Overcoming Anxiety & Panic Attacks

Before I begin this blog post, I’d like to let you know that this is quite a personal thing for me to write, but I wanted to share this with you as I’m hoping that if you’re reading this as a panic attack sufferer, I may help you in some way. Alternatively, if you are reading this and you know someone who suffers with panic attacks, I hope I can help you get a better understanding and display ways in which you can show support.

Anxiety is an awful emotion to feel, a feeling that cannot be controlled & you are unaware of it creeping up on you. There is different type of anxiety and it effects each of us diffrently. From a simple thing like I’ve got work tomorrow to something a lot more scary like a job interview or waiting for your appointment at the dentist. When we’re stressed, our anxiety levels are much higher and some of us become a lot more sensitive to it. For the people who are calm you will have much lower anxiety.

Extremely high levels of anxiety, can in a lot of people, cause panic attacks, whether you are aware of your anxiety or not.

I’ve suffered with panic attacks for 10 years, and so i’m writing this blog post for those of you who struggle to understand, feel alone, need advice or need someone else to understand.

It’s understandable that not everybody “gets” what a panic attack is. In fact i’m pretty sure more people don’t understand than do, which is really sad. Even some of the people closest to me, struggle to understand exactly how it affects me, or my life, or some decisions that I choose to make. Even after hours of explaining, the only advice they can give me is to be positive and not to stress too much. Unless someone has been through a panic attack themselves, they will never truly or fully understand.

Panic attacks come on very quickly, symptoms usually peak within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. Some people report attacks lasting for up to an hour, but they are likely to be experiencing one attack after another, or a high level of anxiety after the initial attack. This is what I suffer from, If I ever have a panic attack, it will never last long if i can find a place to be alone or somewhere I feel comfortable, which can sometimes be hours away.

Something people don’t seem to understand, is that self esteem is serious issue from suffering these attacks. I still, to this day, think that people judge me and laugh at me, and that they possibly all talk about how weird I am, or how annoying I am for having panic attacks, or even that they may think you make it up, or are using it as an excuse.

People who suffer panic attacks, don’t want to feel this way. We don’t want to get on a plane and think “I really hope I get to the other end without panicking”, we don’t want to restrict the way we live because of something we can’t control that leaves us feeling mentally and physically drained for days/weeks/months on end. We want to be normal, and carry on with our everyday lives without any added anxiety. I’d love to be able to say “I don’t worry about anything, besides the normal things”. After a panic attack, I feel so upset, but it’s mostly anger. Angry at myself for not having any control and angry that I don’t know how to make it stop. Then I feel angry because I feel like nobody understands.

What helps me?

When I’m actually having a panic attack, I find the only things that really take the edge off, are going outside, walking away from the place I was and taking myself away from that stressful situation (I know this sounds weird, and probably looks it, but when you have so much adrenaline and your muscles are pumped, you should do some form of exercise to use the adrenaline, which is why i usually go for a workout to calm myself and use that adrenaline towards my energy. Its very easy to have a negative mindset through this situation. Make sure to be positive, surround yourself with positive people and take your mind off what triggers your anxiety.

I really hope this can help and feel free to leave your comments below.

5 thoughts on “Overcoming Anxiety & Panic Attacks

  1. I think this is a great post, and very brave of you to open up about something that can sometimes be so stigmatized. While I don’t suffer from anxiety, I have a lot of people in my family that do. Like you said, sometimes its hard to recognize what an anxiety attack looks like, sometimes it can take the form of unexpected aggression, extreme fatigue or hyper-vigelence. On the outside looking in, it can be very scary to not knowing what triggered an attack, and what you can do to help. I often find that allowing the person some breathing space, asking what I can do to help, and most importantly respecting their requests is really the most one can do.
    I completely your point about self-esteem issues as related to anxiety. I often have to remind my loved one, who suffers from an anxiety disorder, that it is simply the way their body is functioning. Having anxiety doesn’t detract from who you are as a person, much in the same way having a food allergy doesn’t detract from me. It takes a lot of work to over come an anxiety attack, and a lot guts to be open and honest about it. Kudos to you!

  2. I am really glad that you wrote about this topic. Mental health is a subject that it very close to my heart, as I have battled depression my whole life and am currently in remission. Depression and anxiety have an odd partnership. I had a very dramatic anxiety attack while driving on the highway to the job I was starting after 7 years of being a stay at home mom. this prompted me to seek help and now I carry my “panic pills” just in case another attack is on the rise. Just having that option seems to help quite a bit. Exercise and long walks with the dog are also my go-to anxiety treatments.
    Thank you for posting this 🙂

    • Thank you for trusting me with this information since it’s very hard to open up about mental health.
      I am really happy you have found something to help you reduce the negative affects of anxiety.

  3. Thank you very much for sharing. I haven’t experienced one myself, but I appreciate getting to know more about what it’s like so that I can be more understanding and helpful if I’m around somebody who is going through one. It’s awesome to see what strategies you have to help you and how you’ve described it is very helpful. I think you hit the nail on the head that it’s really hard for somebody who has never had one to really know what it’s like, but I know I appreciate knowing more and more about what helps for the person suffering one. Whether they like to be left alone/given space, need to leave the area or have a specific type of space/room that they find to be more comfortable, etc. Having the comfort level to communicate about what helps you around those that tend to be around you is tough, but hopefully immensely more helpful when one happens.

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