Posted 5/12/2009 9:01 AM (GMT -7)
I am 22 years old, and I have recently experienced an extreme case of anxiety attack.
I do intend this post to be long, and I hope this helps some people!
It is quite personal, but I am more than willing to share!
I'll start with explaining how my life was for most of my teenage years. I had a fair chunk of negative thoughts going on in that mind. I hadn't really thought much of it, I knew it wasn't healthy for me, but I tried to remain as positive as I could. I lacked motivation, I was fairly down, and lacked self esteem. For a while in school I was bullied a bit, which may be the root of all this negative thought upon myself. I have had insecurities and negative thoughts going on in my mind for some time. I would forever worry about what type of career I wanted to get into, I would beat myself up about my parents separating, worry about how many friends I had, how my hair looked on the day... The list goes on and on. To be honest, I really shouldn't be insecure. I am a handsome young man, and I am talented. People like me, I socialize well, and I have a good sense of humor. (the mind can do some damage to you sometimes!) Hearing these things from other people, or having these attributes pointed out to me, doesn't help my insecure feelings. It is a quick fix so to speak, when someone gives you a compliment or two.
Anyway, with all that in mind, you can probably agree that this was not a healthy lifestyle. I had a lot of problems, which I didn't take too seriously. ( I am regretting that now).
about a month ago now, I was laying in bed at night, trying to get some sleep. I was texting a few girls, which weren't really responding, and I wanted their attention.... I think you can see where this is going.. I starting getting extremely upset about it, which is ridiculous of course. It was to the point of sobbing horrifically. And for some unknown reason, I started laughing.... Laughing hard and loud..... and then Sobbing at the same time.. It was a very weird feeling as you might imagine. Suddenly I started feeling very unwell.. Dizzy & sweating. My mind was racing. I then went on to yell out to myself, This is not right... This is not good.. I got up out of bed to discover the dizziness was intensifying, and my vision was warped. My head was buzzing. I stumbled out of my bedroom door outside, and collapsed.. I started repeating "this is not right". I then dragged myself up and went to the tap for some water.. My head was still buzzing and the dizzy sensation and warped vision was intensifying even more. I noticed my arms and little fingers were getting very tingly... I felt like I had lost my mind, and I mean that. I felt doomed. I was panicking, and I couldn't do anything but scream out for help. My mother came out, asking what was wrong.. I couldn't respond, I couldn't think straight. I then paced around outside pulling my hair, repeating "I have lost my mind". I was angry, yet laughing at some stages. I was upset too. I had lost a lot of strength.
This was a very scary experience for me. It was almost as if something that night had just snapped in my mind.
Anyway, I was taken to hospital, and I saw an expert. He put it down to an extreme anxiety attack and I'm seeing my GP for further help. I have been given diazhapam and Avanza. Avanza is a medication that helps you sleep, and regain coping substances in the brain. It also works as an anti depressant.
Now I do have to say, the meds are helping quite a bit. The diazhapam helps me calm down when I start panicking or having an anxiety attack. The avanza helps me sleep, and does seem to be helping me cope easier with situations.
For the first couple of weeks after this had all happened, I was a wreck. thoughts racing through my mind continuously, feeling dazed, dizzy, drugged out.
I'd like to now share with you the things I have learned about Anxiety:
First of all, I try to eliminate stress as much as I can. I Do things that relax me. Reading is good for anxiety, walking, massages, or anything else that you find relaxing. Remember doing things that give you satisfaction and joy are helpful too. For example, Fatty or sugary foods (not too much of that :P) helping someone out, achieving something or sex.
I Get information about symptoms of anxiety.. this can put your mind at rest quite a lot.. I was panicking that I had some kind of Mania disease or bipolar or something more serious.. The less you have to worry about this, the better, and hopefully create less panic attacks. I think this is one of the most important things that I have learned.. Because the most terrifying thing is being in this condition, and panicking yourself into thinking you have something majorly wrong with you that is permanent.. It's very scary.
See your GP... They explain things to you well, usually. And help you with getting on the right meds, if you need them. In my case, I always was against anti-depressants and other pills.. but after experiencing the most terrifying thing in my life (anxiety attack) I just wanted anything to help me feel normal again.
Try to remember that anxiety and panic attacks do have physical symptoms... You may feel dizzy, light headed, you may have out of body experiences or floating or falling type sensations. You may feel like you are on some trip. Try not to panic yourself into thinking that this is anymore than anxiety. Because the last thing you need is panic!
Be patient... This can be with you for a long time.. it may come and go, and you may even get the idea that because you are feeling normal again, that it's wrong.. and you'll panic yourself into anxiety again.. I've found that accepting my condition, and just being myself, and when I do feel good, I try to lap it up as much as I can, really helps.
I know that most cases do vary within each person. In my case though, I am usually pretty fine and feel normal when I am busy doing things.. (driving, reading, paying bills, watching movies etc) but as soon as it's bed time, or a bit of quiet time to myself, thoughts start flooding in, racing through my mind. I feel like I lose control of my thoughts, and this causes me to panic sometimes. What I do is try to acknowledge my thoughts, accept them, let them flow. I try not to fight them. This seems to help me avoid panic attacks. If there is anything you have or do that you really love doing, or makes you feel better, always remember it's there... It's comforting to know that there is something or someone there for you, that you can resort to if you start panicking. I have my diazhapam, and a very dear friend who has helped me so much through this. Just knowing this comforts me, and when I feel a panic attack coming on, I think of how comforting those two things are. Another comforting thing might be family or friends, or anything else that is positive! Negative thoughts in my case do me a lot of harm. They bring on panic attacks and anxiety attacks quite easily.
I really hope some of this helps people out there who are experiencing anything similar. I have been very shaken up and terrified from this experience, but I think I will come out of this much stronger as a person, and stronger minded. I have to keep pushing and keep hanging in there, and thinking positively about this.
Thank you for reading, I have enjoyed writing this up quite a lot, and the reason why I have is because I would not wish this condition upon anyone. Even an enemy. So I am glad to do anything I can to help people feel better. If you ever want to PM me, please feel free. Don't be shy! I am easy going, and don't judge people, and like I said, I really would like to help.