I thought that as Tuesday 10th October was World Mental Health Day, that I would share with you about my struggles with my mental health and show you that if you are suffering you are not alone. I have written a blog post briefly on ways I sometimes cope with my anxiety (which you can scroll down and read, if you want to), but I thought I would explain how it has impacted my life and ways I have used to try and battle my anxiety.
I first started suffering with anxiety 10 years ago when I was 16, it wasn’t everyday but I would have occasions where I would suffer. I would feel like I couldn’t go to sixth form and would become panicked. It got worse when I had a big panic attack on first day at a new job (yes, it was incredibly embarrassing at the time, but now I understand why it was happening), but after an emergency doctors appointment, a discussion and some tests I was then diagnosed with anxiety. I was put on medication and signed off of work. Since then I have been on and off medication, however I have been permanently off medication for just over 6 months. Yes, I do have good days but I also have some very bad days.
Past few years my anxiety has changed the way I live my life. Avoiding situations that I know would cause my anxiety to get worse, or to even have a panic attack. So I have passed up on birthday parties/dinners for friends, job interviews or even events. I would be excited for these times, the day before, on the day and even hours before and then I end up not going. I always feel so silly after and I always feel gutted that I missed out and over this past year I have been doing it more and more.
I have decided that I cannot keep letting my anxiety dictate to me how I am going to live my life and I am in someways allowing it to happen. I have made myself a promise that I am going to be more proactive and continue to challenge my anxiety.
I wanted to write this post to let everyone know that if you are suffering you are not alone. When I first started suffering at the age of 16, I had no idea what the feeling was. When I was diagnosed, I had never even heard of the term anxiety or what it really meant. So luckily now there is more publicity surrounding mental health (although still not enough) with celebrities and Youtubers sharing their stories and doctors, teachers and families are starting to learn more about anxiety and the importance of mental health. So if you want to find out more, head to youtube which is one I found quite comforting, listening to others and knowing what I was experiences isn’t abnormal at all. Although young people especially have more avenues to turn to for help, support and advice about their mental health, we do have a long way to go. But luckily I think we are moving in the right direction.
If you are suffering from anxiety or other mental health issues and are not sure what to do, it is important you speak to someone about how you are feeling. Your doctor, a friend, a family member or even people such as mind and the samaritans. The biggest thing to remember is you are NOT alone and you would be surprised at how many people suffer some type of mental illness. (as I was!)
I am always willing to chat to people and help if I can, you can always find me on my social media accounts. The tab at the top of my blog “where to find me” has all my social media accounts.
See you next week
Lauren x x