Living with anxiety can be one of the toughest things. It will always be there, whether you are having a good day or a bad day, anxiety will always be part of your life. Anxiety and feeling anxious can be termed as suffering from stress but being diagnosed with anxiety is so much more than just the every day stress of life. Anxiety is a fear that hangs over your head every day. It's something that can suddenly hit you and bring you down.
For my anxiety, when things get bad, it comes in the form of panic attacks. For anyone who has never experienced the feelings of a panic attack they will never truly understand how terrifying it can be. I can be driving the car, sitting in a classroom, in a lecture theatre, at my desk at work and suddenly a panic attack strikes. The horrendous feeling just overcomes you and there's no other way to describe the feeling other than it feels like you are dying and the whole world around you is getting further away from reality. Your heart races as if it is about to beat out of your chest, your whole body shakes, the sweat will pour out of your skin, your breathing becomes uncontrollable and you feel like you will never be able to steady this. As these symptoms occur one by one, the tears stroll down my face until I sob uncontrollably trying to gain control over my own body. Once you feel it coming it can be extremely difficult to stop and sometimes it just takes over your body and you have to fight to gain control again.
For me, living with anxiety means that this panic can strike at any moment.
Some people can be incredibly understanding and give you all of their support whilst others laugh, call you attention seeking and just don't understand how hard it can be to have that fight every day in life. After a panic attack occurs you lose control over your own body and what is happening to it and have to fight to gain back this control. Having that fight can drain you both physically and mentally making you feel completely exhausted for the rest of the day. This attack can last 5 minutes or an hour but no matter how long it lasts it will leave the person drained.
If you are ever with someone who suffers from panic attacks and one takes over make sure you do everything you can to help them. Don't freak out because that will just scare them more. Help the person so control their breathing by doing breathing exercises alongside them. When someone else is there helping with your breathing it can be a great comfort. Just knowing someone is there and you are not alone. As well as the breathing exercises get the individual a glass of cold water to help cool their body down again. Try and distract the person away from the panic attack and into more happier places. Don't question why it is happening because this can cause someone to get more worked up. Give them the time to gain back control and calm down and if they want to talk about it later then be there for them and support them.
There are many support networks out there for people struggling with anxiety, whether it be the doctors or therapists or holistic therapies. Whatever works best for you is all that matters.
Remember, anxiety may always be part of your life but it won't define who you are. If you have a bad day, a bad week, a bad month or a bad year, just look at that as a blip. You will get better again, take the time you need to get yourself better. Whether that's time off work, a walk in the fresh air, time with a loved one, anything that helps you. Make sure you take that time for yourself and give yourself the time to regain control and become the best version of yourself that you can be.Back to stories