Thank you everyone who’s read my recent posts, approached me and spoken to me about my blog, messaged me… It’s been so nice to know people have read and somewhat understood a glimpse of what I was trying to say. It’s still weird me writing a blog and especially the theme and it being so personal but it’s with the intention of making sure people know that, it’s not just them and mental health is more common than we think…
So, I’m back at uni now, and after the fab response from everyone about my first story, and all it’s different parts, I’ve chosen to move onto the next story which I think might be familiar to more people.
“Anxiety makes you feel pushed away and alone”
What is anxiety and panic attacks?
I’m sure most people are familiar with the term ‘anxiety’ and use it in a lose way frequently, when feeling nervous about something like collecting results etc. Thinking about it though, what even is anxiety? When it’s labelled a ‘disorder’ it becomes a lot more serious. Do you ever get really worried about something? Or like, apprehensive that something, even if it’s the smallest thing, is gonna go wrong? All these fears and worries manifest into something bigger and make you so worried and conscious of everything you do, they affect your physical health too but most importantly, your mental stability. Anxiety is the severe fear or restlessness of something going wrong or worrying that is affects your daily life. A panic attack is a form of a physical expression of anxiety (anxiety attacks). Apparently, everyone has at least 1-3 panic attacks in their life at anytime, anywhere. The question is though, how do you know it’s going to happen to you? The thing is, you don’t. Similar to other mental health conditions, it’s invisible but when it happened to me, I noticed…
When I was about 11/12 in year 7/8, I used to have really bad panic attacks and I’m sure some of you guys that I went to school with will remember. They used to last hours, and I would have no idea what was going on and wouldn’t remember anything after it had happened. Being so young as well, I was so confused as to what was happening to my body, why my breathing was so heavy, why my legs were like jelly, why I was shaking and dizzy, feeling like I was going to die? It’s such a weird sensation. I would be fine, and would be anxious that I was going to have a panic attack which meant, having one. It was like a vicious cycle… I would avoid going to school or going to specific lessons that I had had anxiety attacks in, because I knew I would have another one if I went in there. I was embarrassed, and felt ashamed that I had them and made people uneasy not knowing what to do because not even I knew what it was. It’s important to not feel embarrassed or ashamed though, as it’s only strange because people don’t know what happening which is why it’s important to speak out about mental health. My anxiety attacks have gotten better which I will explain how in my next post, but I still have other anxieties that are attached to my anorexia.
Anxiety not only comes in the form of attacks; despite now knowing how to deal with a panic attack, I still have regular anxiety which I know is really common. The most recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey indicates that there are some 6 million people in the UK – approximately 3 million with depression as their primary problem and 3 million with an anxiety disorder – Anxietyuk.org.uk. Anxiety is something that creeps up on you when you least expect it. With the anorexia comes a HUGE amount of anxiety about everything. I worry so much about how I look when I go out, I want to make sure that everyone is happy and never want to upset anyone so I worry a lot about that too… supermarket shopping makes me nervous; the idea of buying food triggers anxious thoughts which link to anorexia which sometimes drive me mad… I get really bad anxiety going into fitting rooms to try on clothes as mentioned before, I sometimes avoid social situations because of the pressure I feel which I know makes me anxious. Anxiety makes me run away from everything, almost as an escape mechanism so I don’t have to face the problem. I get nervous and anxious in new situations because of the pressure I put on myself to be/look/act a certain way and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Anxiety is a really common issue among young, old, everyone. Everyone at one point in their life will suffer or has suffered with anxiety. These anxious thoughts and feelings can stop you from doing so many things; “Anxiety keeps me awake at night; it keeps me as a prisoner in my home. Anxiety makes me feel like a failure; it has taken away my self-worth. Anxiety makes me feel uncomfortable and nervous. Anxiety has taken away friends, family, opportunities, my life.” – themighty.com is a quote that I thought described it perfectly. My anxious thoughts about myself and how I look have taken away my self-worth and keeps me from going out, wanting to stay at home. My thoughts spiral out of control which can sometimes keep me up or make me seem like I’m not involved in social situations because my thoughts just wonder and it’s something I’m learning to handle.
So, I encourage you to think about yourself, and those close to you. Think about how they feel if they avoid social situations, if they constantly cancel, if you all of a sudden start not to see them as regularly. Of course, it doesn’t always mean it’s anxiety, but look at it, and think… sometimes, just acknowledgment of it can make someone feel less alone and may be all they need to be picked back up…
I’ve attached a video to this post which a friend shared with me that I think describes anxiety perfectly, here’s the link, take a watch… you might see a slight glimpse of yourself or someone you know… A day in the life of anxiety
Stay tuned for my next post to read about how attempt to deal with my daily anxiety… thanks for reading x