The word 'anxiety' makes me anxious. It's a word and feeling I used to fear.
6 years ago I was diagnosed with 'Anxiety and panic disorder', at this time I was around 12 years old. It all started when I would feel ill in a lesson, I would escape by asking to go to the 'medical room', a place where people went when they were feeling ill. At first I would do this every month, possibly less, but as it got more frequent teachers became irritated, as I had no physical signs of illness. Once I felt so anxious (I didn't know that it was anxiety at the time), that I wanted them to call my mum, as they refused my panic state became greater and I began to cry. It was time to get things sorted.
I left this school a couple of months later, it was a private school and very pressurised, something I could not deal with at the time. I was out of school for a little while before trying our local high school, by then however it was too late. I struggled getting into school everyday, anxiety bound me and I was fearing anything and everything outside my front door, and sometimes even room. I would have tutors to teach me in my house eventually, something I could just about cope with, they were specialists in dealing with sick children. For someone to leave mainstream education this early meant I lost a lot of friends, it was an extremely lonely time for me, and when I needed friends and care the most, it wasn't there from my peers. I felt weird and not normal, like I was an alien and that everyone viewed me like one.
My Mum was my biggest supporter, my Dad however did not understand. He was/is very pro-education, and he thought I was throwing my life away and being lazy. For 18 months I was out of mainstream education, and life, I would sleep in my mum and dads room on a put-you-up bed as I was so fearful of the dark. Step by step, with the help of professionals and my mum I got mentally stronger and less fearful, I eventually, independently took steps and asked to re-join mainstream education, I was getting better. Nothing can help anxiety, but you, I am a great believer in the fact that time heals all.
I was then 14/15 and joined a small high school, just what I could cope with. It was a massive step for me to take, and I was no longer fearful of people or outside my front door. This did not mean I didn't struggle everyday to get there, because I did, but I was gradually getting better, step by step, in my own time.
The time in which my anxiety was the worst was a very dark time for me, and i urge you, if you know anyone with anxiety, or you think they have anxiety support them, care for them. They may try and push you away, like I did with so many people but just be persistent, send them a text now and again, pop round and do things they can do at home. Ultimately just be there for them. I am now 18 years old, I have conquered anxiety, I still probably get a little more anxious then the average person, but I joined a college, completed A-levels and in September go to University. I didn't think anxiety would go away, but it did.
That's my story (briefly), what's yours?
TIPS ON DEALING WITH PANIC ATTACKS:
1 - Breathe through your mouth, slowly and close your eyes. - If i ever feel a little panicky, like I sometimes still do, this ALWAYS helps me through. So simple, yet so effective.
*I was once in a club and felt very sick, I knew it was me panicking, so I just sat down for a few minutes and was fine to dance the night away afterwards*
2 - Try not to over think things, one of my favourite quotes is : “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” , basically worrying will never change anything, it just takes away our happiness at that moment!
3 - Tell someone. Admittedly only one of my close friends knows I suffered from anxiety, I think because I rarely get panic attacks I don't feel the need to tell everyone, but if you do it's always such a help and reassurance to have someone there who knows what's going on, and doesn't think you're just being dramatic! - Although let them know not to smother you with attention, I always wanted my space when I was having a panic attack.
4 - They only last for maximum 20 minutes. Some people, myself included, think they might be dying whilst having a panic attack, you just have to remind yourself that it will all be over soon, and again breathe. I would get really hot and shaky, everything would spin and I would feel like i was passing out. You won't die or pass out, you will be fine.