Monday, 13 July 2015

Dealing With Anxiety & Panic

Hello lovelies! ♥
As I finally got my new posting schedule fixed and the not-so-new days to post are now Monday and Friday, both at 4 PM (GMT+2), I thought I'd just share my story about dealing with anxiety and panic. So sit back down with something to drink and some snacks and let's get into it, shall we?

I know lots of young - and older people - are suffering from it and for me, when I first heard about it, it was the worst and scariest thing ever. There were days where I just didn't know how to handle another anxiety or panic attack. Between both those kinds of 'attacks', there are some differences and similarities, which I didn't know about until my therapist told me about it.

An anxiety attack is caused by a particular situation or factor that causes stress or fear whatsoever. Meanwhile you can feel fearful, apprehensive and your heart starts racing. However, when the factor causing the attack goes away, so does anxiety.

A panic attack is caused by nothing in particular. In most cases it comes very unexpectedly and in situations where you wouldn't feel stressed or scared. But it doesn't just go as fast as it comes. 

My therapist - which I haven't seen in two years (!) - first told me that the mental illness I have is kind of a mixture of both of the mentioned ones above. Sometimes I get really really anxious which in the end causes an anxiety attack yet there are times where I'm just casually lying in bed and suddenly my legs start shaking and I feel as if I'm about to die or something - panic attack.

I don't really know how and why I came up with the things I'm currently trying to improve my mental health with but I just know that they work best for me. And I'm not in need to go to the therapist twice a week - like I used to two years ago. I still get panic and anxiety attacks - some are worse, some are not that bad - but now I know how to deal with them.

1. I always drink a cup of tea before going to bed. Like, every night I would brew me a cup of whatever tea we have and it makes me sleep a lot better.

2. Whenever I'm having another attack I try my best to avoid thinking about it. When it first started I'd always really concentrate on what was happening but in the end it only got worse. So I do whatever it takes to just distract myself from what is happening with my body - because I exactly know what it really is and that it's nothing I need to be scared of.

3. Every morning when I look in the mirror I tell myself that, if I get another attack that day I won't die. It's not lethal for me - or anyone else - and it doesn't cause any harm.

4. The first ever panic/anxiety attack I had was at the age of 13. I was lying in bed at night and suddenly I felt as if that was my last time I'd gone to bed. Paramedics brought me to hospital because it could've been something worse but it really wasn't. 
I was glad on the one hand, but on the other I wondered why I'd gotten a mental illness all of a sudden. But then I remembered some days when I was even younger. I had had the exact same symptoms that only got more noticable over the years and it scared me. It scared me alot. What I'm really trying to say is - and that is just the point of number 4 - that you need to stop looking back at the bad times. 

My worst time has been the time in school from 7th to 8th grade (first and second form). It was the most horrific time I've yet experienced but now I do know that it's over. I've become a lot more confident since then and my self-esteem level is rising every day because I can look at myself proudly. 
Right now I'm proud of who I've become although there are days where I just want to curl up in bed and forget the world around me because I feel depressed or sad. It never goes away; it'll always be there. The anxiety and the panic have become a part of my life and I can positively live with it. 

Also, I've realised that helping others who suffer from the exact same thing is the most important step to do when trying to deal with it. You know what they're going through and you can be one of the people helping them get through this. I hope I can work with charities supporting people with mental illnesses some day... 
It has become kind of a dream of mine to do so and I'll do anything that I can to make it come true.
Because I want to help people. ♥

Are you suffering from anxiety or panic or both? 
Message me if you need/want to talk about it! ♥ ♥ ♥

Melanie x
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