Here's a little (long) story about anxiety.
I was never and anxious child. I was confident and happy go lucky upto being about 20. Then the fun started. One day I was worried about something, something not really worth worrying about, but I just didn't 'feel right'. Then later that night I woke in the middle of sleep. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't stay in the room. My heart was beating so fast I thought it was going to explode. I had to get out of the room. I ran to the bathroom in a blind panic, my mind was racing, I splashed my face with water. Within minutes I felt better but I was still shocked and shaking at what had happened. Id just had a heart attack??
No. I didn't. Though unbeknown to me at the time, id had my first panic attack. In the weeks/days after I was on edge. Constantly assessing myself for various signs and symptoms, obsessing over my heart and my health. Any ache or pain became a huge thing. My second home was the doctors. In the past two year since I've been though CBT twice, the first time it helped, I was back to my old self which was great. But it faded and I was back to square one. I one again was in the cycle of aching shoulders, arm pain, jaw pain, sore back and sore everything. Then the reflux started. I became breathless all of the time, I had a constant (and I mean constant) pain in the centre of my chest like something was stuck there. Medication helped but during high anxiety, nothing helped. The strangest things made me go off into a week of anxiety. An advert about heart attack on tv, aimed at me I thought. It's silly, but it's real to people like me in this state of mind. The anxiety developed and with it so did symptoms and thoughts. Overthinking everything. I've been rushed to a&e three times and found nothing yet I STILL Didn't believe my heart was fine. I think the longest time between my doctors appointments in the past two years has been about 3 weeks. Another thing is weight gain, Ive put 5 stone on in two years due to not moving through fear of my heart stopping. The thing is, with this, it can happen to anyone. People laugh. Tell me I'm over dramatic. Tell me to stop thinking about it (winds me up so so much) but they don't understand and that's ok. But it's hard thinking you're gravely sick, and nobodys listening. My whole outlook on life has changed. It affected my personal life, my relationships with people. My whole life. The point I'm trying to get across is that my view on mental health has changed and a lot of people need to look deeper into things like this. My reason for change is because it's got me. Its got me so good I didn't even know what it was. Mental health creeps up on you and takes over without you even knowing it's happening. And people who talk about mental health (hypochondria in my
Case) can't even begin to fathom what's going through people minds. The only thing we need is support, Help to know people care, help to understand what exactly is going on. We don't want to sit and read leaflets, we need people who know what to do. The scariest thing about anxiety (for me) is not understanding it. Not knowing why you feel the way you do, not knowing if today will be the day you finally go crazy. Hopefully people (myself included) will break free of this. But one thing I've learned so far. Your mind is SO powerful. There's no limit to how much it can terrify you. But, it's not real. None of it. It's anxiety. It's a thought pattern. And it CAN be reversed. It might take years. But you will win. Don't give up. Don't let it get the Better of you. Cliche but, it's ok not to be ok sometimes, and it's ALWAYS ok to ask for help. We'll only move forward together. I hope people reading this will think next time they make comment and people going through this will know they're not alone. Help is available. Just keep nagging. You'll find something that works for you eventually, it's all trial and error! Keep smiling!!