You're in a room full of people but you feel totally alone. Your mind is expanding to the point where it feels like it might explode. Your body tries to cool itself down so you start to sweat. Palpitations feel like a drum in your heart and its vibration causes your whole body to shake. Your breathing gets faster and deeper, and then even faster and even deeper, until it's so fast and so deep that all you can do is scream for help as you collapse to the floor.
But that's just me. Everyone who has experienced anxiety is different.
Everyone's experiences of mental health issues are different, whether it's depression or Dissociative Identity Disorder. Consequently, there is no one way to help someone who suffers with their mental health.
There can be a stigma attached to discussing these things and Radio 1's My Mind and Me is a campaign that is trying to change that by encouraging young people to discuss mental health.
I'm only 17 so I have not been through as much as many others with regards to mental health . But I do know what I have experienced and I know what has helped me to get over my anxiety and panic attacks, and I hope that this can be a catalyst to help others.
I first started experiencing panic attacks when my parents divorced. As a self-sufficient person, I disguised any insecurity in fear of being seen as weak. I refused to get help. I dealt with my problems by teaching myself about panic attacks and by researching why my body reacted the way it did. I recorded every panic attack I had and the reason behind it. By doing this I started to notice patterns emerging and I trained my body to deal with hyperventilating. However, that was the easy part.
Mind-set is essential, if you go into every situation thinking the worst will happen, you will never achieve great things. So I changed my mind-set. After previously passing up opportunities in fear of failure, I decided to make the promise to myself that I would grasp every opportunity I was given. I decided to live my life by following the mottos "Do what makes your heart smile" and "Passion changes everything."
After that, everything started to look up.
I could now go into my classroom and go out more with my friends. I realised that my parents weren't getting back together and the past couldn't be changed, so I started looking forward to the future. The best thing that happened to me was saying yes to the National Citizen Service.
I gained the passion to drive change in the world and skills that meant I could travel to places on my own. I was able to achieve great things when I set my heart and mind to it, and I gained a happiness I had never felt before. A happiness which proved it was important to be myself.
But enough about me, I'm here to talk about you.
My Mind and Me is a new campaign that aims to encourage the discussion about mental health and remove the stigma attached to it. My story isn't enough to educate everyone and it isn't accessible to all. That's why discussion is so important, it can have a domino effect.
It is often said that "a problem shared is a problem halved" so I would like to set you a challenge. If you have ever experienced a mental health issue or you know someone who has, discuss it with someone. Discuss how it affected you, how you coped or didn't cope, or how you could help someone in a similar situation. It's not important what you say, but it is important that you say something. You could talk to a friend, a teacher, a family member, anyone.
I know it can be hard to start a conversation, but as someone who has lived through these issues and come out the other side, it is worth it.Suggest a correction