Thursday, 8 May 2014

Dealing With Anxiety

Hi Everyone,

So as I mentioned in my last post I've been having a bit of hectic/bad time last month, hence hardly any blog posts. This was due to my anxiety becoming too much to handle. Today I want to talk to you guys about dealing with anxiety, sudden attacks as well as how to tell your friends and family.

Now all my life I've been the joker, the one who loves to party however since March of 2013 I noticed a decline in my mood. I thought this was due to the fact that I had a bad accident and was needing an operation on my elbow, I mean who wouldn't get a bit anxious leading up to a big operation that suffered the risk of not working. Unfortunately the operation did not work, I was also stuck indoors for two weeks solid as I had been signed off. At the time I was in a relationship and we seemed perfectly happy and in love, however as I slowly started to become more depressed due to my failed operation, being cooped up indoors and coming to terms with the fact I wouldn't be able to carry on dancing I was starting to take things out on him. I was questioning everything I did or he did, constantly arguing this ultimately cause the relationship to break down. Even though it was a mutual decision I was still heartbroken. This is when I realised that I was starting to get bouts of anxiety attacks.
Imaged sourced from Google


The rest of 2013 I tried to throw myself into as much as possible to get over the heartbreak and what happened after the relationship (let's just say it wasn't pretty but we live and learn). I went on three holidays, went to festivals, spent copious amount of money that had been saved towards a house. It wasn't until the beginning of 2014 that my anxiety took a big nose dive. I realised I was approaching 26 and I hadn't done much with my life; I hated my job, still living at home with my parents, was single, the list could go on. It seemed everyone else around me was moving forward with their lives and I was still living mine as the same 21 year old fresh out of university. This led to me spending more time on my own in my bedroom or often if I went out I would leave early because I wasn't enjoying it or end up so drunk within an hour of getting there I would have to be taken home.
I knew this wasn't the happy go lucky Lola that my friends all know, I would sit in the corner and just be on my phone all night. My best friends knew something was up, however they just assumed it was due to stress at home.


Image sourced from Google

Mid April I realised after a huge anxiety attack that led me to question my friends if they actual liked me and if they thought I was an embarrassment, I knew I needed to get some help. I booked an appointment at my local GP and told my two best friends how exactly I was feeling. Telling my friends what I was feeling and going through felt like a weight off my shoulders, however I knew this was only the start to learning how to manage my anxiety. My doctor was extremely helpful, I had seen before that some GPs weren't very understanding regarding anxiety issues. When explaining my problems and how I felt I did burst into tears, however he reassured me that I could overcome this. I have been offered some counselling as well as now being on some anti depressants. At first the thought of taking anti depressants frightened me, I had read so many horror stories regarding them and people becoming dependent on them. I'm being monitored for the first month on the tablets to see how I respond to them but so far after just over 2 weeks of being on them I am noticing a difference. The first step is admitting you are feeling like this and then seeking help, I'm not even half way through learning how to cope but can already see that I can live with anxiety in a healthy way.


Image sourced from Google

So here are my top tips with dealing with anxiety. Remember I am no way medically qualified so do not take my tips as medical advice, this is just how I have been coping with my anxiety.
  • Talk to someone you trust - this can really help unload and calm those butterflies you get. Take some time out with your mum or your best friend and explain to them how you are feeling. This will help get things straight in your head as well as them understanding how you are feeling and what triggers the anxiety. Be honest with them as well, if something they say or do often triggers some feelings of anxiety let them know.
  • Take time for yourself - this may seem obvious to others but some anxiety sufferers find it hard to relax. I often find that if I've had a bad day anxiety wise I will run myself a hot bath, slather on my favourite face mask and just lay in the bath for 20 minutes with some music on. Or I watch an episode of The Shaytards, they always help me lift my mood and calm down.
  • Learn your anxiety triggers - being aware of the start of an attack can help stop it before it gets too much. If I'm on a night out and feeling a little overwhelmed I will tell one of my friends that I'm currently feeling a bit anxious and then take myself outside to get some fresh air. Generally after a few minutes outside concentrating on my breathing I'm able to calm myself. If not, then I will remove myself from the situation and generally take myself home so I don't end up a mess in the middle of the street.
  • Find a hobby - yes I know this one can be difficult for some people due to funds or lack of interest but having a hobby focuses you and also helps you relax as you are doing something you love. My anxiety started because I had to give up my hob and half of my career, I then found blogging and YouTube which I now focus on and have really enjoyed letting this side out of me. I also go to the gym 3 to 4 times a week and find that this REALLY helps. Exercise release endorphins which make you happy and it also helps you get rid of any built up stress.
  • Don't isolate yourself - sitting indoors on your own will not help. This will make you even more anxious, especially if you are scrolling through Facebook or Twitter seeing all your friends out doing something. Organise a night out or a girlie night in etc, gather up all your close friends in a relaxed environment and you will slowly start to enjoy yourself once again.
Anxiety shouldn't be something your ashamed of. People think that people with mental health issues are different, however I bet if you met me you wouldn't even think that I suffer with this problem. If you are feeling like you suffer from anxiety then check out NHS' website for more detailed symptoms and ways to treat it. There is a lot of information and self help groups on the Internet that you can do also. Please book an appointment as well to see your GP so you are given the best advice for your personally.

Don't be afraid to face your problems, life will get better and you will learn that this is just another chapter in your storybook that you will close or learn to keep on the back burner.

I hope this post has helped some people in some way...even if it's the tiniest amount! And if anyone wants to talk further about their anxiety issues etc feel free to drop me an email I'm happy to help in anyway that I can.

Until next time...
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