Anxiety and Me – Mental health awareness

This is a bit of a personal post but something I feel I need to talk about with you as its not something you can see on the outside and there needs to be made more awareness of – I will try to keep it as short as I can. I didn’t know if this would be a good idea as I’m worried of people’s negative opinions as I feel mental health still comes with a lot of stigma. It was some thing I wanted to keep private but I’m trying to talk out as much as I can to help myself and anyone else that needs it. This has been extremely hard for me to be able to post something so personal on my social media so please be kind, people can be cruel this isn’t a cry for help or to ask for attention it’s merely to tell my story and to raise awareness as I no a lot of people I have spoken to that I no around my area have or are suffering also!

I may seem happy and bubbly on the outside and that everything is fine but a lot of the time it can be far from it, some times just getting through the day can be a huge struggle. Coming across as moody or grumpy at times and not wanting to be chatty and meet up with friends or family, trying to keep that happy face on all of the time can be really hard. At present 40% of disability worldwide is due to depression and anxiety. The most recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey indicates that there are some 6 million people in the UK (approximately 3 million with depression as their primary problem and 3 million with an anxiety disorder) this is a huge number ad something that you can live with if not stop happening to you.

I have been a sufferer of Anxiety/Panic Attacks/Depression, Mental Health however you want to label it for more than 6 years now and I’ve spent the last three to four weeks really unwell at my worst with Anxiety and Panic attacks.. Now I’m quite a strong person this is a problem I have kept to my self over the years. Feeling this way does make you feel really defeated at times and you always get those people that will say “what have you got to worry about, don’t stress everything will be ok” this just makes you feel 10 times worse. Please if you happen to be the person on the other end don’t be the “what have you got to worry about” and be the reach out to who ever is suffering just as a shoulder to lean on it can make a world of difference for them!

It took a while for me to want or even feel like I could tell people, purely because of the reasons above and being to proud and stubborn to admit that sometimes for no reason I can feel like my body has been taken over by my mental state, it can be really disabling!

It can be mental and physical – 
For those of you that have never experienced the feeling of anxiety/depression/panic attacks/mental health or are unable to understand what it is, when I was at my worst these where some of my symptoms.. Anxiety likes to give you lots of symptoms and most of the time these can be all at once; fight or flight, a pounding heart/heart palpitations that can feel like you heart is going to burst out your chest, extreme dizziness and ringing in the ears, vomiting, being boiling hot or freezing cold, head aches/pressure in the head, shortness of breath, feeling faint constantly and feeling like your carrying the world on your shoulders.

There some of the more physical symptoms caused by the anxiety and these are some of the mental; having irrational thoughts – I felt scared for my life, thinking you have other mental health problems for example schizophrenia and analyzing your self, thinking that there must be some other problem causing this – am I seriously unwell with some thing that’s causing me to feel like this, thinking you wont make it through and wanting to give up all the time even the thought of not wanting to be here anymore and panic attacks! For people that have never experienced any form of mental health before this may seem ridiculous but trust me it’s far from it, and for people who are feeling like this you’re not alone. The one thing I have realised is the more I’m talking the more I understand how many people are suffering in silence. SPEAK OUT!

Now above are some of the things I have experienced over the past three weeks while at my worst and also when I have mild anxiety – I’m not speaking for everyone just myself. It took me over two weeks to over come these thoughts and physical feelings enough that I start to function properly again, to be able to sleep and eat and even now on week 3/4 I’m still feeling unwell and having many of these symptoms, but taking one day at a time, I have come so far and feeling so much better in my self!

This is something that I have been able to hide in the past and most people even family and friends never knew I had been suffering and feeling this way. After having probably the worst few weeks I have began to talk and tell people how I’ve been feeling, I’ve found it’s really helped.. Yes I was worried I’d get the people who didn’t understand the ones who think what have I got to worry about there is people in the world that are worse off than you. Let me tell you I do not want to feel this way and if I could flick a switch or do anything to not feel like the way I do and be back to “normal” I would. Mental health isn’t just something you can turn off with the flick of a switch, people need to understand this. It comes in many shapes, sizes and forms it is way more common than you may think.

Positivity – 
I have come such a long way from three weeks ago not being able to move, sleep eat or talk and writing this gives me the positivity to carry on my journey. I am trying lots of different ways to help me manage my mental health from eating healthy, mindfulness, treatments such as Bowen and Floats, Hypnotherapy, Counseling also accepting the way I feel allowing my self to feel this way and knowing that I will be ok. Trying to keep my stress levels down has been a huge help not worrying about the smallest of things and trying to change my attitude on daily life and routines. I have tried the chemical route as well with a form of help from my GP. I am very anti medication and have always been so this for me was a last resort – Sometimes no matter how you feel you need to accept the help and try lots of different ways to help your self and well-being as at the end of the day only you can help you! YOU CAN DO THIS! YOU ARE BRAVE! DO NOT SUFFER ALONE!


Its all about Self help –
I’ve been to the Hands On Clinic in Braunton Devon to have some therapies to help with my anxiety/panic attacks, they have been so supportive and have done everything they can to accommodate me. I would highly recommend them for anyone in my local or surrounding areas, I have been going there for the past year or so to use the amazing flotation tanks. Since having my anxiety and panic attacks they have been on the end of the phone with any help or advice they can give me, I’ve also had two treatments of Bowen with Phil which I think were a huge help at the start. I need to get back to having regular floats as the benefits are amazing. I’m also going to be having some Hypnotherapy there to – I owe them all a big thank you!

You Tube has been amazing for me I’ve used it to find amazing Meditation clips from people like Jason Stephenson and listening to TED Talks on Anxiety and Mental Health (here’s one you can listen to)

I have changed my diet and daily routines, I’m going to start exercising way more than I do (Yoga, walking, anything I feel I want to do or try) and my house is slowly filling up with affirmations stuck on the walls!


I really want to raise awareness for Mental Health of all kinds as it’s extremely common and one of the best ways to help is to talk! Having family, friends and partners there is so important, if you feel unable to talk to them then a therapist/councilor? I’ve been so lucky that my family and friends have been amazing, they’ve been so supportive when I’ve needed them the most and I owe them a really big thank you for that.

Thank you for reading please leave your thoughts below, if you have suffered with any mental health and have any ways to help please do leave them below. This was a hard post to write and put out and I’m still unsure whether it’s a good idea but I hope you can all understand and relate a little more than you did before with mental illness.

 

I am confident
and courageous.
I posses the strength
and ability
to accomplish
all
my goals and dreams!  

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8 Comments

  1. 26th February 2017 / 10:17 pm

    This must have been so incredibly difficult to discuss, a huge well done, it’s really brave! I know a lot of people who have suffered with their mental health and I think that anyone who has issues with their mental health would be so inspired by reading this, and it could encourage others to speak out. So many people suffer yet not so many speak out so it is so wonderful that you have done! You are absolutely incredible and please don’t ever forget that❤ you are so inspiring. One day we will remove any stigmas surrounding mental health and I really hope it’s soon?Thank you so much for being so brave and posting this ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    • 26th February 2017 / 10:20 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely message, I’ve had such a amazing response and it’s really comforting! I hope that by sharing this it may just help even one person by letting them no that there not on their own. I spent so long feeling alone and after slowly speaking out I’ve realised I’m not and so many other people suffer. I really thank you for your kind message sending you lots of love and light!! ♥️♥️♥️

      • 26th February 2017 / 10:29 pm

        Aww you a so welcome, I mean every word! It’s such a wonderful thing you do and I’m so glad you are starting to be able to manage and hopefully decrease your suffering ❤ I know that everyone reading this will have been so inspired, even if they haven’t suffered themselves it’s highly likely they will know someone who has❤ it is amazing that you have been able to turn a negative into a positive, thank you so much❤❤❤

  2. 26th February 2017 / 11:03 pm

    ❤️❤️❤️ love you girl x

  3. Lynda Milne
    27th February 2017 / 7:45 pm

    Hi Gabrielle, congratulations on being able to communicate your innermost thoughts so well, despite fearing other people’s reactions. This is such an honest account and as such, so helpful in raising awareness. I am a Tutor on an Understanding Mental Health course (amongst other things!). Part of my role is to provide links to further reading for my students. Would you be happy for me to reference your blog? It could be really valuable in developing their understanding and social media is such a great way of reaching people. I’d be really grateful if you’d let me know what you think. Best wishes, Lynda Milne

    • 27th February 2017 / 7:51 pm

      Hi Lynda, thank you very much for your lovely message! It really is hard to express how you feel sometimes in fear of how you think others may react, it’s even harder when it comes to social media. I really think we need to see more of it to raise awareness and help with negativity. I would be really happy for you to reference my blog it’s a really good feeling to no that it possibly may help others.
      Thank you for getting in contact;
      Gabrielle.

  4. Bernii
    28th February 2017 / 11:27 pm

    You just get better in my eyes Gabs, always there for everyone no matter what xx

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