Which leads me to travelling solo. I hadn't left the country since that last holiday and I was dying for a change of scenery. I had a week off work coming up and some money burning a hole in my pocket. I booked a three night break to Venice. Just like that.
Starting a mental health project in order to help others really supported me through my recovery from anxiety. I found that helping others gave me a purpose, increased my self-confidence and generally made me feel good about myself.
Being able to admit that you need anti-depressants and ask for the help, let alone openly talk about it, makes you a strong person in itself and mental health needs to start being taken as seriously as physical illness so people are encouraged to feel comfortable with it.
During an anxiety attack it can feel as though I can no longer breathe properly, my heartbeat increases to a painful degree, my vision can begin to blur and I feel like I may be sick. To calm myself down when I can feel a panic attack coming, I try a few things. These methods may prove effective in times of stress, anxiety or if you generally want to relax.
Maths is hard. Well, it is for most people. I used to have a distinct feeling of dread before every maths lesson. The kind that lay low in the belly and made you feel like you were constantly on the verge of vomiting.
You might think that being harsh on yourself will give you a nudge in the right direction, but this really isn't true. You wouldn't ask your best friend why she was so dreadful at something, it wouldn't help her. And it doesn't help you either.
Three months after returning from that trip in 2011, due to issues at work, I had a nervous breakdown and before I knew it, two years had disappeared from my life. Mum would come home from work expecting to find a body instead of a daughter.
Something strange happened this week at work. A disturbance perhaps? The mood can be serious and pensive as we discuss our patient's problems. And ...
The sooner we all start banishing the stigma around mental health, the sooner we can teach the world about it. The sooner we teach the world about it, the sooner it will be treated in an equal manner to physical health.
What has happened since the campaign was at its peak has been that people are taking a picture of themselves with a high five and writing a message with it. These messages range from people describing their anxiety levels that day, to how they've personally overcome anxiety and the giving of advice to others. And you know what? People are connected and continue to connect.
Anxiety is the creature that digs its claws in and drags you out of your comfort zone. Anxiety is panic attacks, paranoia, insomnia and crippling worry. Anxiety clouds your decisions. Anxiety leaves you feeling like the dirty product of a one night stand.
You are living on the edge but you aren't any racing fast cars. This adrenaline is certainly not the same as when you're queuing for the biggest roller coaster at Alton Towers either. It's always there. And you don't really know why.
Anxiety affects different people in different ways, but some of the most common symptoms are: a dry mouth, pounding heart, feeling breathless, fatigue or difficulty sleeping, dizziness and headaches, lack of concentration, needing the toilet frequently, constant worrying, irritability, and nausea.
Some people even feel that by worrying, they are somehow protecting themselves against the feared drop coming; they have learned that most things they worry about don't come to pass, so fear that if they take their eye off the ball and stop worrying, they will allow a calamity to creep in and take them by surprise.
Do you meditate? This question seems to be all the rage in popular media, and it is rapidly becoming a point of prestige among the high earning, high performing, corporate tech crowd. I have nothing against mediation - I do it regularly. However, I still think that "do you meditate?" is not the most helpful question.
We should be much more aware of what is an unacceptable level of stress in our professional lives. We should feel much more able to admit when we are struggling. We shouldn't be seeing depression and anxiety, often exacerbated by our highly pressured lives, as a weakness that we need to hide.