Monday, 4 February 2013


So late in January I went back to uni and even though I have been majorly organised with diary writing, choosing essay questions, ordering and reading the books I'm meant to, I am still left with this overwhelming feeling in dread. Now I suffer from an anxiety disorder which makes even the smallest of everyday tasks seem mountainous, it's also worsened by the fact that not many people seem to understand what having anxiety means and can more often than not make a person feel worse about how their feeling without realising.
My anxiety causes a lot of problems for me which all roll into one big problem and make up a vicious cycle. These are just a few of the fears that anxiety can bring on:

  • Fear of going places
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear of something going wrong
  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of never being prepared enough
  • Fear of crowded places
  • Fear of lots of noise/people
  • Fear of public speaking
These can make it very difficult to even go to the local shop, I for one always feel like people are looking and judging me, which makes my anxiety much worse than it would be already. Feeling like this can sometimes cause something called panic attacks, I also get night terrors when I am feeling especially stressed.

Panic attacks are one of the most scary things I have ever had to endure, they can come on out of the blue and anywhere they feel like. How I usually feel when I'm suffering a panic attack:
  • Trapped
  • Struggling to breath
  • Like I can't breath at all
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizzy
  • Over aware of my surroundings
  • Hot
  • Sweaty
  • Lack of concentration 
  • Like I am about to die
 As you can imagine these are not nice things to have to deal with and I do whatever I can to avoid situations where my anxiety is going to be higher than normal. Other forms of prevention can be used but they are not always helpful as I mentioned before panic attacks can strike whenever they feel, but these are some of the things I do to try prevent the onset of a panic attack;
  • Breathing exercises
  • Planning everything ahead
  • Being in control as much as possible
  • Tablets such as Kalms (sometimes medicine from the doctors)
  • Thinking things through before I do them
  • Making sure I'm with someone/someone I trust
  • Avoiding places of high anxiety risk (town centre on a Saturday)
  • Knowing bus/train times in my head
As you can imagine trying to do all of this can be tiresome especially when you are trying to lead a 'normal' life. I tend not to be too open about my anxiety and try to deal with it alone as best as possible, but I feel there is too much ignorance and intolerance for this illness, because an illness is exactly what it is. People need to be aware of the symptoms of anxiety so they are not misunderstood to why people can act in a certain way, I can often be mislead as being shy and in extreme cases rude just because I am stressing on the inside and not able to concentrate properly on what's going on around me. 

Another thing my anxiety makes me suffer with is insomnia, now that is not missing one nights sleep and thinking I have insomnia it's months of only getting an hours sleep every few days. Insomnia in itself causes many problems for me and makes studying for my degree/doing anything fun or productive very hard. It  brings my drive and motivation down to zero, I am always tired and feeling lethargic and in turn can be in a very down mood most of the time. Of course I do take sleeping tablets as often as I can and they can work, but they do not sort the problem entirely and I am not a fan of being reliant on drugs to aid something my body should be doing on its own. But again as I feel I cannot be open about my anxiety and how it affects me I feel I can be seen as lazy, especially when it comes to uni things, when in fact I am struggling to even get out of bed in the mornings.

Even though I have an amazing boyfriend and the most supportive family I feel like I am battling anxiety alone, I feel like I am alone. But I want to make that stop. If you suffer from any of the symptoms above or are just interested in anxiety and what it entails I'd love for you to email me:

It's time anxiety sufferers didn't feel alone.

Nicola Mai..x


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