You are stronger than you think
As i am typing this I am having a panic attack...
It starts with the feeling of my heart pounding out of my chest, racing so fast. I feel like I am going to have a Heart attack, but I know its anxiety taking over the control of my body. My pulse is racing I feel like I can sense the blood flowing at million miles per an hour round my body. Breathing gets heavy. Next the only way I can describe it is I feel like someone has put a plastic bag over my head and I am being suffocated. I try taking deep breathes to calm myself down, but I start getting super light headed and disorientated. After I feel mentally drained and just want to rest. God knows how I am going to get back on train later to go back to my flat in London.
In this state of mind you just feel this urge to run away, you are feeling like you’re going to faint, have a heart attack or die. The worst thing is at this stage of a panic attack you have no real control over it other than to calm yourself down, by sitting down with some water in a quiet place (this is personally what I find helps me).
One of the worst things for me is I haven't had a panic attack in a long time, which for me is a long time. So this sudden panic of me just lying in bed was such a shock. As I have said in the past my panic attacks where brought on by crowds and busy places. However I have learnt over time I put too much pressure on myself to make me people happy. And for me to succeed at university. Therefore I know that this panic attack was due to build up of worry and pressure for the coming week, as I feel I have to impress the teachers and be there for my group projects. People are probably thinking well why don't you just de-stress and stay calm, for someone with anxiety this is very difficult because you over think situations and worry about things way too much.
To someone reading this who doesn’t have anxiety or panic attacks you must think well don't be ridiculous, that sounds so silly. It is a mental condition (which makes me sound crazy ) but thats what they class it as. It takes over your life. I use to be at a point in my life, back when I was 14/15 where it controlled me so much that I couldn't leave the house. But I have built myself up through coping mechanisms, talking to a therapist (which I strongly recommend to someone who suffers with anxiety or panic attacks). I am not ashamed to say I have anxiety and panic attacks because to be honest anyone who has been through what I have medically been through, how can that not damage you long term…
Another important thing with me is my anxiety can increase the likely hood of me having a seizure, so I have to try and manage it as well as possible. Get wound up as in the past increased my seizures hugely. I don’t know if this is just me but I have found this is one of my seizure trigger which is why it is so important I control both as well as I can.
Next I am going to write some tips and advice on coping with panic attacks and anxiety :
Breathing - Dealing with panic attacks is hard, breathing is a huge aspect. When having anxiety attack you're breathing increases to such a fast rate, causing you to feel light head. This therefore in most cases makes you panic even more. I definitely have calmed my anxiety down and even stopped myself from having a panic attack by controlling my breathing, I was taught this through a therapist. I strongly advice you find some breathing methods that work for you, there are now fabulous apps out there that can teach you how to control you're breathing.
Distraction - With anxiety the more you think about it the more it's going to build up in your brain. So try and keep as busy as possible with this I don’t mean having to go out and go crazy. Could be as simple as going on a walk, reading a book or listening to music. This allows your brain to be distracted and stay calm.
Dont suffer in silence - I think its very important to talk to your family, friends or partner if you’re suffering from anxiety as this allows them to have a better understanding to how you’re feeling. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your loved ones, then a therapist is I think an ideal person to talk to about how you’re feeling which then in my cause allows you to feel more comfortable talking about it which then leads you to be able to talk to others about it. I think it is so important to tell your family, friends or partner as when you're having a panic attack or feeling anxious they know what to do to help. A big thing for me was I missed out on a lot of social events due to anxiety, therefore I would feel bad about how I let me friends down. So explaining to them about how I feel about why I couldn't come made me feel better about the situation so I felt I hadn't let them down.
Don’t give up- I know the feeling of the battle in your mind, the anxiety taking over your body, stopping you from doing things. With the anxiety telling you, that you can’t do it. But then you want to go out or do whatever the anxiety is stopping you from doing. Stay calm , ground yourself. It does get better. Build yourself up, talk to people, and I know its hard but say yes. This can be baby steps, I think building yourself up slowly is the best way to improve it.
Fresh air and walking - I find that one of the biggest method that can calm me down, is a walk. Just spending time in the fresh air, sitting on a hill with my dog, helps me hugely. So if you can find a park, a field near you I think it is perfect area to escape to.
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