Today’s guest post comes from my fellow blogger Magdalena. Magdalena usually writes about beauty, fashion and lifestyle. Today she is here to share her own experience with anxiety and panic attacks. After writing about my own struggle in the series The Importance of Awareness, I thought it might be nice to hear some of the readers’ experience and ways to deal with mental disorder. I’m sure you will all appreciate greatly her advice!
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
As a person who has anxiety (not normal anxiety you get before tests, speaking in front of people etc.) and panic attacks, I strongly feel that we should talk about these things, explain it, learn it and UNDERSTAND IT.
I am 16 (and a half, but who cares about that) and I had my first panic attack when I was about 12. I don’t remember the exact incident because in that period of my life I had at least two panic attacks per week. I was scared because I didn’t know what was happening. The feeling of high level anxiety would come rushing through me, climbing up my body from my toes to my head. My heart started to pound so fast I thought it was going to jump out of my skin, I was shaking, my hands numb. And all of that happened to me while I was making my bed, which is not something you normally feel anxious about.
Over the course of the next few years I had panic attacks in a lot of situations, and my anxiety would get so high that I would shake. Sadly, those things have affected the way I live. As a dancer, I had a lot of performances and I was, let’s say, fine, with public watching what I do, but now just walking across a hall full of people, or being in a small drugstore, is a problem sometimes.
It’s the simple things that are a bit difficult, but you know what – I learned. I learned how to make my panic attacks easier, I learned how to deal with anxiety in public, and the most important thing I learned how to talk to people about it. Not just about my anxiety and panic attacks, but I learned how to take my problems and experience with it and use it to help others with same problems, who might have not understood everything.
So today I am going to give you a few tips about surviving panic attacks and anxiety that have helped me in the past. If you don’t have them you can simply use these tips by keeping them in mind when you are helping someone with them.
- You are not alone. Not even when you don’t have anyone by your side, someone is always just a phone call away.
- Learn what makes you feel at peace. For me that is some music blasting through my headphones, or someone talking about places they have travelled to.
- It’s useful to learn some breathing exercises or even yoga. Meditation is awesome.
- You are most definitely not making any of your friends in your presence embarrassed. They are there because they care about you and because they want to help.
- When you feel you are going to have an attack prepare yourself mentally for it. Don’t start to panic about having it, try to convince yourself that you got this and you can get through this, because you can!
- It is a good idea for you to tell people you are close with about your panic attacks and/or anxiety and also tell them what they can do to help you, just in case.
- You should not be embarrassed about this. Own it and talk about it and it might help you and others in the future.
- Keep in mind that what you are feeling won’t last forever. Panic attacks usually never last longer than 30 minutes, even though mine are mostly 5 minutes.
- I know it can be scary to go to a crowded space, especially if you have social anxiety, but at least try to do it, and give the best you can.
- Be open to accepting help. This step is usually really hard for me because whenever I need help I put my guard up and don’t let anyone in. I have to realize that asking for help is braver than denying you need it.
About the author: Magdalena is a student from Croatia. She loves writing, and she posts about beauty, fashion, photography and travelling. You can find her on Small Town Blogger or contact her through her email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are suffering from anxiety, panic attacks or any other kind of mental disorder, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Contact me in private for advice or a warm virtual hug, and seek a psychologist’s professional help! Remember, we are all in this together!