Living with Anxiety & Panic Attacks

Anxiety, Living with Anxiety and Panick Attacks, Panic, Anxiety, OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, GAD

I've often considered whether or not I should write this post as its a very personal and upsetting subject for me to discuss. I know I've mentioned that I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks briefly but nobody other than my boyfriend who lives with me and sees what I go through on a regular basis, knows the full extent of my anxiety and how it controls my life. I'm also wary of the fact that lots of bloggers seem to struggle with a similar problem (it must be us creative folk and our over-active minds) and I don't want anyone to think I'm jumping on some sort of anxiety bandwagon. Firstly, that would be sick. Secondly, this is exceptionally hard to discuss and not something I'd write about if it wasn't real and thirdly,  I've been dealing with this since the age of 13, that's 10 whole years. I know I shouldn't have to add any kind of disclaimer to this post but I just want to put that out there as people can be quick to jump to conclusions.

Now that's out of the way, I want to start this post by saying mental illness is not something that should be overlooked, dismissed or laughed at. Its just as debilitating as a physical illness and although you might not be able to see it, its there, in my head, at all times. What I'm hoping to achieve from this post is to help other people who might be going through the same thing as me or to help those not affected with anxiety to understand what it is, what it feels like and how it can affect a person. I truly believe in the saying "never judge a book by its cover" as you might think somebody has a happy, problem-free life but until you truly know them and the things they've been through, you really have no right to judge.

What is Anxiety and a Panic Attack? What are the symptoms?
These are two questions that I've popped into search engines on numerous occasions as I'm always trying my hardest to understand anxiety and the effects it has on the human body - physically and emotionally. Its so difficult to sum it up in a small paragraph but for me anxiety is a feeling of constant dread and the fear that something bad is going to happen. When I'm in a relaxed state, I can tell myself that my anxious thoughts are completely irrational. However, when I'm in an anxious state, all logic goes out of the window and I go into 'flight or fight' mode which is when a panic attack rears its ugly head. The body is designed to release adrenaline and prepare us for escaping or fighting in frightening situations but when you're a sufferer of panic attacks, this surge of adrenaline can kick in in the most safe environments. When adrenaline kicks in and there's no need to escape or fight, it can cause horrendous physical symptoms. This is what makes a panic attack so scary. 

Just to name a few symptoms I often have when experiencing a panic attack -
- Racing heart
- Chest Pain/Flutters/Palpitations
- Difficulty Breathing and swallowing (dry mouth)
- Feeling dizzy and lightheaded
- Tingling in my fingers and toes
- Body 'zaps' - when anxious every feeling in the body becomes heightened.
- Excessive sweating 
- Feeling 'spaced out', confused and unbalanced.

As you can imagine, its not nice at all and the symptoms can easily be mistaken for something much more serious. I thought it'd be helpful to add some snippets from a book I've been reading below as these paragraphs sum it up much better than I can myself - 



My experience and where it all began
So, now you know the general gist of what it is, let me share my experience of where it all began and how its developed. Anxiety started for me in the form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and I've actually wrote a post about my experience with that here if you want to know more. To put it simply, its a mental disorder which makes you have compulsive thoughts and obsessions. For example, "if I don't wash my hands, I might get a serious illness!". It all began when my grandad suddenly passed away in his early 50's. I was only 12 at the time and didn't know how to deal with someone I loved so dearly being taken away from me so suddenly. It turns out I was dealing with it but in a completely un-natural way, I'd developed OCD. I won't go into too much detail but it completely controlled my life for a few years - I was obsessed with germs and would wash my hands so much they'd bleed. I'd also think every ache or pain in my body was life threatening. I genuinely thought I was losing my mind as up until this point, I'd always been a pretty happy and care-free girl. After dealing with this in secret, too embaressed to tell anyone how I felt, I experienced my first panic attack. I was 13 at the time.

I remember it like it was yesterday - I was sitting in my bedroom one night after completing my standard OCD rituals (I used to have to touch everything in my bedroom before I went to sleep) and the next thing I knew my heart was pounding, I couldn't breathe, I felt dizzy, my palms were clammy and I was hypervanilating. I truly thought I was dying and to put it bluntly, it was one of the most horrendous feelings I've ever experienced. Now imagine having to deal with that on a a regular basis, that feeling of impending doom, the feeling that something bad is always going to happen, thats anxiety. Well, thats what it is for me at least. I have a mixture of anxiety and OCD. Irrational thoughts mixed with irrational worry which then leads to a panic attack. I know it comes in lots of different forms and the way I feel and my symptoms might be completely different to someone else's, it really depends on the individual. The outcome of feeling anxious and having a panic attack is always the same though - feeling hopeless, trapped and out of control. I wouldn't wish it upon anybody.

What should I do? Can I get help?
You might be reading this thinking 'none of it makes sense' and thats completely fine, a lot of people don't understand anxiety unless they've experienced it themsevles. Lots of people presume its just their loved ones 'worrying', especially if they're a natural worrier anyway like me. In a way I guess thats what anxiety is - worry. However, its unnatural worry and worry so strong that it becomes unbearable to deal with and can make day to day life very difficult. My family used to be guilty of calling me a worrier and shrugging off my panicked states. After all, they just thought it was 'Kayleigh being Kayleigh'. However, when I finally plucked up the courage to tell them that it wasn't just worry, but something more serious, it didn't seem so funny anymore. I remember when I first told my mum and she couldn't stop apologising for all the times she'd made a joke about me being a worrier. I always knew she didn't 'get it' and thats not her fault, I probably wouldn't either if it wasn't me in that situation so my biggest piece of advice would be to tell your loved ones how you're feeling. My mum has been nothing but supportive since I opened up to her about the problems I was having and it really helps me to know I have a support system around me. Knowing I can pick up the phone and tell my family how I'm feeling takes a huge weight off my shoulders. Its also important to note that if you're the family member of someone going through this, be supportive and listen to them. You might not fully understand what they're going through but being there for them will mean more than anything.

Another thing I'd advise is going to see your GP. I've been on two seperate ocassions now, both of which weren't successful but eventually I got the help I need. On my first visit to the doctors, the GP did a 'test' by which they evaluate the level of your anxiety and I was told mine is 'severe'. However, I was sent away with a helpline and the name of some books to read - not what I was expecting. I tried the books ('Overcoming Anxiety' photographed in this post is great for helping to understand anxiety better) but I knew I needed professional help that would get to the root cause of my anxiety. After plucking up the courage to go back to the doctors and see a different GP, I finally got some answers. I was told about various medications I could take and although I've been too scared to take them since being prescribed, I was also told about CBT- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This seemed like the right route for me to take as I believe changing my thought processes and behaviours will help me the most. I've been for a few sessions now and although it was hard opening up to a stranger about experiences in my life that may have triggered my anxiety and panic attacks, it was an amazing feeling to know I'm finally taking control and getting the help I need. I can't say its 'working' just yet but I'm feeling positive and determined to take all the techniques and coping methods I'm being taught on board. Please don't be like me and spend years feeling embarrassed as its really nothing to be embaressed about. Doctors and therapists see people suffereing with the same symptoms as you day in, day out. Its their job remember and they aren't there to judge you. 



Things I've learnt throughout my experience
- I'm NOT Crazy - its very easy to feel like you're losing your mind when you're panicking for no reason whatsoever in a safe environment.
- The symptoms I'm feeling are real but they won't hurt me - I'm NOT having a heart attack. My therapist has taught me a technique to say "I'm always okay" repeatedly until the panic subsides. Reminding myself its just a panic attack and its happened a million times before stops it from spiralling out of control.
- I don't have to feel embarrassed, millions of people suffer with panic attacks on a day to day basis.
- I can confide in my loved ones and know that they'll be there for me and with time, they will understand.
- Its okay to get upset and let my emotions out when it all gets too much - don't bottle things up.
- Seek help and don't suffer in silence. Talking to someone about the issues you're having might help. If it doesn't, you've lost nothing. Anything is worth a try!
- Focus your mind on something you enjoy - for me, that's writing this blog. Whenever I'm blogging, I feel relaxed. It gives me something to focus on and doesn't allow my brain to think about anything else.
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone - I'm still working on this one myself but its SO important to face up to the things that make you anxious. I had a bad stage not too long ago where I had to take time off work as I was having panic attacks in the office every single day. However, I pushed myself to go back as if I didn't, the problem would have become worse and I'd of become more withdrawn and afraid to return.

That's all I'm going to say for now as I could go on and on and on about my experience and all the things I've learnt about anxiety and panic attacks for hours. Trust me, I'm a bloomin expert on the matter after spending hours and hours reading about them and trying to understand them. The biggest lesson I've learnt is that it definitely helps to admitt when you have a problem instead of bottling it up. This post was terribly hard for me to write and terrifying to publish on my blog but I feel its something I need to do. Panic attacks are a huge part of me and my life and although you might only see the happy me in blog posts, some days are tough and everything isn't as great as it might always seem. I think its important to remember that when reading blogs - you're only seeing a snippet of someones life and not the whole picture so try not to judge based on what you think you know. Thats another big life lesson I've learnt. If this post can help someone to know they aren't alone and they CAN get help, I'll be a happy lady. I often get emails from people asking for advice and what not so although this is a terrifying thing to write about, its very important to me.

If you or someone you know suffers with anxiety, please share your experience in the comments below. The more we can help each other out and make people aware that anxiety is a serious problem, the better. I'd also like to say thank you to each and every one of you who takes time out of your day to read my blog. Blogging and all the amazing people I've met because of it is one of the best things thats ever happened to me and its given me something positive and consistent to concentrate on, even when I'm feeling low. 


I'm still on my journey to finding the 'cure' for my anxiety but I'm positive that one day I can say good riddance to it forever.




86 comments

  1. Such a thoughtful post Kayleigh, I sometimes feel like that and I've cast it off as me being silly or getting worked up about things. I think you're really brave for posting this and taking the time to write it as I know it wouldn't have even easy. I think sometimes people can think peoples lives are perfect but like you say they're only seeing a snippet. You're a star!

    Katie x
    sugarfixxbeauty.com

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  2. You are an incredible person for writing something which is so personal to you.
    i suffer with OCD and I get the occasional panic attack so I know how you feel on that side.
    You're a very strong person, and I look up to you in so many ways.
    Thank you for sharing your experience - you'll help loads of other people as well as myself

    xo

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  3. Kayleigh, this was really interesting for me to read since I have never experienced anything like a panic attack or anxiety before and helped me learn a lot more about the issue. Now if I ever see someone who looks like they are experiencing something like this, I would feel confident to go over and try to help. It sound like it's an awful thing to have, and although I'm lucky enough not to suffer with this I hope that one day everyone out there including yourself can beat this. It was very brave of you to write something so personal, and I'm sure it will pull a heart string or two with everyone who reads this, well done sweetie xx

    Kellie xx
    www.beautyeverafter.net

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  4. such a brave post for you to write kayleigh!! I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like to suffer with panic attacks, but you sound like you're handling it in your own way and at your own pace:) I suffer from social anxiety and though I don't get panic attacks, I do get nauseous when I go out places because i've got myself so worried over it! You're one of my favourite bloggers so please remember we are always here to support you:) lots of love xx

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  5. First of all, well done for writing this and being so brave. I have anxiety and panic attacks which I also wrote about here And as you said, anxiety differs quite a lot. Whereas, I don't get the feeling of dying but everything else which has almost made me housebound.
    It sounds odd but I like reading things like this because they make me feel less alone so thank you very much for posting.
    Im on that journey with you to find a 'cure' and hopefully one day, it'll happen.
    Thank you again
    Sarah xxx

    - Sarah Speaks

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  6. This was a nice read. I have suffered from anxiety for years and find it difficult to explain to people how I feel and what anxiety is. There are so many of us out there that suffer from panic attacks and GAD, just not enough of us speak out, so thank you for sharing this!

    www.britishbeautyaddict.com

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  7. I'm so glad you decided to publish this post Kayleigh, it is a very informative and in a way comforting for me to read because I have experienced a similar sensation as you have described. I never thought I had panic attacks nor did I think they were anything serious (I now know they are) but I can remember my first one even though I never knew what it was at the time. I was walking to school early early in the morning and out of the blue I started running. I felt I was in danger and my heart was racing I was sweaty, and numb. My chest was hurting and I lost my balance and tripped. I didn't know what happened because the street was empty no one was there, but I felt was being watched or chased. I had to lay on the pavement for a while until I collected myself and managed to make it to school. I've felt these strange sensations again and again, but dismissed them because it does seem a bit crazy when no one believes you. This post has made me feel more sane, and aware. Thank you so much for sharing Kayleigh. xxxxx

    Ohhval.blogspot.com

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  8. This is an amazing post Kayleigh! It takes so much to publish something like this, I really do respect you for it! You're so inspirational for posting this! xxx



    www.insideherwardrobe.blogspot.com

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  9. This is such a wonderful post - and thank you for being brave enough to write it, as I know it can't have been easy at all - but no doubt you have helped SO many people through being so open, so that's amazing. It's wonderful to hear you're finally starting to find help.

    I've always been a worrier - like you said, my family just say that's 'what I do'. I've never thought of it as anything more - after all, it's natural to worry. But I feel I can never relax - there's always something to worry about and if I'm not worried about anything...then that worries me, since it's unusual! I suffer from palpitations occasionally and I don't think I have panic attacks as such...I just worry more sometimes. However, my boyfriend has said a few times I should go and talk to someone but I just don't see it as a 'big deal' as its normal for me....but I don't know.

    Anyway I'm really sorry to waffle on! But again, thank you for writing so candidly - you've helped so many by doing so - not least myself! I've been reading your blogs regularly for a few months and love every one of them :) I can't wait to start blogging myself.

    Thank you! Jo xxx

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  10. Wow, this is a really brave post to write. I love how open you are and everything was explained so well. I can't pretend to understand this problem but my best friend suffers from this so I have tried to read up on it quite a bit. It helps that I studied Psychology at University but nothing can compare to an account of it thats as personal as the one you've given. One of the best posts I've read in a while, thanks so much for sharing your experience with this.

    Lisa x
    http://uniqueornbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. Thanks for giving us an insight into what it's like living with a mental disorder.. A lot of people wouldn't understand it and I think that it's great that you're willing to share it with us. The way you've explained it is also soo much easier to understand. I think this is a very brave thing to do and you should be so pleased you have done it as this will help so many people in the future:) xx

    www.allthingsbeautiful-x.blogspot.com

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  12. Aww babe, I just want to give you a big hug! I do feel that mental health is usually overlooked. People need to be educated on it, as with Panic Attacks it appears to be quite physical.

    I have noticed that some blogers do have similar issues with Anxiety, definitely must be the creativity!

    Thank you for the post. I feel you have explained it quite well. Hope it helps a lot of folks out there.

    Halima

    F A S H I O N I C I D E | Manchester Fusion Fashion and Beauty Blog |

    xo

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  13. wel done for sharing kayleigh :) I always reccomend ''mood gym '' an aussie online CBT site and ''get self help'' for anxiety so maybe check those out too xo

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  14. Great post Kayleigh. I can completely relate to you on this as I myself have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks from about the age of 11. Mine are usually triggered when I'm feeling particularly stressed about something going on in my life but they can also happen out of the blue. I've never been to see a doctor about it but my sister struggles with it too, so I guess it's something in our family?! It really is horrible feeling like you can't go somewhere/do something in case it triggers off an attack. I really hope CBT works for you, it's something I've considered going for a few times but for some reason, never quite gotten round to it.
    My mum is really understanding about it too although my boyfriend doesn't quite understand fully and just thinks I'm "worrying too much" although he still comforts me when I'm having a panic attack.
    Anyway, thanks for posting this! xx

    Curls & Swirls Beauty Blog

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  15. Hi love,

    Well done for being so brave and speaking out. I really appreciate reading posts like this because it makes me feel a little less like I'm going mad sometimes with my GAD. Weird, but sometimes I think talking about it actually helps get it out of my system a little, if that makes sense?

    I think people always assume that blogger (for example) who are so bubbly and confident, and who put so much of theirselves 'out there' on the internet can't possibly have a mental disorder or anxiety - even if statistics tell them that 1 in 3 people will suffer one at least once in their lives!

    I just try to keep going forward and try to live by the quote 'this too shall pass' when I'm feeling anxious. I refuse to let my brain misfiring ruin my days for me :)

    I wrote a post about my experience yesterday and encouraged people to speak out and feel a little less alone. It might make you feel how I felt reading you post :) http://www.twentysomethingbeauty.com/2013/09/anxiety-disorder-positivity-personal.html

    Much love!
    xx

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  16. Im soo pleased youve posted about this, ive been thinking about doing the same post myself as an anxiety and panic attack sufferer myself but just keep chickening out of doing so as i didnt want to be wrongly judged, its so refreshing to see that there are people out there who want to speak out about the illness and help others, i definitely agree that it seems to be creative people that seem to suffer from it, ive been thinking this for so long and finally someone else has said it too, it seems strange that being a creative person means you can be a panic attack sufferer its so bizarre but atleast we have a place we can hide away from anxiety and blogging definitely does it for me!

    Thankyou for such a great post!

    www.frankiebooxx.blogspot.co.uk

    Frankie xXx

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  17. this was such a good post to read Kayleigh. And very true about not hopping on the anxiety bandwagon. Some people really just don't get how lucky they are not to have it - if they did, im sure they wouldn't be so ignorant about it! I've suffered since i was at Infant school - so i totally get where youre coming from and cant believe how similar your perception of anxiety is to mine. I'm recently starting CBT again - I always have panic attacks but theyve gotten really bad again the past few months ever since i went to hospital at christmas. Start my first session wednesday. I too remain positive that one day i wont have to live with them - but i think its something im always going to have - even if its just at a controllable, 'barely there' level. If you ever want a chat about anxiety related stuff you know where i am <3 its always good to share tips!

    Ive recently typed up a post all about my experience with CBT the first time around which i plan to post in the next couple of months once ive gone through and cut some bits out (its a bloomin essay!) - i'll let you know when i post it! Dont know if you'll find it useful but its about how i felt when i finished it and how i felt it worked. :)

    Lots of love :) <3 x x x

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  18. You are so brave, and by being courageous and putting this subject out there, so many people might feel safe enough to share with their loved ones too. Really really great thing to do. I have never experienced anything like panic attacks and I'm really sympathetic to you for having to go through that. An extremely close loved one of mine suffers varying types of depression, which is equally misunderstood problem. But being open about these things takes the mystery and embarrassment away and makes them something easier to understand and hopefully therefore deal with over time.

    A very brave lady :)

    Gemma
    fadedwindmills.blogspot.co.uk

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  19. This is a really inspiring post. You are so brave to talk about this I know it must have been hard. But you will help loads of people by sharing this. Beautiful post.

    Hannah xxx
    http://adayinthelifeofanortherngirl.blogspot.com

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  20. This is very inspiring post, thankyou for writing it and sharing your experiences with anxiety, I love that you have been so informative as well as sharing your personal story. I suffered with panic attacks and anxiety for two years until I finally spoke to my mum about it, up until then everyone just wrote me off as being a natural stresser and that I would get over it, for me the only way to deal with it was to just make myself do the things I needed to no matter how anxious it made me and eventually it got easier for me to deal with the situations that triggered my panic attacks even though I still suffer from them but much less often than at my worst but I know that everyone is different and needs different types of help. I really hope the cbt works for you and it helps you to find the best way to cope with your anxiety, again thanks for writing this, it was such a brave thing to do.
    Rosalie x

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  21. Such a inspiring post , for you to pluck up the courage and talk about such an in-depth and not a usual subject. I've always been overly-worried about loved ones and went through a '(bad) very scared all the time' phase after my grandad died of lung cancer in 2004 I was 10 at the time. I managed to get myself out of it in the end, but I always get that bad feeling now and again. But I think I've managed to push it out of the way so its all okay. I've never experienced a panic attack so I am sorry that I cannot fully feel what you have been through in that respect. But it is very good to hear that the sessions are doing you well. But apart from all of this, I just want you to know that if things are getting tough you can always pop me a message and I'll do my best to help (all social media links are on my blog) As sometimes knowing you've got friends/people there to help you its the next best thing!

    Eloise | simplynaturale xo

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  22. Thank you for sharing this sweety, its very brave and thank you for sharing some things to help. Becki has been suffering with severe anxiety this past year but actually we have no realsied its been alot longer but we all used to think it was becki having a "funny turn" as we used to call it. Back then we used to call it normal when Becki had to be picked up from friends houses at 3am in the morning because she was having a "funny turn" but now we realise it was so much more. Keeping your feelinga quiet is the worst thing but thats what Becki does. It is so difficult to know how she feels but just know that you are not alone sweety. as for your 'Disclaimer" it is strange how so many bloggers seem to be opening up about anxiety and ALOT of us all suffer with it. We were wondering if thats why bloggers become bloggers? as it is easier to focus your energy online than having to deal with out outside world as Becki finds that even going outside is becoming a problem as her anxiety hits the roof.

    Thank you again for sharing this lovely. lots of love Jess & Becki xox

    www.lifelooksperfect.com

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  23. I have to say a huge big thank you to you for writing this post!it means a lot to so many people including me.I suffered with panic attacks and anxiety for years on and off.it isn't an easy subject to understand at all.
    but your post does and will help others see that you're not alone with this and things can improve over time.
    as long as you have good support around you then it sure helps.
    hugs everyone <3

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  24. You're such a brave girl Kayleigh. This is such a helpful post, thanks for sharing your experience with us! Glad you're seeing a therapist, I do hope you'll be fine eventually xxx

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  25. Thank you so much for posting this, it is such a personal matter and obviously isn't easy. I'm 15 and am in year 11 at school. In about May time last year, my friend suffered her first ever panic attack in a Geography controlled assessment. I knew what it was, but wasn't able to know how to react. I am generally a bit of a worrier myself, so obviously seeing someone having a panic attack can make me feel quite nervous and on edge. Although I can now cope with it on my own and stay with my friend and help her out of the panic, little things like this can help. My friend has told no one, family or teachers about the panic attacks and it makes it really hard. Recently, I was told that she wasn't my problem and to forget about her and it. I can't do that because mental illness isn't her fault, but I really wish there was someone I could talk to about it.
    Thanks so much
    Emily x

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  26. Such an inspiring post and I hope it helped by blogging about it. I cant imagine what it is like for you or others who suffer, I hope the therapy helps xx

    Beautyqueenuk xx

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  27. What an amazing post - we've both struggled with anxiety problems and completely understand. Well done for writing that post, very brave :) you can and will get better - anxiety problems don't get 'fixed' but you can live happily...CBT is wonderful and made all the difference to me. If you ever want to talk just email xx

    Laura (of Laura and Rosanna) @ Roses Rooftop

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  28. A brave post which gives vital awareness to others. I know people who are also going through the same and this is very helpful.

    Keep smiling :)

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  29. This post was so inspiring - I often suffer from anxiety attacks although not panic attacks as much anymore. Well done for overcoming it so far, it does get better! x

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  30. This post was truly inspirational. Thank you for writing this post, i have really bad anxiety and have been having panic attacks for the last eight years, when i first started having them i had one everyday for three months. Noone really understands what its like unless they go through it and to this day my family still does not understand it and they do just shrug it off like its just hannah being hannah.

    Hannah Heartss xxxx

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  31. Well done on writing this post it must of taken a lot! Dealing with Anxiety can be really hard and it lovely to hear your dealing with it so well! I have post traumatic stress disorder have had therapy and CBT to deal with it, it did work really well but I know it also takes a lot of fight and determination to not let it rule your life! Xxxx

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  32. I came to this post through twitter and I think being honest about anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses can be hard. I say this as someone who's been nearly recovered from clinical depression for about a year now, as well. I wish you luck and I think you're very brave. Good luck & keep blogging, you do a wonderful job. ( ´∀`)☆

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  33. Such a great post in helping people understand... Although I have never suffered with a panic attack, I suffer with anxiety on a daily basis, it is definitely a topic more people should understand and learn about so thank you for this amazing post :) Xxx

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  34. This post means so much to me. I thought I was very good with stress but this year I've had so many panic attacks and stress levels that were off the scale! I wrote a post about my experience too. Posts like these are vital at helping people, yours is thorough and hopefully will react out to hundreds of people like us. Thanks for posting this. <3 <3

    http://bethdoesbeautystuff.blogspot.co.uk

    My panic attack post http://bethdoesbeautystuff.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/panic-attacks.html

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  35. Great post Kayleigh. I think overcoming anxiety takes the right help and time. I thought I was never going to get better and my anxiety made me really depressed for a while because it was almost unbearable to live like that. I'm in such a good place now. I hope you find that place too. Xxx

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  36. THank you for sharing all this. I have anxiety myself and I know what a personal and private issue it is, so I think it's really brave to make a post like this. But if just one person can read this and feel not alone that's so worth it. When I started having anxiety I was so scared and felt like I was going crazy..something like this would've been very helpful. Big *hugs* to you for being awesome!

    xoxo
    Kelly
    www.dreaminlace.com

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  37. Great post hun, I'm so glad you made this post, I'm sure it will help other people who are suffering and I know what its like I suffer from it too and mine has got better :) xxx

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  38. This is such a beautifully written post, thank you for writing it! I've been suffering from anxiety, depression and panic attacks for around five years now and it's so easy to feel like you're alone! this post was so inspiring, thank you! xx

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  39. Insightful and inspiring post. I've suffered with anxiety and OCD from a young age. I still remember my first attack: my mother had asked me to pick up flight tickets for a holiday to Rio from the travel agents in town. When I asked someone for the time and realized that I only had 5 minutes to get to the travel agent, I totally freaked out. Next thing I remember is a lot of people shouting at me and an ambulance.

    I've tried various types of therapies which have helped but nothing really cures it. I don't get the big attacks anymore but I still have the tingling fingers, sweats, body zaps etc... I'm still quite OCD (obsessively organized and perfectionist) but my close friends and family find my little nervous breakdowns to be cute. I find relationships difficult, like breakups or even just nerves on a first date can set it off.

    Thank you for posting this though. It makes me feel like I should open up more about my anxiety to potential partners, work colleagues or even just to new friends. It's very brave of you to post this on your blog. Thank you!

    www.whatalicedidnext.com


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  40. Great post hun! I don't get panic attacks often, but when I do I definitely feel like I am crazy, so it's comforting to know that I am not the only one. :)

    I mostly get them when I'm driving in an area that I am unfamiliar with and I don't have access to a gps. Sometimes the gps itself even brings on a panic attack because it tells me to do things that I don't understand. I also have panic attacks when I wake up from an unintentional nap during the day. Something about waking up all alone and not knowing how much time has passed seems to send my anxiety sky high and I start sweating and hyperventilating.. I'm always conscious of the time and worry that I won't get everything I need to get completed finished each day. :(

    xx

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  41. Such an awesome post! Love it! Very informative doll <3 xx.

    www.beautyandlouise.com

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  42. Such a great post! I admire your bravery for sharing your story with us! I too suffer from anxiety as well as vertigo. Great way to get the word out there that we are NOT crazy. :)

    Starrjoy16.blogspot.com

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  43. This is such an amazing post. I have been suffering from terrible anxiety and depression since the 9th grade. I would stop going to school because of my feelings, and then only miss more classes because I was afraid to return. It was a never ending cycle. Now that I'm in my second year of college, I have found a few coping mechanisms. Its something that I feel will never go away, however, it has gotten better with time. Thank you for the amazing post. Lately I have had quite a few panic attacks, and its great to learn more about them.

    http://bigbeautybag.blogspot.com/

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  44. Being another Blogger who also happens to suffer from anxiety attacks, I would agree that this definitely have to be a creative brain thing :p

    Many people in South Africa (where I live) don't realize the severity and the impact anxiety attacks can have on a person. I have been having them for a year now and at one stage they really did control my life. I was too scared to go out in public and I would worry about going to school in case I had one where everyone would see me or in class.

    I do have to say that blogging has helped me. In fact I would recommend it to anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety attacks. This is such a brilliant and supportive community and I really think everyone benefits from it in one way or another.

    P.S I love your blog design :)

    Tay
    x

    My new blog: http://smartestthingsheeversaid.blogspot.com/

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  45. such a brave post! you're a really great person..
    Hernameistrina

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  46. Hello and thank you for sharing this post! I would also like to share my experience, as it may also help you and others. I have had depression panic attacks for a period of three years. I could not sleep at nights and my mom used to stay awake with me to calm me down. She also helped me get dressed and drive me to work, as I was afraid to stay alone. I could not understand what was going wrong with me. I thought that it was just stress and I used to blame myself for reacting like that! I felt so guilty for not being able to cope with my studies and work. Hopefully I asked for help and I had many sessions with a psychologist, that helped me realized that the route of the problem was that I cared too much about the others' opinion. I worked on that and now I am no longer afraid to fail, lose my job or being criticized, because I know who I am and I realized that people that really matter to me love me unconditionally. My motto is " Don’t care about the others.. The whole world is full of others!" (from the movie-biography: "GIFTED HANDS". I was also inspired by the movies: "PEACEFUL WORRIOR", "THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS"). I also started meditating which was a life-changing experience! Most doctors recommend meditation as it has be proven that it calms down the brain and reduces the "fear messages" that start the panic attacks. I know also that during meditation a lot of energies from the universe are attracted to your body so that you get what you need. The school of meditation I attended is global-you can find teachers anywhere .You can check it out here: WWW.FISU.ORG.What helped me most though was my doctor. He explained to me that it was not my fault and that I cannot control it on my own, because panic attacks happen to people whose some certain chemical substances in the brain (I don't remember the names:) are lower than normal and most of the times it is a matter of DNA. It is not dangerous, nor is it something to be ashamed of and it can be faced through a medical treatment that recovers those imbalances. The therapy lasts from 6 months to two years most of the times. Most people are afraid of taking medical help for mental reasons, because of the taboo that these are only for "crazy" people. However, this is silly because there are different pills for panic attacks and depression than those taken from those people, they are less harmful than the aspirins and there are no consequences. It is like taking a vitamin specialized for increasing those chemical substances. Wouldn't you accept medical treatment for a heart disease? So why not for depression/panic attacks??!The truth is that we are making much more harm to ourselves by living with so much anxiety and panic attacks, rather than following a certain treatment (I only take one certain pill per day) and get over with it! I started the medical treatment one year ago and I had never a panic attack again. I am grateful to my doctor for convincing me to accept it.I also pray a lot for protection and guidance since I read the books of "LORNA BYRNE" that made me realize, that there is so much help by God and angels and all we have to do is ask for it !I also had spiritual sessions through which I had many messages that changed my life to the better, with the great psychologist-medium YVE BROOKS who also provides services through Skype! You can find her at: www.yvebrooks.org. Lastly, what I was taught during this journey is that whatever doesn't kill you, indeed makes you stronger! Due to panic attacks, I was forced to search for things that would help me and through this process I had many experiences, I met new inspiring people and I have managed to become a stronger, better person. I have also helped others with similar problems and generally my life is much better than even before the panic attacks!
    I hope all the best to everybody!

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  47. What a super helpful post!!! I have been suffering for the last 3 years with depression, and have been on antidepressants for that time. Only now, after 7 years of being told, I am seeing a counsellor! :) There have been people that have supported me, and some not so supportive people, but I honestly believe that's just because they don't understand!!

    Alongside the depression, I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and they can just come from nowhere! Luckily I've started to learn how to cope with them now, but they are bloody scary and a right pain in the arse! xxx

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    Replies
    1. Please try meditation... it really helps!

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  48. So brave of you to post this. I nearly missed my friend's wedding last year because of this. I just about managed to control my panic attack, the signs were there, by shutting my eyes and breathing slowly. Thankfully it passed. It's hideous. You're right about us creative types being prone to this. Thank you for sharing. x

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    ReplyDelete
  50. this is such a brave and brilliant post! Having suffered with something similar (plus a nasty dash of depression) since i was 11, I totally understand how hard this must of been to write, but i thank you for it. It is so important that more people recognize mental illness and help each other, and for those suffering to know that they're not alone and it is still possible to live a happy positive life! 10 years after my troubles started, I'm finally learning to deal with them and would love to help others do the same.. :) x

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  51. amazing post Kayleigh. Dont give up on the CBT...when I almost gave up after my 3rd or 4th session my therapist told me that the hard work starts after your final session. For me I started to see results around a month after my last session and I improved so fast from there on. I came off my medication 6 months after that and improved even more. Just recently I went to see a hypnotherapist for my fear of flying which came about from my general anxiety, he used a technique on me called PSTEC which is a form of CBT. I hadnt been on a plane for 2 years and last week I got on 4 in 10 days....the results were amazing. It also helps with anxiety and phobias in the same way.
    Chin up gorgoeus xxxxx

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  52. Thanks for sharing your story. It's really important to share experiences like these as mental illnesses still are a huge taboo subject. I know exactly how hard it can be to share such a thing but your story might actually change someones life as well as open up other people's eyes to mental illnesses. Anxiety and panic attacks are very common these days and there are a lot of sufferers out there.

    This was very brave of you!

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  53. Heah Kayleigh - it is a really tough subject and so many people are embarrassed about the way they feel about anxiety and panic attacks. I know I was when things started to go bad for me. It took me years to understand how and what would really hit the nail on the head for me and end it once and for all. There is no miracle cure just a lot of steps that add up to the problem being there in the first place. I also started teaching people what I found worked for me and I even stopped one guy jumping off a bridge that is how bad things had gotten for him. Anyway I put a free report together for people just like you and I would love your feedback on it to see if helps you out as I am sure it will. You can find it at http://sixkeyprinciples.com the presentation is a little different than most things you see out there but I wanted to try and make it a little fun too. Here is wishing you all the very best for the future. Take Care

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  54. You are so brave to write this, I don't think I could have written about all my experiences - worst being having to come home early from a girls holiday. I was so desperate to leave I booked the only flight available to East Midlands airport.....I live in Edinburgh!!! It helps knowing other people are going through similar issues. Thanks for this post, it's genuinely made me feel a little easier about it xxx

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  55. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I've written a bit about my anxiety on my blog, mainly here and here. I was against medication for a long time, but in the end that's what's worked best for me — like everyone else said, there's no miracle cure, and different things work for different people, and at the end of the day I don't think there's anything that will cure anxiety fully. You just have to live with it, do what you can to keep it at bay, and hope other people are understanding.

    Thanks again for sharing this.

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  56. Hurray Kayleigh for posting this! I know you've wanted to for so long. RESPECT BABY XXX

    THE GLAM ADDICT

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  57. Such an inspirational post beaut :)

    I have a blog sale if you'd like to take a look. Http://ohhsoglam.blogspot.com
    xx

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  58. Amazing post. Thanks for being so honest.
    Glad to hear you're beating it. :)

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  59. Great post! :)
    I struggle a lot with anxiety and worrying on a daily basis, and I think school just makes it worse. I've been talking to my mum a lot recently though and it's made me feel much better, and I totally agree with you about not keeping things bottled up. I'm trying to keep positive and not worry too much because I think no-one likes me when people actually do. Thanks for writing this post, it's made me feel much better about OCD and panicking/worrying :)

    Amy | http://amysbeautyjournal.blogspot.co.uk/

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  60. This was such an amazing post to read - I've experienced anxiety too, but not quite to the degree you have. Thanks to a contraceptive pill I was taking, I developed an anxiety issue which lead to panic attacks and a blotchy rash every time I was in a situation I felt uncomfortable in. I never expected my pill to be the cause, but when I stopped taking it for other reasons, the symptoms completely disappeared! I'm obviously over the moon that I no long suffer from the panic attacks, and although I still sometimes feel a little anxious in some situations, its much more reasonable and controllable. You really are so, so brave for writing this post and I really do think it will help a LOT of people - I wish I could have read it while I was suffering xxx

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  61. This is such a brave yet amazing post. I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and sometimes you do feel as if people just don't understand what you go through. This explains it perfectly and has made me feel so much better about it, so thank you. :) I am also trying CBT and I think its helping quite a bit. :) xx

    prettylittledoodahs.blogspot.co.uk

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  62. Wonderfully writter, I'm sure this will be of a great help to lots of people. I don't think it's a coincidence than several bloggers suffer from anxiety, blogging is such a great outlet for relieving stress and other things.

    Raffles Bizarre Blog

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  63. My panic is always there, but under the surface.

    /Avy

    http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

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  64. Wow, so heartfelt and honest hun, thank you for sharing such a personal thing.

    Regarding panic attacks, my mom used to suffer from them but now she's had therapy, self help and a combination of relaxation techniques she hasn't had them for years :)

    Mandy

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  65. I saw this post shard by Frankie @ FrankieBoo and I just had to read it. I would suffer with panic attacks and anxiety for a few years - but not very severe. Although, since my brother died 2years ago and I was in a serious car accident couple days after he died, it has all seemed to heighten and I get very worked up. Almost to the point I get myself extremely annoyed and stressed out and need to let my anxiety, anger, pain etc out somehow.

    I just wanted to write a comment to say thank you for writing this post as I don't really like to speak about it and especially not to my family or my boyfriend that much because I know how worried they would get as I can be quite an emotional person without any anxiety or panic attacks. I've now followed and bookmarked this post on my phone so I know where I can turn to when I need to reassure myself.

    Reading this has helped me feel a bit better already. Thank you!

    Rachael x - All The Little Things x | Rachael McClenaghan

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  66. I know what you mean. Both of my grandfathers died in a very short period of time. I suddenly found myself crying all the time, whether it was happiness or sadness, I couldn’t go a few hours without crying.
    I ended up going to see a psychologist for a year, she helped me a lot. I also went to a psychiatrist who gave me Prozac and an anxiety medicine. I don't need anything anymore and I'm so happy I seeked help!
    Life truly got better for me
    Thanks for sharing!

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  67. I could completely relate to this. I have never suffered with OCD but I suffer with anxiety on a regular basis. Even thinking about it makes me feel anxious. I started with mine about 2-3 years ago when I had an overwhelming amount of bad news, I don't show my feelings very often and I do think this is the route cause. I'm thinking about starting yoga to try and help with it. Keep your chin up and hope you can overcome your anxiety xx

    michelles-beauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  68. Way to go! Opening up is hard, but very helpful! I also suffer from OCD and Anxiety. If you ever need a friend, I'm always here!

    ♥emma
    itsemmaelise.com

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  69. you are very brave to do this post. i have bpd and i suffer with anxiety and panicattacks too, all i can say is it will get better and after 6 years of therapie i can tell you cbt helped me a lot. my life hasn't completely changed but its definatly more worth living.
    i don't know if you can understand what i wrote,because i'm from germany and english is not my first language ;)xo


    www.vanysbeauty-ecke.blogspot.de

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  70. Love this post, i am 26 and have suffered with terrible panics and anxiety attacks which have stopped me doing a lot of things, and nearly having to quit my job in the city. I have tried psychologist, therapy, CBD, hypnotherapy but nothing seems to work and its a good feeling when someone else tells you they know what happens, only a few people in my life are aware of it. Thank you for sharing!! xx

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  71. I really liked reading this post, it always good to hear your not alone, I only found out recently that what I had been feeling for years was anxiety, I always thought I was a worried and over anyalsed things cause there was something wrong with me, I think some days are worse than others but like you said blogging is your way to relax, I agree.
    I think it's really brave to write this post, I read your blog weekly and I think you writing this post is inspirational all.

    P.so downloaded the book you were reading on instagram last week too, I hope it helps me understand all this better cause it's still new to me.

    x x x

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    Replies
    1. P.ss sorry for all the typos my kindle is always auto correcting me x

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  72. Thanks a lot for being so honest about your condition. This can be useful especially for those individuals who suffer same problem as yours. This only shows that you can get your life back even if you experience panic attacks.

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  73. Apologies for commenting on such an old post Kayleigh. I remember reading this while back and it's only now that I realise I can relate to it I thought to find it read through the post again with different eyes.
    I now realise I suffered with anxiety for a long time and it developed into depression. I got more and more distant from everyone and leaving the comfort of my home was really difficult for me.
    I had a horrible year last year when my friends turned against me as they just didn't understand what I was going through. I've written a post on it here if you wanted a read.
    I'm not over it yet, but I'm much stronger and it's nice to know others are opening up and sharing their experiences too. I just wanted to say that your post really inspired me and made me smile. It's nice knowing I'm not alone. I'm looking forward to a better 2014!

    Keep up the good work, your blog is lovely!
    x

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  74. I really appreciate you to share your personal experience about anxiety but I don't know if anxiety is curable or not.

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  75. I've just found your blog looking for more information about my problem. I've been strugling with anxiety and panic for almost one year now and it's pretty scary. I have the same feeling that people don't understand how consuming it is, and it's horrible. I loved your post and I'm happy about how open you were about it. Thanks for sharing.

    xo,

    Sarah - glambysarah.blogspot.com

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  76. How interesting! You're the second person in a matter of hours who I have heard about the connection between anxiety and being creative from. I've also suffered with anxiety since I was about 9, and I understand how much it effects the ability to just live your life.

    I've also written a post on my experiences and also the things that help/ helped me, if anyone would like to have a read: http://blogdesherrell.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/dealing-with-anxiety.html I think it's important to support those in similar situations and there's a few tips on how to overcome and keep anxiety under control. Thanks for sharing your story, Kayleigh!

    Jo, Blog de Sherrell xx

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  77. The stuff written in the blogs have allured me!!! social anxiety treatment

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  78. This is really a wonderful and worthy post. Anxiety can and does affect people in different ways. Some experience anxiety through emotional and/or psychological symptoms. Others suffer from physical effects. Both are powerful enough to upset our normal happy lifestyle. There are still many panic attack symptoms depending on type of individual.

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  80. Hello, U write some extraordinarily attractive blogs. I always check back here frequently to see if you have updated
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