What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the feeling that we feel when we worry or are fearful about something. It’s a reaction that sometimes we can’t control and feeling anxious is something that we can all experience. However, it you’re starting to feel anxious all of the time or experiencing panic attacks, then you may have a undiagnosed anxiety disorder.
Signs you might have an anxiety disorder
- You avoid certain situations like going out.
- You’re unable to stay focused in work, or even go to work.
- You are constantly worried or fearful about everything in your life
- You experience panic attacks, and physical symptoms such as trembling, rapid heart rate, difficulty in speech and motor skills.
Someone who knows all to well about anxiety is my best friend Abi. Abi was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in 2012 after experiencing tragedy and trauma in her personal life. Here she shares her brave story of the moment she knew she needed to seek help, and talks about how having an Anxiety Disorder affects her.
When did anxiety start affecting your mental health? And when were you diagnosed?
I was 19 years old and my boyfriend at the time, his 21 year old sister was diagnosed with skin cancer and had a brain tumour, she passed away 4 months after being diagnosed and it changed me Forever. I didn’t even know what anxiety disorder was!
What is the worst thing about having an anxiety disorder?
I hate How erratic it makes me feel! I feel like I’m going to die and my brain goes into meltdown mode! You think things are going to happen to you which would never cross your mind when anxiety doesn’t kick in!
What have you learnt from having an anxiety disorder?
To be patient! It’s Taken me years to deal with! I never ever ever thought I’d get to a place where I’d be able to calm myself down or feel “normal” again but you do learn to live with it.
What are your go to coping mechanisms for relieving anxiety?
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve never found a specific thing which helps me with anxiety, time is a massive healer! If I feel a bad anxiety attack coming on I just think to myself “abi you survived this yesterday and you can do it again” I think tough love to yourself helps sometimes!
What was your worst anxiety or panic attack?
I remember when mine and my boyfriends relationship broke down after his sisters passing, we lived together and I had just moved home, I had this awful feeling something was going to happen to my mum and my chest was pounding and I felt sick, I guarded my mums bedroom door all night from 9pm until 6am! She opened the door in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and I was stood outside her door! I started to cry and my chest felt like it was caving in! My mum tried and tried to settle me and get me to get into my bed and sleep! But I wouldn’t!! The next day I had this idea in my head that I needed to shave all my hair off and that would save my mum and dad from dying! My mum got me the help I really needed after that night and I will never forget it.
What advice would you give to anyone suffering from anxiety!
Please be patient!! It’s so much easier said than done but trust me it does get better! I honestly thought my life was over! I didn’t want to live anymore because I didn’t want to live everyday petrified of life. But I’m still here now and I have finally accepted and learnt to deal with anxiety disorder.
You also have a b12 deficiency, do you believe this impacts your overall health? Can you tell us a bit more about b12?
My b12 deficiency 100% impacts my overall health and my mental health. I was severely depressed and down and I went to the doctors for help and they stuck me on anti depressants straight away! Months of being on them and I was not getting any better, if anything I was getting worse! Even talking suicide! So my doctor finally done blood tests and diagnosed me with b12 deficiency! I had never even heard of it!! So I don’t produce any red blood cells which fight off bacteria! Believe it or not it affects mental health MASSIVELY! it is so undiagnosed as well and I do believe many people with mental health issues could have this deficiency! I have to now have infections every 12 weeks for the rest of my life to keep my mental health under control and as dramatic as it sounds, keep me alive! If I don’t have these injections then the white blood cells in my body attack my organs and immune system 😷