As mental illness becomes even more apparent I felt like I should give my say, as a suffer myself I can honestly say I understand.
Firstly I must say that there is a big difference between feeling anxious for like.. going to the doctors and being a sufferer of anxiety. If you are a sufferer then you’ll know that reading other people’s issues and stories is actually quite comforting, which isn’t because your glad or mocking that person it’s just because when you hear of someone else that suffers it gives you reassurance that your not alone and that actually there’s people out there that feel the exact same as you, because an illness of the brain can make you feel like the loneliest person in the world.
I also believe over-thinking is part to blame. When you over-think it’s almost like your telling your brain the dangers and then you get yourself into a panic, when really it’s just your imagination creating stories. Thoughts are very personal that they feel real, and with that they feel threatening. I can openly say that I’m an over-thinker, which is responsible for a lot of what my condition brings, I do know this, yet.. you can’t stop it, as much as you really try not to think about something it will come back.. it’s almost like an annoying fly in your room at night, you hear it, it lands so you forget about it, then it starts buzzing again, (the fly story is no comparison but it was literally the first thing that popped into my head when thinking about things you don’t want to think about), or tell it in a different way, if I say cake now you can’t help but think about cake, right?
I get panic attacks. My panic attacks are caused by feelings of claustrophobia but not necessarily with being enclosed in a small space, it’s more being in a room which is full of people and I’m not able to leave, or if there isn’t a close escape near by (like a female, female obviously! toilets). I guess really the main cause of my panic attacks is from the feeling of being trapped with no escape, I don’t really know why I suffer like this.. it’s hard to explain I suppose, however it does run on one side of my parents family, so I guess it’s just been passed down to me.. thanks ancestors.
Talking about panic attacks… if you are a sufferer then your really the only person that can truly know how a fellow sufferer is feeling, someone could spend years studying all about them but if they have never had one themselves then really they are clueless because having a panic attack causes more than just physical effects; it causes emotional and long lasting feelings that literally never seem to want to budge. Often they appear when revisiting a previous place, where you may have had one before. Speaking as someone that understands this, if this has happened to you I would say speaking from experience still GO!, definitely do not let the fact of ‘what if it happens again’ stop you from living your life and going out, I’ve found that if you do this, you let it win. Besides what’s the worst that can happen, you have one? You know it won’t harm you that way because you’ve had one before. Don’t let it stop you from going out because if it does then the next time you want to go out it then becomes harder and your physical feelings that are going on inside your body (stress, over-thinking, lack of appetite, etc) worsen and it’s not actually until you face your fears that you can get over something like anxiety (and depression). Speaking personally I’ve found that from in the past if I’ve faced my fears and gone regardless nothings actually happened or it if has it wasn’t actually that bad, I got over it and carried on having fun!
I feel I should also mention that like everything in life you can have your off days; you could go months and months feeling great and then one day you just get that horrid panic feeling loom back on you, but don’t let it ruin all the good progress you’ve made, learn that sometimes an off day has to occur it’s what makes us human and it’s what makes us appreciate the good times.
To speak entirely and cover everything there is to know about panic attacks or anxiety would be impossible, there is so much to know, with so much that is unclear or unexplainable, maybe this tells us really that we don’t need to know or understand everything but instead get our heads around coping and dealing with it so we can get on with living our lives. I want to say that as one sufferer speaking to another you are not abnormal, ‘strange’ or alone, however you may feel sometimes there is always someone, but know that you do have it within you to cope, because its not about recovering its about learning that you have something different to someone else.
Thank you for reading, and I hope this post has been of some help to you. If you ever want to talk, it’s true what they say ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, and I’m here to listen if you so wish. Simply leave me a comment below, tweet (or DM, if it’s too personal) and I’ll be sure to get back to you, or simply listen if you prefer.
Because if I can be of help to just one of you then this post hasn’t been for nothing