No idea why I have named this blog what I have, I just thought it sounded catchy (it’s the marketer in me).
So this post is basically just a little bit of anxiety update, I don’t really talk as much about anxiety and the huge pain in my ass that is panic attacks, as much as I should. Potentially as I am becoming a lot better at handling them/it or because it’s an avoidance tactic to not even say the word (who knows).
So on the whole over the last six months I think I can say my anxiety has been better, I have probably had less than five panic attacks and I honestly think I am starting to just accept it as part of my life. I don’t think anxiety is something that comes and goes, I think that once your body has worked out that stress response you are stuck with it but I do think you can learn how to cope with it.
I remember my first panic attack, it was about three years ago and I honestly thought I was dying, I had never had one before, heart was racing, felt like I was going to simultaneously vomit and shit my self, pins and needles in my arms and legs (the lot, and yes a lot like how having a heart attack feels apparently) It came on for no reason and lasted about 20 minutes. I reacted so badly thinking there was something seriously wrong, I went to the doctor in an absolute state and insisted he checked me for everything (is that even possible).
I ended up going home with a prescription for Diazepam which truth be told was never going to solve the issue (it takes 20 minutes to kick in and a panic attack will rarely last over 20 minutes) great suggestion doc, I ended up taking half a tablet to see how I reacted, which apparently was to slur my words then pass out mid evening for the rest of the night on the sofa) not really the reaction I was after. Never the less I haven’t taken one since and they are most likely out of date now.
So basically at that point I realised that I was pretty much on my own with the panic attacks and there wasn’t going to be a medication option only a self help one. With a crippling phobia of being sick (emetophobia if you haven’t heard of it) the nausea involved with a panic attack is a HUGE problem for me and will make my panic 10x worse instantly, for the last 10 years I have been prescribed an anti-sickness drug called Buccastem (anti emetics) this I would take if I started to feel really bad, this was up until about a year ago when my side effects to taking that were that I would be really drowsy and basically go in to a coma when I slept (no alarms would wake me) so another medication that is really only used in an absolute emergency. So again back to square one. So here’s how they happen and how I deal with them:
‘I start to feel a bit odd, and my legs and arms go a bit weak and shaky’ Breathe and remember I am in control of my mind and body
‘My heart rate starts to pick up and I feel like I need to run as fast as I can (nowhere which is actually pretty funny)’ Start taking deep breaths, always making sure to breathe out for longer than I breathe in
‘My body temperature starts to rocket’ This is when I start taking clothes off and head for outside (still breathing properly)
‘I start to feel nauseous ad my chest and neck go tight’ Lie down on the floor in the cool with barely any clothes on (yes a hilarious sight if you are in public) and keep breathing
‘The next bits come in waves, heart rate goes mad, breathing goes mad and my body starts vigorously shaking (potentially because I’m in my underwear outside the back door) This is the point I normally try to speak to someone, having someone with me is the ideal situation but otherwise just calling someone works a treat. Sometimes just having someone at the end of the phone talking at you helps as a distraction. I cry, I wail, I moan and then all of a sudden everything slows down and within 10 minutes I am carrying on with my day a little shaken.
All I really try and focus on is breathing and remembering that ‘this will end’ I can’t stay on a panicked state for the rest of my life ‘it will end’.
My worst time of the day for this to strike is last thing at night or on waking in the morning so I am particularly mindful about keeping myself cool and calm in the morning (oversleeping is not a good situation to be in). I can’t give a magical solution (god I wish I could) but I guess I have just learnt to live with it, I have had them in public but they mainly happen at home a few days after I have been in a very stressful situation, it’s almost like my body saves up the anxiety in a little pot (I would like to think it’s called the anxiety pot) then one tiny addition and bam there’s the panic attack.
My only advice other than BREATHE is talk about it, talk to your friends let the know what’s going on, call them if it happens and most importantly DO NOT feel embarrassed, it’s a known fact that 1 in 4 adults will have an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
I hope this in some way is helpful and of course if you have something to say or can relate pop a comment below.
Thanks for reading