work. I didn’t talk to anyone about it because I didn’t feel confident enough (I still don’t). I kept it inside, trust me this is not a good idea.
When you keep things inside it will only get worse. If you suffer with anxiety you need to talk to someone about it (whether that’s your parents, your Nan, your sibling(s), your best friend, anyone you feel like you can trust and talk to) otherwise the fear will just build up inside you and everything will turn out much worse (trust me, I know).
I controlled my anxiety for a year or so, by controlling it I mean persuading myself that it was just the occasional case of nerves and everything would be ok. I later realised that my theory was incorrect.
At the beginning of this year (2015) I suffered my first panic attack. Before this I had no idea what the symptoms of panic attacks were so when it hit me I just freaked out.
The attack occurred whilst I was at school. I had a free lesson and I was on my own just casually walking down the corridor (I felt particularly anxious for a lesson I had coming up and I wasn’t happy at all at this point in my life, I think these were two of the triggers of the attack). I started to feel a bit dizzy and a bit sick so I just hurried to the toilets, l locked myself in one of the cubicles (not a good idea because it’s such a small space so I felt like the walls were caving in on me) but I stayed there because I didn’t want anyone to see me. I then started shivering and shaking, my heart started beating really fast, I felt dizzy and faint and I couldn’t breathe. I was horrified as I had no idea what was happening. It lasted about 7 to 10 minutes (it seems that panic attacks do tend to last 5 to 20 minutes). After it all happened I felt exhausted and my anxiety levels were through the roof. I stayed in the toilets for another 10 minutes to try to re-group. I then went out for some fresh air. Now the mistake that I made was not telling anyone after it happened. I obviously told my family after arriving home but I should have told someone at school, but instead I just got on with my day, feeling anxious and tired and not being able to concentrate.
If you are curious, these are some of the symptoms that are involved in a panic attack. It is very unlikely that someone would experience all these symptoms but it could happen.
These symptoms may include:
Very rapid breathing or feeling unable to breathe
Very rapid heartbeat
Pains in your chest
Feeling faint or dizzy
Ringing in your ears
Tingling or numbness in your hands and feet
Hot or cold flushes
Feelings of absolute terror
Being extremely emotional/uncontrollable crying
Feeling of unreality, called depersonalization.
As you can tell a panic attack is terrifying (I wouldn’t wish one upon my worst enemy, not that I have any). But it is a truly horrific experience that I dread.
I have experienced about 4 or 5 panic attacks since that first one i just described, after they happened I just cried as I couldn’t control myself and my emotions.
I now cannot ignore the fact that I have anxiety. It’s something I feel quite often and I just can’t help it.
Anxiety and panic attacks are both horrible things to live with and I hate it that I’m one of those people who has to come to terms with it.
I am thinking of doing a post about how I cope with anxiety and panic attacks so let me know if that is something you’d be interested in.
I’m going to leave it there for today as I don’t want this to be too long. I’m sorry if I didn’t go in-depth of my experience living with anxiety but it is a very hard topic for me to write about therefore I didn’t want to go into too much detail.
If you ever feel like you need to talk please feel free to contact me via Twitter, Instagram or email (all found in the contact me page).
I hope this helped some of you. If you have any questions please comment them below or as I said just contact me via social media.
I’ll talk to you in my next post.