As I am writing this now, I couldn't be more confident. I never thought I'd arrive at this stage because all my life, I suffered with crippling social anxiety. To overcome it, was something I'd always wished for but never thought I'd be able to. I am surprised that recently, people tell me that I seem bubbly and perky. That was never me in the past.
I've been blighted by a plethora of panic disorders for more than half my life. It started at 14, when going to assembly became an exercise of willpower; the room bustling with people triggered my agoraphobia. Cue panic. At 16, I fell down a rabbit's hole of debilitating thoughts: 'What if I fail my A levels?'
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.
Unless you've suffered, mental illness can be very difficult to explain to outsiders, even your family and friends. My blogs aim to try and express those feelings as best as I can in hope that they will break down stigma, open conversation and allow more people to understand. This blog is about the very common, but debilitating condition of anxiety.
Panic attacks come in all forms, all of which suck tremendously. They can be brought on by specific triggers or seemingly come out of nowhere with no rhyme or reason. They can vary from feeling like you're dying to getting the shakes to anything in between. How are you to deal with these potentially debilitating moments?
My Grandfather tragically lost his friend on the battlefield and suffered from depression for the rest of his life, which rendered him unable to speak for the days surrounding 11 November. My Great Uncle was severely, severely shell shocked and as an additional complication, the PTSD triggered psychotic episodes during which there was an attempt to break into Buckingham Palace.